It has been rumored for a long time, and Sam Mustipher made it official Monday. The offensive lineman from Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel announced on Twitter that he has chosen Notre Dame because of its combination of athletics and academics.
"I'm feeling great," the 6-foot-4, 286-pound Mustipher said. "It just felt like this was the perfect fit for my family and me. I talked about it with my family and coaches and, following these college visits, we just felt like it was the most appropriate place for me to attend college.
"I talked to all the coaches," he said. "I spoke with Coach Kelly on Saturday and told him where I was leaning. He was very excited for me. I'll probably get on the phone with him again tomorrow. I spoke with Coach Hiestand, the offensive line coach, today. Coach Hiestand and Coach Booker were very excited, and they're glad to have me be a part of the Irish family and I'm happy to be a part of it.
"We're trying to schedule a visit for the summertime," Mustipher said. "It might be for a camp so I can get some extra coaching from Coach Hiestand and get a feel for what the next few years of my life will be like.
"I had talked to Jimmy Byrne when I was up there and we have stayed in touch throughout this, but now it's my turn," he said. "We're trying to get guys from the South, East, Northwest, Midwest and everywhere we can because Notre Dame is a global program."
Mustipher is setting his sights on getting the Irish another commitment from a big offensive lineman.
"I actually talked to Quenton Nelson on Facebook the other day," Mustipher said. "I'm trying to get him up there. It's coming down to almost the same schools for him as it did for me."
For Mustipher, it was a close call among four schools.
"Honestly, I loved my Michigan visit," he said. "Coach Hoke and I had a great talk, and I loved Coach Mallory, Coach Mattison and all the guys up there. With (former teammate) Blake Countess being up there, I already had a good relationship with the university.
"My relationship with Coach Meyer and Coach Warinner and Ohio State was so great," Mustipher said. "That was my first really big BCS offer. It really came down to those two schools and also Maryland.
"I talk to Coach Edsall and Coach Locksley almost every week," he said. "I would have felt like family with (former teammates) Stefon, Wes, Mike and all the other guys there. Those are guys who are family, guys I went to high school with, grew up with and practiced every day with. They're like big brothers to me. I definitely respect all their hard work, and I'm sure it will show this season."
Mustipher said it would not do any good for another school to contact him.
"Out of respect for the university, I am shutting down my recruitment," he said.
Mustipher will compete in the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour in New Jersey on April 27.
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