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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Notre Dame Official Lives Up To Hype For 2023 OL Commit Sam Pendleton

June 13, 2022
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Sam Pendleton‍ had heard all about how the commits in Notre Dame’s 2023 recruiting class were similar, but until his official visit this past weekend, he didn’t fully understand.

“I was kind of skeptical at first because you have that many people committed and they’re all going to have the same mindset?” said the 2023 Notre Carolina offensive lineman, who committed to the Irish in April. “That’s rare.

“But you get to talking with those guys and they really are. From DBs to running backs to offensive linemen/defensive linemen, they really all have the same goals and mindset. I was really happy to be around those guys.”

Pendleton had met Keon Keeley‍, Preston Zinter‍ and Sullivan Absher‍ already.

“But the other guys I hadn’t met before,” he said. “It was really good to have some time to be around those guys and figure out how they are, what their personalities are like and just bond with those guys.

“It was also really good to talk with the players who are there now, especially the offensive line guys – they’re really close – just to get a feel for what it’s going to be like when I go up there.”

The 6-foot-5, 290-pounder had brief interactions with the current offensive linemen prior to his commitment, mostly at practice, but this past weekend, both he and Absher had the chance to spend real time with them.

“Both nights after we ate supper, Joe Alt and Billy (Schrauth) took us over to one of the senior’s houses,” Pendleton said. “We got to hang out with those guys. It was great.”

And just like with his fellow commits, he found out the Irish coaches weren’t exaggerating their bond.

“They all are really as close as Coach (Harry) Hiestand said they are,” Pendleton added. “They do cut up and joke, which is great because that’s how I’m used to it at high school. They just really took me and Sullivan in. They cut up and cut jokes with us.

“It was great. We played a little cornhole, watched the baseball game. It was just good to hang out with those guys and get to talk to people about how it is, their perspectives on Notre Dame. I really enjoyed it.”

Pendleton was also able to do some recruiting with uncommitted visitors like Rico Flores Jr.‍, Ronan Hanafin‍ and Monroe Freeling‍.

“I feel like they really enjoyed themselves,” he said. “I got to hang out with those guys quite a bit. They’re good people. I really enjoyed hanging out with Rico. I feel like he’s a great guy and he’s somebody who would do well at Notre Dame. I tried to get him to really see the vision and I think he really had a good time.”

He also enjoyed his meetings with Hiestand, Tommy Rees and Marcus Freeman.

“It was great,” said Pendleton. “It never gets old talking with Coach Hiestand and Coach Freeman and even Coach Rees. Those guys are so influential in my life already with what they have to offer me as a recruit and a person.

“I got to have one-on-one conversations with Coach Hiestand and Coach Freeman and it was really good. I really enjoyed myself. It was great to be able to talk to them not just over the phone or through letters, but in person.”

The visit served as further confirmation of his decision.”

“Absolutely. I really had no doubts about it. This even made it that much more clear.”

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