Notre Dame OL Coach Jeff Quinn Impressing 2019 OL Walter Rouse

May 16, 2018

It was a party for 2019 offensive lineman Walter Rouse‍ and his mother on Friday as he got the news Notre Dame was offering him a scholarship. The 6-foot-6, 280-pounder holds more than 25 offers, but the news caused a scene and drew the attention of fellow drivers. 

“I was so happy,” Rouse told Irish Sports Daily. “I was amazed. My mom was in the car with me at the time. She was jumping around, and the car was shaking. People were probably wondering what was going on in the car.

“We were so happy. I had formed a relationship with Coach (Jeff) Quinn over the past few months and hearing the news from him was amazing. I felt a joy bubble up inside me.” 

Rouse was fired up for the offer because he is aware of the academic and athletic opportunity Notre Dame can offer. 

“Academics are important for me and more than most people think,” said Rouse. “When a school has its academics on par but also has a great football program, what’s not to like? It’s the best of both worlds.” 

Sidwell Friends (D.C.) is described as ‘the Harvard of Washington private schools,’ so it’s not a shock the three-star prospect takes his education very seriously. 

“I came to Sidwell in seventh grade,” explained Rouse. “I came for academics. I had never thought about playing football. If anything, I thought I would be playing basketball. Sidwell is a very challenging school, but they have prepared me for college.

“I didn’t start playing football until ninth grade. That’s when I fell in love with the sport.” 

On his visits, Rouse is very involved in learning about each educational opportunity to find out how that school can set itself apart from others. 

“I always try to get a visit to get a feel on the school and talk to some of the academic advisors one-on-one,” Rouse said. “A lot of schools that have offered me have great academics and football, but it wouldn’t be that hard of a decision for me to differentiate between a school that has great academics and great football versus a school that is focused more on football and value academics as much.” 

When it comes to recruiting, Quinn has made a significant impression on the Quakers star. The relationship isn’t new and has been formed over the last few months, and Quinn has impressed everyone at Sidwell. 

“On the phone, Coach Quinn sounds like a really great guy,” stated Rouse. "He told me about his ’Five Fs' - Faith, Fun, Family, Football and Fishing and ever since then, we’ve had a great a relationship.

“He came to my school and spoke to my coach. My coach said he was a really awesome guy and he loved him. He just has that feel of a down to earth guy. He’s a great guy to get to know.” 

Rouse plans to get to South Bend this summer, but it won’t be his only stop.

“I think I’m going to try to get up to Notre Dame this summer,” Rouse said. “I believe it’s very important for me to see the campus and meet with the coaches. 

“I can’t go to every single college that has offered me in one month. I’m going to try to get out to Northwestern. I’m going to Stanford next weekend, but it’s not because of the offer. I was going to someone’s prom in California, so it worked out perfectly.”

Outside of academics, Rouse will look at two other crucial factors that will help him make a decision. 

“I look at three things when I go on a visit,” said Rouse. “The size of the campus is important. If the college is too small – I can’t leave my high school and go to a college with 5,000 kids because that’s as big as some public schools. That’s not going to work for me. I can’t have a college that’s too big with like 100,000 kids. That’s a lot of kids. I’m looking for something right in the middle. 

“Of course I’m looking at the academics, and the third and most important is the importance the football program has on family. I want to see the bond between coaches and players. Without that, can anyone be happy? 

"You might win some games, but you won’t be happy doing it. I want people to be excited for their teammates when they do well and lift up their teammates when they don’t do well.” 

ISD Top 25 of the Charlie Weis Era: 15-11

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