Charlotte (N.C.) Charlotte Catholic offensive tackle Mark Harrell wrapped up his decision earlier this evening. The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder elected to commit to Notre Dame over numerous other scholarships.
"I committed tonight around 7 p.m.," he said. "I talked to Coach Elston who recruits North Carolina and South Carolina. I just called him first and from there I called Coach Kelly to give him the news.
"They were very excited, both of them thought it'd be a good fit for me. They felt like not only as a person, but a football player as well."
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So, why the Irish?
"You know, I got to thinking about it and the academics there are incredible, they have an incredible academic reputation," he said. "Not only that, the players, coaches and students there are genuine people. They suppor the football program and support each other. The football team has a great tradition there and I just don't think there is any situation as far as I can see that can beat it, it checked all the boxes for me."
Harrell mentioned the coaches were a factor in his selection of course.
"I think when they offer someone they really want them and it's not a long process as far as offering goes," he said. "They don't care about ratings and all that. They base on what they want and I'm not a very highly rated prospect, but they saw past that and offered me and felt good about it. I think Brian Kelly is a great coach and he's won everywhere he's been. He's going to turn the whole program around."
Of course, coming from a Catholic school, Harrell felt that his faith was important too.
"You know it's nice to keep your faith going," he said. "I've gone to Catholic school since grade school and throughout high school. It's nice to keep my faith and that's something you always got to have. I was praying when I was thinking about making my decision and it's nice to keep it going."
In terms of his potential position, Notre Dame is eyeing Harrell as an offensive tackle.
Harrell gave a final take on his choice.
"Hopefully I'll go please the Notre Dame fans, the diehard fans and can perform well for them," he said. "I'm looking forward to working for them and I understand nothing is given to me. I have to work for it. I look forward to competing for playing time and competing to be on the field in that huge stadium. I look forward to the whole experience."