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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Brian Kelly Makes Major Impression At Nolan Catholic

November 29, 2018

Dave Beaudin has many stories he could tell to illustrate the character of NaNa Osafo-Mensah‍ and the head coach at Nolan Catholic High School shared one of those anecdotes with Brian Kelly when the Notre Dame head coach visited Fort Worth, Texas on Tuesday.

“Every decision he makes is with others in mind,” Beaudin says of Osafo-Mensah, the 2019 Irish defensive end commit. “That’s not cliché, it’s unbelievable.

“When he wanted to commit publicly to Notre Dame, his decision was, ‘OK, if I commit too early then all of these other schools aren’t going to come see my teammates and that limits opportunities for them.’ This is what he’s thinking about. Then he’s like, ‘If I commit too late, then I can’t be the real teammate that I need to be over the summer.’”

So, Osafo-Mensah elected to announce his commitment immediately after his school’s spring game.

“It’s the biggest moment of this kid’s life and he’s still thinking about other people,” Beaudin says.

“If there can be a flaw, and I’m grasping at straws to find something but, he puts others first so much that he’s got to stop and think about himself every once in a while.”

Kelly told Beaudin he noticed the same thing, but also noted that Osafo-Mensah is unlikely to feel that kind of responsibility once he gets to Notre Dame.

“Basically, he said, ‘If you come in and everyone else is the same around you, then you kind of relax a little bit and you don’t have to do that,’” Beaudin recalls of Kelly’s message.

“I thought that was a good point…You can stop putting that all on yourself.”

After spending the afternoon at Nolan Catholic, Kelly conducted an in-home visit with Osafo-Mensah and his family that evening.

Beaudin was impressed during the time he spent with Kelly, who made the trip along with defensive line coach Mike Elston, who had already made multiple stops at the school.

“I thought he did a really good job,” Beaudin says of Kelly. “He made it a point that, ‘OK, we’ve got the home visit tonight, that’s that part. I came to see you to have a conversation with you, thank you and get to know you a little bit.’

“I thought that was pretty cool. He looks you right in the eye, has a conversation, came across as genuine. I introduced him to our president and to our team chaplain who is a priest on campus. Obviously, he handles those things really well.”

Like Kelly, Beaudin is from Massachusetts.

“So, we had a lot to talk about there,” says Beaudin. “He was good. He came across as a regular guy.”

There was no talk about schematics or how Osafo-Mensah would fit within the Irish’s defensive structure.

“We didn’t talk about it once,” says Beaudin. “Everything was about character. It just wasn’t in the conversation.

“Further back, we were talking X’s and O’s and position, but he’s 1,000 percent committed, so he was just coming with pleasantries and thank yous. It wasn’t about football.” 

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