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Top 2020 Notre Dame DE Target Braiden McGregor Updates Recruitment

January 23, 2019
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(Note: Click the video above for a few hoops highlights)

In a matter of months, 2020 Port Huron Northern (Mich.) defensive end Braiden McGregor‍ has gone from an under the radar prospect to a top priority for several of college football’s elite programs. 

Tuesday night, the 6-foot-5, 240-pounder had Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly,  Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson and Clemson tight end coach Danny Pearman in attendance at his basketball game at Sterling Heights High School (Mich.). 

“I’m starting to get used to it a little bit,” laughed McGregor. “I think I’ve had a coach at every game.”

The four-star prospect also knows how significant it was for Kelly to be at this game as the head coach is selective with who he visits.

“It’s big,” stated McGregor. “I really like Coach Kelly. To see him come out and support me, I know I’m a priority at Notre Dame and they want me. It’s really good to have that from a program like Notre Dame.” 

New Ohio State Co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison watched McGregor play last week with head coach Ryan Day. Mattison recently made the rare switch from Michigan’s staff to the Buckeyes and it’s safe to say McGregor was caught off guard. 

“I thought it was a joke at first,” explained McGregor. “I was talking to Matt Dudek (Director of Recruiting) at Michigan and he wanted me to call him. He said it wasn’t a joke, so I was like ‘Wow.’

“It’s a move for him and his family. I respect it and I like Ohio State. I have a good relationship with Coach Mattison, so it’s a win-win.” 

It wasn’t a secret Mattison was a significant part of Michigan’s pitch to McGregor, so where do the Wolverines stand now?

“I really like Coach  (Shaun) Nua,” McGregor said. “He’s a really cool guy and I talked to him the night he got hired. He said I was the first person he talked to, so that was cool to hear. I like his recruiting style. He’s really personable and down to earth.” 

Following basketball season, the McGregor family will take a spring RV tour of programs down South including Alabama and Clemson. Notre Dame is the only program McGregor has seen top to bottom, so educating himself on other programs and campus life will be significant towards a final decision. 

“I’m definitely excited,” said McGregor. “I think we’re going to hit four or five schools. The schools we’re hitting are big and I’ve wanted to see them since I was little. Now that I have an offer and know I can play for them, it’s going to be crazy to visit.” 

As for a return to Notre Dame, McGregor will definitely be back in South Bend sooner than later. There are rumors of the Notre Dame staff having a ‘Braiden McGregor Day,’ but McGregor wants to get back to campus with other recruits to start seeing how he would fit in. 

“I know what I’m getting at Notre Dame, but I’m going to get back down there,” McGregor explained. “I’m probably going to go down when more recruits go down to get a feel of the kind of guys they are recruiting and to be around the players. I’ve been around four or five of them for a weekend. 

“I want to get back down and get used to everyone who I could play with for the next four or five years.” 

One prospect McGregor hopes to visit Notre Dame with is fellow 2020 four-star defensive lineman Rylie Mills‍. Both players hit off while visiting Notre Dame in the fall and have kept in touch ever since. 

“He’s a really cool guy,” McGregor said of Mills. “Any time we have something big or go on visits, we’re always texting each other. When we get offers, we send each other a ‘Congrats.’

“He’s easy to talk to and we talk about our recruitment to see if we’re doing alright with it. We’re both going through it and we relate to each other.” 

McGregor has also heard plenty from Notre Dame’s ace recruiter Drew Pyne‍. 

“He’s a really cool guy,”  laughed McGregor. “He’s been telling me I have to come to Notre Dame ever since the fall. Every single week he’s like ‘You see that D-Line?’ 

“Every time I hear it makes me laugh and he’s been committed for a while. It’s good when I can relate to him as well as I do.” 

While McGregor’s relationships with the Notre Dame staff, recruits and commits seem strong,  the Irish also impressed him on the field. Reaching the playoffs was the message from Mike Elston and Notre Dame did just that in 2018. 

“They made the jump and I think they are going to go up from here with the recruiting class they had this year,” said McGregor. “I think the 2020 recruiting class will be good as well. They have been preaching to me about how they are going to be there and win them. 

“I’m starting to see it. The defensive line did help, but the whole team seemed like they loved each other and was a real brotherhood. I really liked that.” 

 
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