Long Beach Poly (Calif.) wide out Terrence Austin took his first official visit this past weekend to Notre Dame and saw one of the greatest college football games in recent memory. Austin talks about the game atmosphere as well as the rest of his time in South Bend.
It was a whirlwind weekend for Austin who left his game in the third quarter on Friday in order to make his red eye flight in to Chicago.
"I got in to Chicago around 5:45 in the morning," Austin said. "I don't sleep on planes but I wasn't too tired. Then my flight from Chicago to South Bend was delayed so I didn't get to South Bend until 10:00 and I missed ESPN Game Day. I still hadn't showered yet so as soon as I got to the stadium, I showered off in the locker room and then took my seat to watch the game.
"All I can say is that game was something else. I was sitting there saying to myself, 'is this really happening.' I was just in shock and surprised because it looked like USC was going to lose. It's not like I didn't think Notre Dame had a good team, they're ranked No. 9 in the nation but you just don't ever expect to see USC lose and it was happening right before my eyes.
"I've been to a lot of games at USC and UCLA, but the crowd at the Notre Dame game was the loudest I've ever heard. The fans are insane there. Every time Notre Dame would score, the fans would pick up all the recruits and do pushups with us. As many points as were on the board, that's how many pushups they did. So when they went up late and had 31 points on the board, they put me up 31 times, it was crazy.
"After Brady Quinn scored and there was like a minute left, they took all the recruits down from the stands. The whole time there, all the fans were talking about how they were going to tear down the goal posts so when they up, we were pulled in to the tunnel to watch the rest of the game there because they didn't want us to get trampled I think. That last minute was just wild. From the 4th down play they converted, to the crowd running on to the field after time ran out and then Leinart punching it in, it was just a surreal experience.
"I really felt Notre Dame deserved to win that game. I felt like they outplayed USC and I thought they even played a little harder. In the locker room, the players were crushed obviously but they were still talking about how they gave it all they had and said if they run the table, they still have a chance to play USC again in the Rose Bowl if they can finish No. 2 in the nation."
As for the rest of the visit, Austin gave everything a big thumbs up.
"Leo Ferrine was my host and he's a real good guy," Austin said. "I mean, he's a cool dude and he showed me a great time there. We went out after the game and then today (Sunday) was kind of an academic day. I saw the campus, talked to some of the academic advisers, met with some people from the Business department, that's my major. I also checked out the dorm rooms and saw the weight room and the facilities.
"Overall, Notre Dame definitely gave me a lot to think about. I'm just real thankful I had the opportunity to come and check out the place and get a nice up close look at everything. It's still UCLA and Notre Dame at the top and I'm still going to visit Oregon and Arizona and I'm setting a date with Miami and UCLA. That will be it for me and then hopefully I'll be able to make my decision sometime in January."