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Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Irish TE history, U-M impress Helm

By Jared Shanker

It was not the longest visit Daniel Helm (Chatham, Ill./Glenwood) had taken to date, but he said he got what he needed from Notre Dame on Tuesday.

The fast-rising junior tight end visited South Bend for only a little more than an hour because of the weather, which was a little a “disappointing,” Helm said. However, he spent time with tight ends coach Scott Booker and area recruiter Chuck Martin and still had a good time.

“Me and Coach Booker probably talked the most,” Helm said. “He asked about what I’m looking for in a school and what I think of what Notre Dame does with its tight ends, compared to what I’m looking for.”

Notre Dame has been one of the most successful programs at developing tight ends in the last few seasons, with former tight end Kyle Rudolph having a breakout NFL season in 2012 and Tyler Eifert projected as one of the top tight ends in the 2013 draft. Helm, at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, said he fits the mold of what the Irish want in a tight end.

“I really like what they do with the tight end and it’s what I’m looking for,” he said. “I have to examine more of the other stuff, what the people are like and the rest of the coaches are like.”

Because the visit was cut short, Helm plans to return to Notre Dame in the near future for a spring practice. He said he will also make it up to Michigan again soon. The Wolverines staff wants him to bring his dad, who did not make the visit with Helm when he traveled Monday to Ann Arbor.

While he did give a disclaimer that he is still new to the process, Helm named a leader following his two most recent visits.

“I’m still a little inexperienced when it comes to the visiting, so I’m going to say right now, knowing the answer is not definitive and could change, that Michigan is my favorite,” Helm said.

As the offense evolves through significant changes with third-year coach Brady Hoke, Helm said he has not seen how he would be used at Michigan just yet. The personnel changes the program is undergoing have Hoke catering his pro-style ideals to fit his quarterback, and Helm understands that and is not holding it against the Wolverines. In fact, he still likes the blueprint for what the Wolverines plan for him if he chooses Michigan.

Helm also likes the academics, but he said it is the people that have him favoring Michigan.

“ ... I like what they’re planning on doing with the tight end. They haven’t been able to do it as much because of personnel. I think what’s really big there is the academics are great -- they’ll be great anywhere I go -- but I like the coaches a lot and the people in general seem very genuine that I really enjoy being around,” Helm said.

Lurking in Helm’s recruitment is Ohio State, too. Helm said he wants to visit the Buckeyes soon, as interest is picking up. He spoke with position coach Tim Hinton recently about Ohio State.

“They’re interested for sure,” Helm said. “I’m not sure they’re as interested as Notre Dame, but they’re interested.”

Iowa, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern and Tennessee are all programs Helm wants to visit soon, too.