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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Top 2020 LB Cody Simon Gives Notre Dame Visit High Praise

March 24, 2019

It was a big recruiting weekend and 2020 St. Peter’s Prep (N.J.) linebacker Cody Simon‍ was one of the headliners on the visit list. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder had been to Notre Dame as his brother, Shayne, is currently a sophomore linebacker, but this trip was about finding out about the school for himself. 

“It was a great visit,” Simon told Irish Sports Daily. “I enjoyed the school, the team and they had a great practice. It was great to see that.

“This was the first time I really toured the campus in the daylight. I really enjoyed the campus. It was big, but the people are all nice. They are all working hard. It was nice and I liked it.”

The four-star prospect was able to take in Saturday’s practice and Simon was impressed with what he saw from the Irish linebackers and defensive coordinator Clark Lea. 

“They had great intensity,” explained Simon. “Everyone was working. They moved through the drills quickly and everything was with purpose. I felt there was a laser focus from all the players.” 

Laser focus is one of Notre Dame’s Traits of Excellence, so Notre Dame fans will be pleased to see Simon is on point with his terminology, but the focus on winning a championship stood out to the New Jersey native. 

“Everyone was focused on the goal,” said Simon. “They understand what they need to do to win a championship and I could tell they were working towards it. It’s early in the process, but it looks promising for them.” 

Lea has made a big impression on Simon over the past year, so reconnecting in person was a significant opportunity for both sides. 

“Coach Lea is a great guy,” Simon explained. “He’s always asking questions about how I’m doing and where I am with my recruitment. He expressed Notre Dame was the right fit for me and how I would fit into the scheme of things, but also how great of a program it is.” 

Simon also mentioned where Lea saw him fitting into the defense if Notre Dame was the choice. 

“I would play either one of the inside linebacker spots,” Simon stated. “They are interchangeable, so it’s not a big deal on which one it is.” 

While Notre Dame’s campus was filled with recruits on Saturday, Simon wasn’t able to connect much with other prospects, but that wasn’t a bad thing as he spent time with members of the team on Friday.

“I went to a class with NaNa (Osafo-Mensah),” Simon explained. “He’s a really good kid. I enjoyed spending time with him and we ate lunch together. He was telling me about how school was going for him and how he was an early enrollee. He’s just getting used to the school now, but he was telling me how great it was and how blessed he was to be in that position.” 

It’s apparent Simon enjoyed his trip to South Bend and the program checks the boxes of what Simon is looking for in a future home. 

“The most important is finding the balance between academics and athletics,” Simon said. “How they support each other is important, so it’s not full academics or full football. It needs to be the right balance.” 

Up next for Simon will be a trip to another Midwest powerhouse and then he’ll start planning out his official visits. 

“I’m going to Penn State next week and during my spring break, I may go out to some schools,” stated Simon. “We haven’t planned any official visits yet. They will be coming down the road.

“Notre Dame will probably be one of the schools.”  

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