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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2024 DB Paul Mencke Jr. Talks Notre Dame Visit, What's Next

April 18, 2023
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Paul Mencke Jr‍ arrived in South Bend this past weekend knowing he had a couple schools toward the top of his list.

Following the visit, the 2024 Texas defensive back has added Notre Dame to that group.

“It went amazing,” the Samuel Clemens High School standout told Irish Sports Daily afterward.

“The recruiting staff was amazing, lot of high energy. The campus is beautiful.”

The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder spent time talking with Irish safeties coach Chris O’Leary, defensive coordinator Al Golden and head coach Marcus Freeman.

O’Leary gave Mencke an idea of how he’d be used in Notre Dame’s defense.

“As a player you want to ask where you see me fitting,” Mencke explained. “He was like, 'Here's where I see you fitting.”

O’Leary showed Mencke some film of what Kyle Hamilton and Alohi Gilman were asked to do when they were patrolling the Irish secondary.

“He said, 'This is where I really see you at,’” Mencke recalled. “It was really good.

“I know just because of his pedigree alone with who he's put in The League that he's produced. That's really good as a player to see, 'Oh, he knows what he's talking about. He's just not yapping.'”

The discussion with Golden was “informative” as well.

“I've looked at defenses a little bit in the NFL and you could tell his is an NFL style of defense,” Mencke said of Golden. “He was with the Bengals when they went on a Super Bowl run, so he knows what he's talking about too.”

Mencke was especially impressed with the way Golden’s unit disguises its coverages.

“They'll disguise it perfectly until last second,” he said. “You'll see the safeties come down in the box on the edge and you'll see them blitz off the edge or time up a safety blitz. Somebody's always coming no matter what. That's a cool thing because it gets everybody involved and nobody can really be standing still and be like, 'Oh, I'm not doing nothing.' I feel like that's really good.”

Mencke was also impressed with the Irish’s scrimmage on Saturday.

“The team was amazing,” he said. “It was very high-tempo, fast-paced. Everything was with a purpose.

“Coach O'Leary, you know is a young dude, so he got into the fray with it and he was helping with drills.”

The Schertz, Texas native was able to spend time with some of the players on Saturday night.

“I spent a little time with the players also,” he said. “We went out. It was me and another recruit who was there for the weekend. We went bowling. It was real fun. Our own dime because it was an unofficial, but it was real fun. The players seemed really cool. We went and ate out at this Mexican restaurant.”

After experiencing Notre Dame for himself Mencke says it’s a place he “for sure” could see himself.

“I want to win, but also I want to have a good education,” he explained. “I feel like that's a great mix. That's what I'm really pursuing right now.”

Mencke came into trip high on Duke and Stanford, two other schools that have also offered that he also visited.

“With these schools that I've visited there, they're all great educations,” he added. “Now it's just like, 'What do you want to do? And what relationships were built?' I feel a lot. I'm very emotional, so how I feel throughout the visit will very much impact how I think I can be at Notre Dame, Duke, Stanford.

Mencke may take an unofficial to Washington soon, but he’s already turning his sights to June official visits.

“I do know I'll be trying to set up official visits to my top schools,” he said adding that he’s already started discussing an official to Notre Dame with the Irish staff.

Stanford and Duke are set to receive officials as well with Mencke expecting to have a final decision about a week after his last official.

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