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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Caleb Johnson Excited To Be A Part Of Notre Dame, O-Line U

November 19, 2020

Recruits often have a hard time finding the words to describe their verbal commitments in the immediate aftermath.

Caleb Johnson had no such trouble explaining his decision to commit to Notre Dame on Thursday evening.

“It’s basically just O-Line U,” the 2021 Florida offensive lineman told Irish Sports Daily.

“They’ve produced and continue to produce the top o-linemen in college football. I want to be part of that.”

The 6-foot-7, 295-pounder is the fifth offensive lineman in the Irish’s 2021 class, joining Rocco Spindler, Blake Fisher, Pat Coogan and Joe Alt.

“With the class we have now, I’m looking forward to what we can do,” Johnson said.

“I’m just starting to get to know the guys, I started to talk to them today. It seems like they’re already a tight-knit group of guys and I’m happy to be a part of that.”

Johnson lives in Ocala, Fla., but grew up in Fort Wayne, Ind.

“It definitely makes things easier,” he said of being comfortable in the Midwest. “I’m familiar with the area. I know Indiana, Fort Wayne, all of those places pretty well. I know a bunch of people there. It’s time to get to know some people at Notre Dame.”

The Trinity Catholic High School star committed to Auburn back in May, but the Irish never stopped recruiting him. In fact, offensive coordinator Tommy Rees and offensive line coach Jeff Quinn stayed in touch even though they didn’t have any more spots in the class allocated for offensive linemen.

“They want me part of that group, part of that o-line group,” said Johnson. “They actually made a spot for me.”

Johnson said the Irish told him they changed their projected numbers by position to make room for him.

“It’s good to go somewhere you’re wanted,” he said.

Auburn certainly wanted Johnson as well and he said the conversation with the Tiger coaches informing them of his change of plans wasn’t an easy one.

“It was very difficult,” he said. “Nobody wants to have that talk with the coach you’ve talked to for like five months now. I was really thinking I was going to be going to Auburn, but you’ve got to make the best decision for yourself.

“You have to be selfish and I’m not really used to being all that selfish. But you’ve got to make the decision.”

As of Thursday night, he hadn’t talked with Brian Kelly yet, but the Zoom call he had with Quinn, Rees and Director of Player Personnel was much different.

“Very excited,” he said of the Irish coaches. “They were very excited and I was super excited too.

“It’s going to be awesome getting up there and getting to work with those guys.”

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