Smiths (Ala.) linebacker
Mitchell Thomas returned this
weekend from his first official visit, a trip north to Notre Dame.
"It was great," he said. "I liked the campus a whole
lot, the stadium and all that tradition. It really gets your attention. I also
liked the chemistry between the coaches and players. They were real tight. Coach
(Ty) Willingham is great."
Serving as hosts for Thomas were Darin Mitchell and
"They were cool," he said. "We got a long real well, had
a good time hanging out."
Thomas (6-3, 212, 4.5) is a member of the Rivals.com
Alabama Top 30 team and the No.
24 outside linebacker in the nation. In addition to the Fighting Irish, he's
also entertaining offers from Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina, Florida and
Vanderbilt among others.
Alabama was considered a strong favorite to land his
services until coach Dennis Franchione left for the job at Texas A&M. That's
opened the door for Notre Dame and a host of others to take the top spot on
"Notre Dame has a good shot," he said. "I'm looking at a
bunch of teams in the SEC, too: Alabama -- depending on who they hire as the new
coach -- Auburn, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Georgia... all of them."
His only other visit scheduled to date is Jan. 17 at
Thomas finished his senior season with 70 tackles and
five sacks for Smiths Station.