Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles five-star offensive tackle John Theus, a Georgia commitment, decided to take an official visit this past weekend to Notre Dame. He enjoyed the experience and the game, where the Fighting Irish fell short against Southern Cal.
"It was awesome," Theus said. "I really enjoyed myself. Everyone has high expectations of Notre Dame and what they hear about it, and I definitely had high expectations, but it definitely lived up to all expectations."
The 6-foot-6, 300-plus pound offensive lineman arrived early Saturday morning and immediately dived into the visit.
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"We arrived on Saturday morning and we got to see the Gug (Guglielmino Athletics Complex), the athletic complex, the weight room, the meeting rooms, the indoor practice facilty, and the practice fields," Theus said. "The campus tour was probably one of the highlights just because Notre Dame is definitely one of the prettiest campuses I have been on. It was neat to see everything, all of the historic sites, and all of that."
The U.S. Army All-American also had an opportunity to meet and speak with every member of the coaching staff, but received a great deal of attention from a pair of them.
"I talked with Coach (Brian) Kelly and Coach (Ed) Warinner, the offensive line coach, were talking to me about how I fit the profile of their offensive linemen," Theus said. "All of their guys were lean and athletic and that is why they said they would like to have me. Their offensive linemen didn't look fat at all and they could move and had quick feet. So they said that is why they like me so much and they were telling me how I fit into their scheme and all of that."
Also during the visit, Theus had an opportunity to meet and build a bond with some of the current Irish offensive linemen.
"One thing I really liked was that I hung out a lot with the freshmen linemen," Theus said. "I really enjoyed that. I really liked those guys and felt I fit in with them well. That was definitely one of the things I really enjoyed, doing that."
One of those freshmen offensive linemen, Nick Martin, was Theus' host. He spent a great deal of time with him and Nick's older brother, offensive tackle Zack Martin.
"He (Nick) was telling me that they both love it," Theus said. "One interesting thing about Nick is that he was actually committed to Kentucky at this time last year and he ended up changing his mind to Notre Dame. They both love it up there. They talked to me about being there from a player's point of view. Nick told me he really likes the coaches up there and the players as well. That is one of the biggest things for me, the players and the coaches. He also said he loves the school and everything. He had nothing but good stuff to say. I could tell he really likes Notre Dame, he enjoys it there."
For Theus though, the highlight of the visit came surrounding the gameday fanfare and pregame festivities.
"Probably the most exciting thing we did overall was when we went on the Irish Walk, which is where we walk behind the team from the Gug, where their locker room is, to the stadium with all of the fans lined up," Theus said. "That was pretty intense and fun."
Once the game began, Theus had a chance to watch the primetime match-up between the two rivals from the stands.
"Obviously they came up short but the stadium is such a historic place and it was neat to be there," Theus said. "The atmosphere was electric. The fans are definitely into it. We were near the student section which was a lot of fun. It being a night game added onto it. It was definitely a crazy atmosphere, a lot of fun, and I definitely enjoyed it."
With the visit now concluded, Theus shed light on where his commitment to the Georgia Bulldogs stands.
"I told the Notre Dame coaches, I was honest with them the whole time, that the only way I am not going to Georgia is if Coach Mark Richt is not there and it is still that way," Theus said. "They knew that and they still wanted me to come visit in case anything does happen at Georgia. Going up there, it was definitely a great time. I definitely enjoyed myself and liked it a lot. It is a great school. It was really nice to go up there and see what Notre Dame had to offer.
"I am definitely still 100% a Georgia Bulldog," Theus added.
Theus plans to attend the Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville this weekend. He also plans to attend the remainder of Georgia's home games. He may also visit Florida for their game against Florida State the conclusion of the regular season.