Making The Best Of His Situation

James already holds eight scholarship offers.

Unfortunately, Matt James now has the time to think about recruiting.

"I was planning on getting to state and playing all 15 games like we did last year," the 6-foot-7, 285-pound offensive tackle from St. Xavier High in Cincinnati explained. "But this year got cut short to 10 games. We had a lot of things that happened.

"The only bright side I saw with our season, is now I have time to look through schools and at schools I wouldn't have been able to if I was still playing."

Matt James will take a look at Notre Dame for the first time this weekend.

The Irish host Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon, and James will be one of the 40 to 50 high school juniors in attendance, but arguably the most high profile.

James will walk into Notre Dame Stadium, already holding scholarship offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, Stanford, Duke, Cincinnati and Akron.

It wouldn't be surprising if he left with another.

The Notre Dame coaching staff has been in regular touch with James through mail, and assistant Jon Tenuta attended James' game against St. Ignatius and Irish verbal commit Dan Fox a couple weeks ago.

"I really want to see the campus," James stated. "I heard it's beautiful. I also want to meet some of the coaches. I'm not sure if I'll be able to or not, but if I can, it'd be great."

James is coming with his parents, aunt and uncle. His family is also friends with Notre Dame freshman tight end Kyle Rudolph's, and James said they've touched base with them as well about the visit this weekend.

With most of his own games on Saturdays this fall, James wasn't able to really watch Notre Dame or any other program play. He hopes to see a few more campuses before the season ends.

"I'm going to try and make it up to OSU, maybe Cincinnati because it's local and it'd be easy, and it's in the neighborhood," James explained. "I'm not sure where else.

"I think my family is going on spring break down to New Orleans, so I think we'll stop by and visit LSU. But other than that, I hadn't made any plans. I was mainly focusing on football until last week."

James teammate and classmate, quarterback Luke Massa will also be coming to Notre Dame this weekend.

Here is a look at a few other recruits that are expected to be in South Bend, that the Irish coaching staff will keep their eyes on.

Brett Thomas: The 6-foot-1, 185-pound safety is one of the better prospects out of the state of California. He won the San Diego Section underclassmen Player of the Year Award last season. It will be Thomas' first-ever trip to South Bend.

Chase Rettig: The 6-foot-3, 195-pound QB from La Salle High in Pasadena, Calif., is one of the many signal-callers that the Irish staff will consider.

Daniel Smith: The 6-4, 205-pound WR from South Bend is a regular at Irish home games.

Jordan Paskorz: The 6-foot-3 ½, 221-pound DE from Hampton High in Pennsylvania is the younger brother of Irish fullback Steve Paskorz.

Dylan Davis, Doran Grant, Shawn Afryl and Jeremy Grove are also guys Notre Dame has on its radar.

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