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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2020 Four-Star DE Braiden McGregor Loves Official Visit To Notre Dame

April 7, 2019

2020 Port Huron Northern (Mich.) defensive end Braiden McGregor‍ made his long-awaited return to South Bend this weekend for an official visit. 

The four-star prospect is no stranger to Notre Dame, but the 6-foot-5, 250-pounder had some questions he wanted to be answered and to hang out with the members of the team to get a better feeling for the program. 

“It was great,” McGregor told Irish Sports Daily. “I got all my questions answered. I got to hang around the team and some of the guys. That was a big thing for me. I really, really loved it.” 

McGregor spent a lot of time around fellow 2020 defensive linemen Aidan Keanaaina‍ and Rylie Mills‍ during his visit. The three hit it off immediately and it led to a fantastic weekend for all involved. 

“I spent a lot of time with Rylie and Aidan about 99 percent of the time,” laughed McGregor. “It was pretty funny because everyone was like ‘Oh, there are those three again.’ We just did everything together. We all clicked. It wasn’t like they made us click. It really just happened. Walking in and seeing each other, we just clicked and sat down at dinner. 

“We asked questions to Kurt (Hinish), Myron (Tagovailola-Amosa) and Hunter (Spears). I learned a lot from them even though it was a short time I was with them. It meant a lot to treat us the way they treated us. Kurt told me to text him anytime I needed anything. He said I could stay with him if I come back. I might take him up on that.” 

The Port Huron Northern star also had another chance to see defensive line coach Mike Elston in action on Saturday morning. McGregor was able to get a close look how Elston’s group goes to work and learn more about his coaching style. 

“I love the way Coach Elston coaches,” stated McGregor. “He’s going to be hard on you when you mess up and love on you when you do great. He genuinely cares about you. Some of the stories the guys told me about what Coach Elston did for them when they were freshmen were cool to here. 

“They really got after it at practice. I could see myself flourishing in an environment built around competition. I love competition and that’s a big thing for me.” 

On Saturday night, the official visitors headed up to Brian Kelly’s lake house for the evening and McGregor was able to get an authentic feel for the staff and the players in a relaxed environment. 

“It was awesome,” said McGregor. “I was only there for about an hour, but just being around the people was great. The people are a huge thing for me. Coach Kelly sat down with us for a little bit along with Coach Elston and Coach (Clark) Lea. Coach (Brian) Polian came over too. They all came over and made sure we felt welcome. 

“All the players were there. Seeing them fishing and being so comfortable in that environment – you can get a fishing pole and go out and fish at a head coach’s house. I just really liked that.” 

During the time McGregor was at Kelly’s lake house, 2020 receiver Jordan Johnson‍ committed to Notre Dame and it not only surprised McGregor but everyone there. 

“I was pretty surprised,” McGregor said. “I didn’t think anyone was going to commit, but you never know when someone falls in love with it as he did. That’s a huge get for Notre Dame with the type of guy he is. I talked to him for a little bit. He’s a really good football player as well.” 

With Johnson committing, did McGregor think about pulling the trigger during his visit? 

“It’s hard to say no,” explained McGregor. “There was a time where I was sitting with Coach Elston and Coach Lea. It was like well, ‘What am I doing? Am I going to commit?’

“I thought about I had more visits to go on and I’m high on a few other schools. I told myself to wait it out until next month or so and then make a decision after I visited the schools I’m high on.” 

McGregor will now look to finalize his other official visits and while it’s unlikely he gets back to South Bend before he makes a commitment, he left a small crack in the door. 

“I think that was it,” said McGregor. “I’m not totally sure, so it depends on how the next visits go. I could need to get back to Notre Dame one more time to make sure or get to Alabama, Clemson, Florida or Michigan. You never know. 

“It was my sixth time on campus and being there for three days, I have figured out what is there and I need to go check out the other places to make a smart decision.” 

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