It's been an up and down year for Mission Viejo (Calif.) tight end Konrad Reuland. On one hand, the Diablos have rolled to a 10-0 record and are currently ranked the No. 2 team in the nation in the Student Sports Fab 50. On the downside, a season full of lopsided wins has left the athlete watching the action as much as he has been a part of it.
Reuland, 6-6, 240 pounds and rated the nation's top tight end prospect earned all area and 1st team all-state underclass honors a year ago after catching 47 balls for 800 yards and seven touchdowns. His size, speed and hands created huge match-up problems all season and his ability to block as good as most top tier offensive line prospects had just about every top college program offering him a scholarship.
This season has been a different story for Reuland. The Diablos have been so dominant that the tight end finished the regular season with just 16 catches for 231 yards and four touchdowns.
"It has been a little frustrating at times," Reuland said. "Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that we're winning and I wouldn't want it any other way. It's just been hard at times for me and Chane (Moline) because we haven't had as many opportunities as we did a year ago. We both have barely played in the second half of our games this year but the playoffs are coming up this weekend and I think it will be a different story."
Talking to some of the coaches at Mission Viejo over the last month as well as a few of his teammates, the talk is Reuland is a near lock for Notre Dame. In fact, we actually thought there was a good chance he might even end the process last weekend while on his official visit to South Bend.
"It was an incredible trip," Reuland. "The game atmosphere there, I just can't even describe it, it's like nothing I've ever seen before. I've been to games at USC and UCLA before and they both have big stadiums and all but the energy and crowd noise at Notre Dame was beyond belief and that was just against Navy. I can only imagine how it gets there when they're playing a big time team.
"It wasn't just the game atmosphere that I liked but Notre Dame really has everything I'm looking for. They're very strong academically, they have a great coaching staff and I love the offense and how they use the tight end. The weather is obviously a little colder than what I'm used to but that's not really a factor for me. I also like the city of South Bend a lot. There may not be as much to do socially as there is here but once I get to college, it's all business for me. I'll either be playing football or studying so I'm not worried about how the nightlife compares to Southern CA."
Reuland was set to visit Stanford this up coming weekend but canceled it earlier in the week.
"The more I thought about it, I just didn't see myself playing there," Reuland said. "I didn't want to waste their time or mine by taking an official visit. It's a great school but I just couldn't see myself playing football there."
Along with the Irish, USC and UCLA remain Reulands other choices but there is a chance he may not get around to visiting either.
"I would like to take a visit to both schools but I just don't know when I'll have the time," Reuland said. "We're in the playoffs right now and if we make it all the way to the finals, that game will be December 10 and I won't be taking any more official visits while the playoffs are going on. Plus right when football is over, I go right in to basketball and then I leave for Texas for the Army All-American game the first weekend of January.
"I've seen both schools a lot and know a lot about both as well so honestly, I kind of feel like I have all the information I need right now to make my decision. I just want to be 100% sure of my decision before I do anything and that's kind of what's holding me back right now. UCLA and USC are great schools too and I don't think there is a better place to live than in Southern CA. After college or whenever I'm done playing football, I definitely plan to live in Southern CA and raise a family here.
"Saying that, I have no problem leaving home, that's not even an issue for me. If I can live in Germany, I can live in the Midwest or wherever. Maybe if everything was absolutely equal between two schools, staying close to home would be a factor but I really don't see that playing a role. I'm just taking my time with everything and when I feel ready to commit, I'll go ahead and do it. It could be in a couple of weeks, it could be around Christmas or the absolute latest, it could happen at the Army game January 7. I really want to decide before then though, I would like to get this done in the next month or so."