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February 1, 2010Danny Spond has been going through the recruiting process on feel.
The four-star athlete from Littleton, Colo., committed to Colorado in April but had some reservations about his home-state program following the season, which led to a de-commitment at the end of November.
Spond reopened the process and eventually settled on Notre Dame, Stanford and TCU as his three finalists heading into January official visits. Stanford hosted Spond first, but didn't feel like a fit, so he dropped the Cardinal. It was down to TCU and Notre Dame heading into Spond's visit to South Bend last weekend.
Before leaving campus Sunday Spond knew Notre Dame was the place for him.
Linebacker Carlo Calabrese served as Spond's host.
"Just starting at the top, the coaching," Spond said of what made the Irish stand out. "The coaches, I really got a good feeling from coach (Brian) Kelly. He seemed like just a really good man besides a good coach and that's what I was definitely looking for. The guys he's brought in are the same type of people. That's definitely encouraging for me.
"Then there's no greater campus out there that's for sure. It's the most beautiful campus in the world. Then just the guys. The other guys on the team are a lot like me. We all have a lot in common. We're all there for the same reasons and that's to win a national championship."
Spond's journey from Colorado commitment to future Notre Dame player is all the more impressive given all his senior season at Columbine High School entailed.
In an Oct. 15 game against Bear Creek, the 6-foot-3, 232-pound prospect suffered a concussion so massive he was unconscious for about two hours. The injury ended his prep career six games into his senior season.
He's since made a full recovery with no after effects.
"It's such an opportunity and such an honor," Spond said. "To go from being injured and everything to bouncing back to landing an offer, just let alone an offer from Notre Dame. Now one day going there is a true blessing."
Although he played quarterback and safety at Columbine, Spond's college position remains uncertain.
Notre Dame is bringing him on as a pure athlete, which could mean anything from quarterback to linebacker. Spond is open to every possibility so long as it means finding the field eventually.
During his official visit he attended meetings with both the offensive and defensive staffs. Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco and quarterbacks coach Charley Molnar both outlined possibilities for Spond.
"I went over to defense and while I was in the defensive meeting the defensive coordinator told me that the quarterbacks coach wanted to meet with me afterward," Spond said. "On defense I'd probably be a drop backer (hybrid safety/linebacker) in the 3-4 style of defense. I really liked what he had to say about that. I really liked that position a lot. The defense they run is a lot of what we did in high school, which is kind of a cool thing for me just in the transition.
"Then after that I went over and met with the quarterbacks coach and he said that I'm the type of player they just want to get the ball in my hands. Whether that's from catching it or taking it under center it doesn't matter. That's just how they want it. We talked a little bit about a Wildcat offense as well."