'80 percent' chance LeMay visits ND
In late-January, ESPN 150 Watch List quarterback Christian LeMay (Mint Hill, N.C./Butler) narrowed down his list of scholarship offers to 10 favorites.
Several scholarship offers later, the 6-foot-2, 187-pound LeMay says there could be some changes in order.
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The lucky group LeMay originally listed was Florida, Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma, Miami, Mississippi State, Florida State, Virginia Tech and North Carolina. Offers have continued to roll in, with Notre Dame, Arizona State and Auburn the three most recent ones.
"All the schools are legit in my top-10, but with the new offers, I'm going to have to re-evaluate the 10 and make sure they're schools I want to go to," LeMay explained. "As of now, the top-10 are my final 10."
LeMay, who plans to enroll early into whatever school he decides, admits Notre Dame is a school that could definitely push its way into his list of favorites.
"They already helped themselves by extending an offer," LeMay said. "Also, when I'm evaluating them and looking at the pros and cons of the school and program, of course coach [Brian] Kelly hasn't coached at Notre Dame yet, but what he did at Cincinnati, he did tremendous work there and at Central Michigan too. All he's done is win games, and I don't see him doing something different."
LeMay himself has also gotten accustomed to winning.
As a junior, in leading Butler to a 15-0 record and a state championship, LeMay completed 170-of-248 passes for 3,396 yards and 44 touchdowns to just two interceptions. He also rushed for 577 yards and had a nice discussion with Kelly about his potential in a Notre Dame uniform.
"He said we'd love to have you, and you have an offer if you want it," LeMay recapped. He is arguably the top player at his position in the country. "I took everything in and he said he wants to make me into a first-round draft pick, and also develop me as a person which I can appreciate.
"I know coach Kelly is going to go there and do a great job. He did a decent job recruiting, getting there so late. He has good talent from when coach (Charlie) Weis was at the helm. Coach Weis always had top-10 recruiting classes, now he has to get those guys in his system and teach them what to do."
The Notre Dame coaching staff isn't the only one recruiting LeMay to South Bend. Junior cornerback Robert Blanton starred at Butler when LeMay was a freshman. The two keep in touch, and see each other every time Blanton is home from school.
"He's been telling me good stuff, and saying they want me there. We keep tabs on each other. Of course he sends me messages and stuff."
Watching LeMay play football today, Blanton would have a hard time recognizing the kid he remembers as a freshman. LeMay, who had a nice sophomore season, even looks like a completely different player from his 10th-grade year where he passed for 1,800 yards and 16 touchdowns.
"I think it was more so mentally," LeMay said of his growth. "I was watching my film from last year to this year, and it did look different. I looked more calm in the pocket and calling the plays. Last year, I was kind of out there, and I couldn't talk to anyone or I'd lose my train of thought. This year, I was talking, telling people what routes to run and holes to hit for a play to work. Also, the coaches just having faith in me to put the ball up in the air like we did, and the plays we called this year, the quarterback has to make the right decision or the play would blow up.
"And God giving me the ability to shine this year."
LeMay believes he could shine in Kelly's offense.
"I'm pretty excited to see Notre Dame is getting a quality coach. He's going to do great things and possibly I'll be a part of it. It's also exciting to see his offensive background. Tony Pike is going to get drafted, so that takes the stereotype away that you're not going to make it to the NFL from a spread offense. His offense is like the Indianapolis Colts, and he's obviously coaching up quarterbacks right and correctly."
LeMay has taken visits to Florida, Florida State, Wake Forest, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Clemson in the past. He'll return to Georgia later this month on the 27th. At some point, he hopes to make it up to Notre Dame for the first time.
"On a scale of 100, I'm 80 percent sure I'll be visiting Notre Dame, if not this spring then definitely by football season."
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