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March 4, 2011
Taylor Decker delivered a bit of news this morning that even surprised himself.
The offensive tackle from Vandalia, Ohio, called Notre Dame running backs coach Tim Hinton and made a commitment to the Irish after landing a scholarship offer just over a week ago, ending a recruitment that had really just started.
"Ever since the recruiting process started coach Hinton was the first coach to visit me at school," Decker said. "I built a good relationship with him. And that was also my first visit. It made a huge impression on me. Ever since my first visit it's been the school where I wanted to get an offer from and where I wanted to go."
Decker chose Notre Dame over scholarship offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia and Wisconsin. He was also fielding interest from the likes of Iowa, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, USC and Virginia.
In the last week or so, Decker had been sticking firm to a plan that included several more unofficial visits before making a verbal commitment.
But in a decision that even caught the 6-foot-8, 288-pound prospect off guard he couldn't get past the feeling that spending the next four or five years in South Bend was the right choice and decided to put and end to his recruitment.
"I never really looked to stretch it out per se because I just don't feel like that's the right thing to do," Decker said. "I definitely didn't think I'd do it this early because my high school coach told me, 'Make sure you go see these other schools.' My dad told me the same thing. I was thinking another month at the least. But I know my mom, she supports whatever I do, and after talking to her about it, I talked to my parents for probably two hours (Thursday) night. It's just where I wanted to go."
Decker will follow up his commitment with an unofficial visit to meet with the coaching staff this coming Wednesday after having to miss out on last weekend's junior day event. He also plans to attend some upcoming spring practices.
The Irish staff already has a pretty good idea of the prospect it has landed before he sets foot back on campus.
"I'd say I'm versatile," Decker said. "I know in my high school I play tackle primarily but there are some plays where I switch to guard. I can move well; come off the ball well. I like to finish blocks. That's my favorite thing in the world. I play to the whistle and just play hard."