- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Massillon (Ohio) Washington quarterback Kyle Kempt is only a junior and in no rush to make any kind of decision regarding his collegiate future, but after spending Saturday in South Bend, Ind., he can definitely see himself at Notre Dame.
Kempt was one of roughly 50 high school seniors and juniors who visited Notre Dame for Saturday’s primetime showdown against rival USC, and Kempt said he was in awe of all of the talent there.
“It was a crazy, great weekend that’s for sure, just being able to be a part of something like that,” Kempt said. “... It was nuts. Guys from the West Coast, East Coast, South and North, even being mentioned in the same name as all those people is really a testament to all the hard work every single person in that room has done.”
With all of the players in for the weekend, Kempt said he didn’t have a whole lot of time to talk with the coaching staff but was able to chat with the coaches for a little. He said he isn’t worried about the lack of individual attention as he said it was “kind of hectic” in the recruiting room before the game.
For Kempt, it is the second time he visited campus, though his first time watching a game inside Notre Dame Stadium. After receiving a campus tour, Kempt joined the Irish for the player walk and heard fans and students calling out for the high school recruits to join the Irish in the future.
So despite the loss, Kempt still had a great experience and wasn’t fazed by the outcome, which he called “secondary.”
“For a fan, it’s always win or lose,” he said. “For recruits, it’s ‘Where do I see myself in this.’ Knowing Tennessee [Kempt visited the Vols last week] and how young they are and understanding [Irish] coach [Brian] Kelly is still building the program, you got to understand it from there.”
Kelly made his name on being an offensive-minded coach, especially during his tenure at Cincinnati. However, Kempt is still waiting to see a few more Irish games before seeing how he would fit into Kelly’s offense. He does like the Irish’s affinity for throwing the ball and the talented group of wide outs on the receiving end of those throws.
The great tradition of Notre Dame coupled with the fans, Kempt said he left there “feeling that it could be a home away from home.”
Don’t take that as him putting the Irish atop his list of suitors, though.
“It’s still the same with every school,” he said. “It’s fun to see how each and every school is unique and what school is right for me and which unique style do I like the most. Notre Dame is definitely very unique, and that’s what makes it great.”
511dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert