Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2018 Four-Star OL Chris Murray Has Expectations Exceeded at Notre Dame

October 23, 2017

2018 Mater Dei (Calif.) offensive lineman Chris Murray‍ had heard about Notre Dame from many people, but he hadn’t seen it for himself before this weekend’s visit. The four-star prospect had high hopes heading into his official visit, and he left South Bend with his expectations exceeded. 

“They matched my expectations and passed them,” Murray told Irish Sports Daily. “I had a great time with my mom. I didn’t know what to expect, but that game was something else. I haven’t been in a game atmosphere like that since I don’t even know when. 

“It was a great game for them, and I was glad I got to be a part of it.” 

Academics were a crucial part of the visit Murray, and his mother wanted to experience. The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder got a full rundown of life as a student-athlete and came away fascinated with the opportunities he could have in South Bend. 

“I got to see how in tune they are with their football players when it comes to academics,” explained Murray. “They keep them on top of it and don’t let them slack. I liked that. I saw the Business school and the campus. 

“The school is beautiful, and I liked it a lot. I didn’t know they had the No. 1 Business school in the nation. I want to probably get a degree in Business when I am in college, so it intrigued me a lot.” 

USC coming to town means a big recruiting weekend and several of Notre Dame tops commits were also on campus on Saturday night. 

Murray was hosted by freshman offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons and felt like he fit in well with the members of the 2018 class. 

“Nothing was forced,” Murray stated. “All those guys are cool and great guys that want to play football. None of those athletes were cocky or like ‘I don’t know you.’ They were all welcoming, and that team is a big family.” 

Murray was also impressed with the football side of things on game day. The Walk hit home with the Mater Dei standout as he got to see the appreciation Notre Dame fans had for the football team. 

“It was amazing how the whole Notre Dame community supports the football team,” said Murray. “It’s just crazy. The amount of love and support is something else.” 

Notre Dame’s 49-14 win was the talk of the night, but Murray made sure to watch the offensive line, and they didn’t disappoint. 

“They are very, very dominant,” Murray said. “You could see that from anywhere on the field. They were winning in the trenches. The movement on the left side was something else. That unit had a great game on Saturday.” 

Murray entered the visit without much communication with offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, but that quickly changed. The two had a productive conversation, and the California native found a new appreciation for Hiestand and his background. 

“I had a great time with coach Hiestand, and he left a good impression on me,” stated Murray. “He’s a very respectful guy. He’s had so many years of experience. I could tell he’s a down to earth guy, but when it comes to football, it’s straight business. 

“He wants players that are going to come work for him and be dogs. He transforms a lot of offensive linemen into beasts. I know he coached Zack Martin and he’s one of the best players in the league. I’m glad I was able to sit and talk with him to see what he was about with my mom.” 

Rick Kimball/ISD
Chris Murray

Head coach Brian Kelly also made time for the Murray family. The message was a simple one, but it resonated with Murray.

“It was a really good conversation,” Murray explained. “I was glad he was able to make time for my mom and I. We were talking about life and how Mater Dei and Notre Dame set you up for your future. He said Notre Dame puts you in position to excel at the next level. 

“He told me he dealt with a lot of Mater Dei guys and loves the kids that have come out of that place. He said they really want me and was glad I was able to experience the game. He can tell people things, but you can only come to see how the university really works.” 

Up next for Murray will be two more official visits and then a decision shortly after. Murray plans to make a silent commitment before announcing publicly in January. 

“I know I am going to take an official visit to Stanford at the end of my season,” said Murray. “I might get out to Arizona when they play Washington State next week. Those are the only officials I have set right now.

“I want to verbal right after the season, and then I’ll make it public at the U.S. Army All-American Game.”  

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