football Edit

Rivals250 center has ND among favorites

Rivals250 center Daniel Wenger out of Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas took his second official to Notre Dame last weekend. The 6-foot-4, 280-pounder witnessed the Irish's solid 41-21 victory over Tennessee. What did Wenger think of the game, visit and coaches?
"It was a really impressive visit," he said. "I'm originally from up north so I loved that scene with the atmosphere, coaching staff and players. I got up there on Friday and toured the campus went out to dinner and saw the pep rally which was really great. They had so many people there that were behind the team and the guest speaker was Dick Vitale. I could really tell how tight the team was and they are together.
"Then on Saturday I ate breakfast with coach Latina, went to the game, hung out and talked to players and coaches in the locker room afterwards and then went out with my hosts Dan Santucci and Kyle McCarthy. They showed me a good time and what Notre Dame is all about. They mostly told me about the academic part and connection you'll have getting a degree from Notre Dame. Finally, on Sunday I met with the academic support, admissions and took another quick tour of campus."
What did the four-star prospect think of coach Latina and Weis?
"The conversations with them were really good," he said. "They talked about the opportunity I have to come in and play early. They also mentioned to me that they'll be losing a lot of offensive linemen so there is a definite need. I think it's a good situation for me if I take advantage of it and work hard."
Wenger enjoyed taking in Notre Dame's victory too.
"It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience," he said. "I got to sit in the stadium, see the tradition they have and witness the team coming together. The whole team was behind them every play, there were no individual efforts and that really impressed me. The atmosphere there was great too, the people were extremely nice and I felt like I fit in well with the players and crowd.
"I liked what they were doing on offense too. They ran quite a lot of screen passes which allows the linemen to get out and pull. I really like that option in their offense."
The No. 3 center in the country rated his trip to Notre Dame an eight out of ten.
"I haven't seen any other places besides Purdue and it was similar in a lot of ways with the tradition and atmosphere," he said. "I felt this visit was better than the Purdue trip because it was a full weekend and I got everything done. Everyone at Notre Dame was exactly like they said they'd be and much more. I'd say they'll be up there amongst my favorites until the end."
Wenger hasn't scheduled any other official visits, but plans to take them to Duke, Florida and Penn State.
"I like Florida because of the coaching staff with Urban Meyer," he said. "I like Penn State's tradition and I like that Duke has great academics. Duke has also been with me since my sophomore year."