Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2014 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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It's Notre Dame Over Alabama For The Nation's No. 2 Tight End BY TOM LOY La Mirada (Calif.) High four-star athlete Tyler Luatua has become a member of the Notre Dame class of 2014. The 6-4, 240-pounder decided to end his recruitment following official visits to South Bend (Oct. 19) and Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Nov. 9). He chose the Irish over Alabama, which is the school that his older brother Isaac attends. COMMITMENT PROFILE TYLER LUATUA His actual commitment came when wide receivers coach Mike Denbrock visited Luatua and his family Dec. 3, but he chose to go public with his decision Dec. 16. "The coaching staff, Coach Denbrock and Coach [Brian] Kelly, they are just incredible," Luatua said. "I have a great relationship with Coach Denbrock, and he made this a pretty easy decision for me. He and I have become really close. Between that and the academics and how they use their tight ends, Notre Dame was an easy call for me." Luatua chose Notre Dame over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas, Tennessee, UCLA, USC and many others. "Coach Denbrock told me that he's probably going to be the offensive coordinator when I'm there, and he wants to be able to use me a lot and get the ball in my hands," Luatua discussed. "He said 247Sports ranks Luatua as a four-star prospect, the No. 119 overall recruit in the country, the No. 2 tight end in the land and the No. 10 player in California. PHOTO COURTESY 247SPORTS I'm their No. 1 guy at tight end, and he thinks that he could put me in a position to be great while I'm there." With his brother attending Alabama, Luatua was expected to make the Crimson Tide his eventual landing spot, but that was never really the school where he felt most comfortable. "Alabama is a great school, but they use their tight ends differently. I just wasn't going to be as happy there like I

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