It is hard to argue against Cretin-Derham Hall being the most consistent talent producing prep program in the state of Minnesota, and few teams have had as much success recruiting the Twin Cities-area powerhouse as Notre Dame.
Class of 2013 athlete James Onwualu looks to be the next big star out of Cretin-Derham Hall and Notre Dame confirmed their interest in him on Saturday.
"I went to Notre Dame today and they gave me an offer," Onwualu reported. "I really look at it as an honor to get this offer. A lot of Cretin-Derham Hall players come to Notre Dame and I'm glad that I can possibly keep that streak going."
Onwualu made the trip to South Bend on his own Saturday, but felt like he was around familiar company during his visit.
"They were extremely excited about me from the start," Onwualu said. "They had told me even before I came on the trip that they were still figuring out some things with coaching, so I was really coming on the trip to hang out with them some more. I knew the offer would be coming sooner or later, but I wasn't expecting it today."
Onwualu spent most of the day with assistant coach Chuck Martin, but finished his trip by meeting with head coach Brian Kelly.
"We talked for about 30-40 minutes and he ended up saying he wanted me at their school and he ended up offering me a scholarship," Onwualu said.
The latest Cretin-Derham Hall alum to star at Notre Dame was wide receiver Michael Floyd, who finished his career with the Irish this past fall. That connection could serve the Irish well in their recruitment of Onwualu.
"Obviously I look up to Michael as a role model," Onwualu said. "He's somebody I really look after and admire as someone who has gone through the process coming from where I grew up.
Onwualu was not the only recruit on campus at Notre Dame this weekend. Junior commitment Steve Elmer from Midland, Mich., also was visiting and Onwualu spent time getting to know the Irish's first commitment in the 2013 class.
"He was a great guy and we got to hang out a little bit," Onwualu said. "We sat by each other at the game and ate together. It was great talking to another guy who has an extremely high interest in the school, obviously since he's committed, and it helped seeing what he saw in the school."
The 6-1, 205-pound Onwualu also lists offers from Iowa, Michigan State, Purdue and Stanford. He plans to attend Iowa's Junior Day on Feb. 5, and is also working on trips to Minnesota and Stanford in the coming weeks and months.