For the second time this spring, Alex Anzalone will be visiting Notre Dame.
Since the last time Anzalone visited South Bend for junior day on
March 24, the rising senior linebacker committed and decommitted to
Ohio State and has begun the process of re-evaluating schools he has
Anzalone arrives on campus Thursday and will be making an overnight
stay, something he didn’t do on his previous visit to Notre Dame.
“I definitely wanted to get back up there and visit again because it’s
been awhile since I visited last time,” Anzalone said. “I want to talk
to some of the commits and continue building a relationship with the
On his last visit, Anzalone got a chance to hang out with Irish inside
linebacker Dan Fox and tight end Tyler Eifert. This time Anzalone will
get a chance to meet more Notre Dame players and a number of commits
in the 2013 class that will be visiting as well.
Anzalone already knows tight end commit Mike Heuerman, who will also
be on campus, from being recruited by Ohio State at the same time.
“Him and I are really close,” Anzalone said of Heuerman. “It’ll be
good. It will be a fun time.”
With other commits on campus Anzalone will have an opportunity to get
to know the types of players he would be surrounded by at Notre Dame.
Anzalone said he can get a better understanding of the program from
commits and players than he can get from just the coaches recruiting
Offensive line coach Harry Hiestand has been the lead Irish recruiter
for Anzalone. He said the two have a strong relationship so far.
The 6-foot-3, 231-pound prospect from Wyomissing, Pa., is being
recruited as an inside linebacker in defensive coordinator Bob Diaco’s
3-4 scheme. At Wyomissing High, Anzalone plays both linebacker and
Anzalone plays with a physicality, has sideline to sideline speed, and
has the size that Notre Dame looks for in its linebackers. He’s ranked
as the No. 7 outside linebacker in the 2013 class by both Rivals.com
“I’m pretty long,” Anzalone said. “I can get across the field to make
a tackle and I can deliver a blow if I have to.”
His experience at running back helps him anticipate tackles and
running lanes from his linebacker position.
“From being a running back you know what the running backs you’re
going against are thinking, like where they want to go, where they
want to cut and all that,” Anzalone said. “It definitely helps and
gives me an advantage.”
After visiting Notre Dame Anzalone said he may stop by Ohio State for
a couple hours on his way home. Anzalone’s decommitment from Ohio
State came amidst the revelation that a registered sex offender had
been contacting players and recruits connected with the Ohio State
program. Photos the sex offender had taken with recruits including
Anzalone and Heuerman surfaced online.
But since opening his recruitment back up after a short commitment,
the Buckeyes have continued to recruit Anzalone. Ohio State defensive
coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell has continued to build
a relationship with Anzalone.
“They’ve been great with it,” Anzalone said of the Ohio State coaching
staff still recruiting him. “They still want me pretty bad.”
Anzalone named Ohio State in a list of schools he’s focusing on now.
Other schools named were Florida, Stanford, Penn State and USC.
Anzalone doesn’t have a timeline for a decision, but will likely make
another visit to Florida and Penn State this summer. He said he’s
headed to Florida shortly after his Notre Dame visit and is
considering a one-day camp visit to Penn State.
With his recruitment well under way, Anzalone has grown to understand
the most important factor in his impending decision.
“The people around the program, because I know everyone has nice
things,” Anzalone said. “So you want to surround yourself with good
people that are always going to be there for you.”