Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Notre Dame Camp Motivated 2021 DE Rodney McGraw

June 17, 2019

2021 Elkhart Central (Ind.) defensive end Rodney McGraw‍ was excited to get to Notre Dame on Saturday for the Lineman’s Challenge to learn from the coaches, but also to see where he stacked up against some of the other top defensive ends in his class. 

The 6-foot-6, 225-pounder felt like he did well at the camp, but also left knowing he could have done better.

“I felt like I did alright,” McGraw told Irish Sports Daily. “It felt like I didn’t do my best and I felt like I could have done better than I did.” 

McGraw knew top 2021 offensive lineman Blake Fisher‍ would be at camp and didn’t realize he was going against the new Notre Dame commit in the first set of 1-on-1 reps. 

“At first, I knew who Blake Fisher was, but I didn’t know it was him when I went against him,” said McGraw. “When I went against him, he was good, but I felt I could have got past him. I was trying a new move I hadn’t done before when I went against him.” 

Going against Fisher and some of the other tackles was definitely a new experience and a boost in competition for McGraw.

“It was a lot different than what I’m used to going against,” explained McGraw. “He got a good grip on me. Other tackles, I normally just blow past them. I wanted to go up against him again when we were in inside, but the line was barely moving.” 

As for how he stacked up against the other defensive ends, McGraw was able to get a good judge on where he stood and knows he has work to do.

“The competition at defensive end was solid,” McGraw said. “Some of them need a little more work and I do too. I didn’t know anyone at first, so I was trying to get to know them. I started talking to people and communicating with people to get a little more comfortable.” 

The highlight of the camp for McGraw came when he received instruction and some recognition from one of Notre Dame’s current NFL players. 

“It was great, especially when I met Isaac Rochell, who plays in the NFL,” said McGraw. “He pulled me to the side and was talking to me. I was shocked a dude from the NFL noticed and saw the potential in me.” 

McGraw embraced Rochell’s words, but also the words from the coaches, players and former players who were helping coach the camp. 

“I learned I’m a good athlete,” McGraw said. “The coaches and former players said I’m really fast. They said I had good hand movement, but I needed to work on my get off. They said I started off slow and once I get going, I can get moving. 

“When I go back to practice, I’m going to work with my track coach. Track is like the same get off.” 

The coaching not only stuck out to McGraw, but the coaching staff and players made the camp personal.

“When I first got there and we were doing reps, I did something wrong,” said McGraw. “They were all like ‘Rodney, do this.’ I was shocked they knew who I was because at most camps, the coaches know you, but not really know you personally. 

“They call you out by what’s on your shirt or name on your shirt. The Notre Dame coaches knew who I was, so I was excited and it allowed me to get more comfortable.” 

Video| 2021 DE Rodney McGraw | Lineman’s Challenge

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