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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2025 Notre Dame OL Target Owen Strebig Checks Boxes On & Off Field

January 31, 2024

Head football coach Bill Young, athletic director Matt Bergan and the entire Catholic Memorial High School had a pretty good idea of what they were getting when Owen Strebig‍ showed up at the Wisconsin school a couple years ago. 

“When he walked into our building as a freshman and coaches got a chance to meet him, you understood that he was going to be highly-sought-after,” says Bergan.

The Catholic Memorial brass was also confident they were well-equipped to handle what the 2025 offensive lineman was going to go through over the next few years with college coaches from across the country battling for Strebig’s attention and ultimately his signature.

The program was right about the attention Strebig was going to earn as well as their ability to help him navigate it all.

“He has really handled it in about as humble way as you possibly can,” says Bergan. “It sure helps though when you have teammates who are big-time Big Ten players as well. He played alongside a kid named Donovan Harbour the last two seasons. who's obviously committed to Penn State, who lived this. Corey Smith is going to Penn State as well. He lived this. We had a kid, JC Latham, who will be a first-round pick. He played out at Alabama for the last three years. He's lived through this. 

“His parents put him in an environment where this isn't a total shocker that there's a kid here who has some college looks. All of our kids end up going to good colleges. He just so happens to be someone who's been afforded a ton of scholarship opportunities, but you wouldn't be able to tell based on the way he walks around our building. He's remained humble. He remains an outstanding leader. He's not a kid who cusses, he's not a kid who goes out partying. He's none of that. He's just a great young man who's going to make a college really, really happy when they get him on board because he understands the whole lifestyle.”

Bergan calls Strebig an “outstanding” kid.

“He's darn near a straight-A student,” he says. “He's never been in trouble once. When he's here, he minds his own business…Really mature beyond his years. He understands what's on the line, he's obviously a big-time prospect. He understands that if he makes any sort of mistake, it can impact his future. He's extremely mature in that way. He's all business and he focuses on his school, he focuses on his workouts and he focuses on football. That's what Owen Strebig is.”

The Catholic Memorial athletic program and school as a whole encourages its athletes to be leaders within the building and Strebig does just that.

“Without a doubt,” says Bergan. “We talk all the time with the football players and the different student-athletes in all of our sports about how when the real good athletes and the best players on the field are great citizens and servant leaders off the field or off of the court, that's really the culture you want. 

“No fancy signs, no fancy sayings. It's your leaders, your best kids being that way. We're really fortunate at our school is that a kid like Owen is a half-an-hour early for school every day. He's the first guy ready to work out. He's the last guy in the workout room. We absolutely feel very fortunate to have a kid who's only a junior who can show how to be a leader and not just talk about it and post about it.”

Bergan credits Strebig’s parents with the way they’ve raised him.

“We got a chance to really get to know his parents and that is who I would give credit to,” he says. “I give credit to his parents. They're unbelievable people. They work really hard, they treat people with respect. They don't take things for granted. 

“Then, I would also give credit to his coaches. His head football coach, Bill Young, has been doing this for 49 years. He's in it for the right reasons. He's old school in the way that he goes about things and I think that Owen is a product of a great upbringing with his parents and he's been really lucky to have some great coaches along the way and none better than the head coach he has here, Bill Young.”

Strebig has been one of Notre Dame’s very top targets for over a year now and the affection is mutual.

“He's a huge fan of (Irish offensive line coach) Joe Rudolph,” Bergan says. “We've said since the beginning that Notre Dame was going to be a huge factor in all this. He loves the tradition. His personality fits Notre Dame really, really well because he does well academically and he minds his own business.”

Strebig was back in South Bend for the Irish’s Junior Day earlier this month and is clearly high on Notre Dame, but that hasn’t stopped other schools from coming hard.

“I think the interesting thing is now Wisconsin has kind of resurfaced,” says Bergan. “With their new offensive line coach and the closeness to home, I think Wisconsin has re-entered the picture in a big way. Obviously, he's got a big decision coming. He understands it. He knows that this is a big deal for his future. He really wants to just continue to do his due diligence. But based on talking with him, it sounds like within the next few months, he's going to decide for sure.

“I think that he sees himself playing at several schools. He and his folks, they've done a great job through this process. We've helped any way that we can, but now he has to trust his gut and he has to find the best fit for him. I think he's going to do that and there's no doubt that Notre Dame is right at the top of the list.”

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