Kettering (Ohio) Archbishop Alter teammates Greg Hart and Malik Zaire each holds a number of scholarship offers early in the process. On Sunday, Zaire decided to end his recruitment with a commitment to Notre Dame. Hart talks about how that affects his own recruitment and what he is hearing from the Fighting Irish.
"Malik is one of my best friends and we're going to spring break together next week," Hart said. "I'm excited that he is happy and found a place where he is happy. I know he is making the right decision because he is a smart kid and I'm proud of him."
The 6-5, 225-pound Hart is a tight end prospect who was on the receiving end of a number of Zaire's passes last fall. Zaire told Rivals.com on Sunday he would like to have Hart to throw to in South Bend as well, and the three-star tight end talked about where things stand with his own recruitment by the Irish.
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"It's just been here and there with a Facebook message, maybe," Hart said. "They invited me to spring practices and their junior day, but I haven't been able to make it there.
"I don't know if anything would prevent me from going there. It's obviously an amazing school, but I would just have to feel it. I wouldn't make a decision based off the fact that Malik is there. It would be awesome to play with him again, but I am going to make a decision that is best for me."
Although Hart admitted that Zaire's early commitment got him started about thinking along the commitment lines, he said at this time it is too early in his own recruitment and he does not plan to rush his decision. Ideally he will have that decision in place before the start of his senior season, but has no set timetable for making his commitment.
Scholarship offers have come in for Hart from Akron, Indiana, Kent State, Kentucky, Marshall, Northwestern, Ohio, Pittsburgh and Western Kentucky.
"The four BCS offers have all stood out to me and the thing I like about them all is I feel I have a lot of opportunity at all four of those schools," Hart said.
"At Kentucky I have a big opportunity there and that's a good program in the SEC. I feel it is starting to come up. I think Indiana has the same thing - they are kind of on the come up and I have a big opportunity there.
"At Northwestern, they have that super-back position and Coach Fitz said I'd only have two people in front of me when I came in, so that would be a great position to play. With Pittsburgh, I have a great relationship with those coaches. They used the tight end position a lot at Pittsburgh, so that is definitely intriguing to me."
In recent weeks, Hart has made unofficial visits to Indiana, Kentucky and Northwestern. His most recent trip was to Evanston to see the Wildcat's program.
"The academics and the academic structure is just unreal, and that really jumped out at me," Hart said. "The way that Coach Fitz is determined to turn the program around, I really have faith that he can."
Hart has never been to Pittsburgh's campus, or the city of Pittsburgh for that matter. He will rectify that this weekend.
"I am actually going to Pittsburgh this Saturday," Hart said. "I haven't seen the school, but I know those coaches really well. They were the coaches that were at Wisconsin recruiting me. I'm really going to look at academically how strong it is, and how I fit in with that. I've never been to Pennsylvania, so I just excited to see the city and what that is like."
Hart and Zaire helped Archbishop Alter to a 10-1 record last fall. Hart is ranked as the nation's No. 19 tight end prospect in the 2013 class.