Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Elite 2023 OL TJ Shanahan Talks Notre Dame & Recruiting

September 7, 2020

TJ Shanahan‍ and his father hit the road last summer for some camps prior to the 2023 Florida offensive lineman’s freshman year at Faith Christian High School in Orlando.

Shanahan wasn’t camping at Notre Dame, but he and his father decided to stop in South Bend while in the Midwest for camps at Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State.

“Me and my dad really wanted to check out Notre Dame because it’s a really prestigious school, so we checked it out,” says Shanahan, who now stands at 6-5 and 300 pounds. “That was before I had any of these offers and stuff. I wasn’t really a prospect, so I didn’t really get to meet any coaches.

“I don’t really blame them because I wasn’t really on anyone’s radar. I guess now, if I went on a visit, it would be a lot different.”

Shanahan was toured around campus, the locker rooms and the stadium.

“It was definitely pretty cool,” he says. “I liked it a lot. I liked how they run stuff down there.

“One thing the tour guide told me that I really liked to hear was that every home game had been sold out for like the past 250 games. That was one thing that really stood out to me. I liked the facilities. They have some really nice facilities. They have nice dorms and stuff, so I really liked that. I think everything is really top-notch over there.”

Shanahan certainly opened up eyes with his freshman film and ended up scoring his first scholarship offer in December, from Florida Atlantic. That was just the start.

In February, he announced he’d transferred to Timber Creek High School and by April, there was a wave of scholarship offers.

In the span of four days, he received offers from LSU, Florida, Florida State, South Florida, Central Florida, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Nebraska and Oregon. He’s since piled on more than a dozen more from schools like Georgia, Ohio State, USC, Oklahoma and Penn State among many others.

“It’s just a blessing,” says Shanahan. “I’m really blessed to be in this position. Without my family, my friends, my mentors and coaches, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today, so I’m really grateful. I’m just really blessed and all of the hard work I’ve put in is starting to pay off.”

Shanahan is excited about getting the chance to show the 28 schools that have offered him so far exactly “who they’ve offered” when he suits up for Timber Creek this season.

“I’m going to show them an aggressive football player,” he says. “I’d definitely say that’s one trait I’d use to explain myself. I’m really agile and just an aggressive and tenacious and nasty football player. I’m always finishing blocks. I’m always going 115 percent, 120 percent on the field. You’ll never see me walk on the field.

“They’re just going to see an all-around great football player and a player who is an asset to the team. I’m never bringing anyone down, always trying to coach everyone up and do the best I can for my football team.”

Notre Dame is certainly aware of Shanahan’s emergence and has requested his transcripts. Shanahan and his family certainly have interest in the Irish.

“We just know Notre Dame is really like Offensive Line University,” he says. “They won the Joe Moore Award. That’s a really big thing for the offensive line in general.

“We just know that’s a really good school. I always liked Notre Dame growing up. My dad liked them too when he was growing up a long time ago. It definitely runs around this way. That’s a big reason why we went to go check it out.”

Relationships will be crucial when the time comes for Shanahan to make a final decision.

“I’d definitely say having a good relationship with the coaching staff, not even just the offensive line coach. I’d really like to get a feel for the school and get to know all of the coaches, even the d-line coach, having a good all-around relationship with the staff and making sure my family likes the area and the school.

“Just a place I could really call home for the next four or five years.”

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