Visit puts Notre Dame in the discussion for safety target Frank Buncom

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

When Frank Buncom IV arrived on Notre Dame’s campus Saturday, he was greeted by cold and rainy weather. That didn’t dampen the mood as the four-star safety watched the Irish defeat Stanford 17-14.

“I actually had a lot of fun in that game atmosphere,” Buncom said. “It was a lot of fun for me.”

Buncom saw two schools he’s heavily considering battling it out in another classic game, but it was only the start of his two-day official visit in South Bend.

"It was a very good visit,” Buncom said. “I definitely enjoyed myself and was able to see a lot of the campus.”

The 6-foot-1, 187 pound senior at San Diego St. Augustine received his campus tour on Sunday. Academically-focused, Buncom enjoyed learning more about the programs Notre Dame offers.

“It was a great experience to be out there getting to see the sights like Touchdown Jesus and the Grotto,” Buncom said. “It was really amazing."

He spent time with his recruiter, outside linebackers coach Bob Elliott, and was able to have one-on-ones with defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks. The combination of Notre Dame’s performance on Saturday and the discussions with the coaching staff impressed Buncom.          

"They definitely run a very unconventional defense,” he said. “They're bringing a lot of pressure from a lot of different ways. I think it's very interesting. I like it a lot.”

Freshman cornerback Nick Watkins hosted Buncom, but Watkins wasn’t the only one to make an impression on him. Buncom mentioned defensive back Matthias Farley, quarterback Everett Golson and linebacker Joe Schmidt as players he enjoyed spending time with.

The visit didn’t match or exceed expectations for Buncom, but only because he forced himself to not have any expectations at all.

“I didn't want to go in there with a closed mind thinking it was going to be this,” Buncom said. “I really wanted to soak in the campus like a sponge and be able to absorb all the information I could."

By Tuesday night, Buncom’s brain was still in information overload. Any thoughts on a return trip or a decision timeline have yet to be sorted out.

“I still need to digest all the information and see if everything I need to see was seen,” Buncom said. “I'm not sure yet because I haven't digested yet. I still haven't even talked to my parents about the visit yet. I still need to do that as well.”

But Buncom assured that Notre Dame solidified itself as a contender in his recruitment.

"They definitely made things a little harder to decide,” Buncom said. “They definitely put themselves in the discussion."

tjames@ndinsider.com

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Twitter: @TJamesNDI

2015 safety Frank Buncom IV is still digesting his visit to Notre Dame. (Photo courtesy of UT San Diego/K.C. Alfred)