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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2025 DE CJ May: 'Notre Dame was definitely surreal'

June 13, 2023

Recruiting in June is a crucial time for every school as 2024 prospects are taking key official visits, but it’s also a time to make lasting impressions on underclassmen. 

That’s exactly what happened on Monday as Notre Dame hosted 2025 Highland Home (Ala.) defensive end CJ May‍ for the first time. 

”I would say my first visit to Notre Dame was definitely surreal,” May told ISD. “The campus is wild. You can definitely say Notre Dame is a unique college. It's nothing like the colleges in the South and I believe even the colleges in the North have nothing on Notre Dame. 

“There is so much history in the school itself all the way down to the gold tops. They were explaining how they scrape the gold off the dome to melt it down and that’s what they paint their helmets with. You can ask me any question about Notre Dame and they probably told me about it today.” 

The Golden Dome facts impressed May, but seeing it shine shocked the four-star prospect. 

“It was wild,” stated May. “We were walking through and I felt this place was cool. Then someone was like, ‘Hey, look up real quick.’ As soon as you looked up, it just shocks you a little bit.” 

The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder also spent plenty of time with the Notre Dame staff as Marcus Freeman, Al Golden and Al Washington left positive impressions throughout the day.

Washington laid it all on the table for May as their discussion centered around life on and off the field. 

“We sat down and broke down my plan,” explained May. “It was obviously a football visit, but it was more about school and academics to get set up for the real world more than anything. He sees a bright future in me and the face of Notre Dame football in the future.” 

When it comes to position, Washington views May as someone who will likely start off as a vyper, but could grow into a big end. 

“We were talking about my weight as I’m sitting at 225 right now,” May said. “He said if I come into Notre Dame at 235-245, I would be the vyper, which is the outside linebacker spot. If I get to 265 or whatever, then I would be a hand in the dirt defensive lineman. 

“Coach Washington said I would probably come in as a vyper, but by my sophomore year, I would have my hand in the dirt.” 

For May, it was also the first time he was able to meet Freeman in-person and it didn’t disappoint. 

“Getting to meet him face-to-face was a cool experience because Coach Freeman is a legend in the football world,” stated May. “It was good to sit down with him and chop it up. It was good to finally get to meet him in person.” 

The conversation with Freeman centered around the endless opportunities Notre Dame would provide for May in life. 

“That was part of the discussion with every coach,” May explained. “His main message was if you graduate with a Notre Dame degree or master’s, you will more than likely have a successful life. He was asking me about what I wanted to do with my life. 

“Sitting down and talking to him opened up my eyes to the real world to what I can do in life after college.” 

May was also blown away by Notre Dame Stadium from the moment he arrived on campus as he wasn’t quite sure what the large building on campus was, but he quickly found out.

“I would definitely say Notre Dame was different when it comes to all their buildings,” May said. “You look around and it doesn’t look like a college campus compared to your Georgias or Clemsons. The stadium is unreal. 

“It’s not the biggest stadium I’ve ever been in, but it’s definitely the coolest and best-looking stadium.” 

All in all, it seems very clear Notre Dame helped itself with May as he left South Bend with a different feeling. 

“Absolutely,” said May when asked if Notre Dame made a move. “I’m not necessarily worried about being able to fit in. It’s the fact of me being so far from home.

“Usually, when I come up this far, I’ve had the thought of this probably isn’t where I’m going to end up. After today, it definitely makes me question where I want to put myself in the future.” 

Offers: Alabama State, Arkansas, Clemson, Georgia, Miami, Notre Dame, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Troy and UAB

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