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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2026 OL Darius Gray Says Notre Dame Toward "The Top" Following Visit

April 10, 2024

Darius Gray‍ didn’t hold back following his first trip to Notre Dame on Wednesday.

“It went very well,” the 2026 Virginia offensive lineman told Irish Sports Daily afterward. “I loved it.

“I love the balance of academics and football. They're the top at both and you can't get that really at any other school. I think that's the most important thing at Notre Dame. The coaches there are great, the facilities, everything and they have the family atmosphere, the Sports Communication, the things I was looking for. They checked my boxes. Me and my mother had a great time. We love it.”

While on campus, the St. Christopher’s School standout spent time with Irish offensive line coach Joe Rudolph, offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock, head coach Marcus Freeman and Director of Recruiting Dre Brown.

“They all gave a great knowledge and like I said, we just had a great time,” he said. “It was different.”

Gray’s relationship with Rudolph predates Rudolph’s time in South Bend.

“I knew him when he was at Virginia Tech,” said Gray. “Coach Rudolph is easily one of the smartest dudes when it comes to offensive linemen. His mind and process and his knowledge of the game is incredible. Coach Rudolph is a great dude. 

“Then outside of football, he's a great dude as well. When you have somebody like that who can coach you up, he can take you as far as you want to go. You've just got to put that work in.”

Gray was also impressed with Freeman.

“Coach Freeman is great,” he said. “I think this was the first time that I could actually sit in with a head coach and have a conversation not be about football. It was about what Notre Dame brings, how I can help. That was important. Coach Freeman has made Notre Dame into even more and it's just been great.”

The 6-foot-4, 285-pounder has offers from schools like Notre Dame, Alabama, Michigan, Penn State, Florida State, Texas A&M, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina among several others.

He said he will definitely be back at Notre Dame.

“No doubt, no doubt,” he said. “I want to come up as soon as I can. I loved my time there.

“Hopefully this summer, but most likely probably a game in the fall and next spring.”

He’s got trips to Michigan, Virginia Tech, Maryland and South Carolina coming up.

The Irish certainly moved up his list as Gray said they’re “at at the top,” going on to say that they’re certainly one of his top three options.

“They give you everything that you need to be successful, so it's definitely up there.”

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