McNamara "Blown Away" During Notre Dame Visit

Taylor McNamara

Westview High (San Diego) tight end Taylor McNamara remains committed to Arizona, but he made an official visit to Notre Dame over the weekend. He spoke to IrishEyes.com about the trip, what he learned and the message coach Brian Kelly had for him. He also gave his thoughts on Arizona's new coach.

Westview High (San Diego) tight end Taylor McNamara spent a little more than 24 hours on his official visit to Notre Dame, but it was enough to make a huge impression with the 6-foot-5, 235-pounder.

After winning a Friday night in the playoffs and flying Saturday morning, McNamara arrived at Notre Dame about 20 minutes before kickoff for the win against Boston College. He left Sunday night feeling great about the Irish, its history, the campus and how the tight end is used.

"I went out with my player host (Joe Schmidt) on (Saturday) and he took me out and showed me around, and that was a good experience," said McNamara, an Arizona commit. "Sunday was the day they showed me everything. They gave me the campus tour, we went over their plans for me and all that."

The key aspect of Saturday was for McNamara to gain a comfort level with the players, and to absorb the togetherness within the program.

"It was really fun. They took me to a family-oriented party," McNamara said. "It was cool. Brady Quinn was there, and two of the (Denver) Broncos offensive linemen and a safety were there, too. We hung out with them, too. It was a really good experience."

It was McNamara's first visit to Notre Dame, and he was taken aback by the beauty of the campus.

"I was blown away," he said. "I really was. It's just ridiculous. It's like a movie ...churches and everything. It's just unbelievable. I saw the ‘Play like a champion today,' sign and going through the tunnel, and watching Rudy and all that, it all kind of ties together."

McNamara also had the opportunity to see how the Irish use their tight ends.

"The coaches were upset because they wanted to get (Tyler) Eifert the ball more, but he still had three catches for 55 yards, and that was a bad day for him," McNamara said. "They really know how to use the tight end. I've seen them do it for years now. It's a great school for tight ends."

Before leaving campus, McNamara met with coach Brian Kelly.

"His message was ‘The offense speaks for itself, and you fit what a Notre Dame player is all about,' which is an honor," McNamara said. "I'm the only tight end they're recruiting in this class. That's a real honor as well. They showed me their recruiting board and I was the only one up there. That was cool. I felt honored, especially at such a good tight ends school."

So, did the visit meet McNamara's expectations?

"Yeah, and more," he said. "The family atmosphere and how the alums stick together was really impressive."

One interesting twist to McNamara's recruitment came Monday when Rich Rodriguez was named Arizona's coach.

"I've never talked to him before but I've heard about him," McNamara said. "I know he did some good things at West Virginia. I don't know much about him, though."

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