Chacho Ulloa ready for another Notre Dame visit after Irish Invasion

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Pain started to return to Chacho Ulloa’s previously sprained ankle in the latter half of Notre Dame’s Irish Invasion camp on Friday night.

The three-star safety recruit decided to shut himself down for the remainder of the event, but it didn’t put a damper on his visit to South Bend.

Ulloa, who was making his second visit to ND in less than two months, has already started to plan an official visit for Notre Dame’s home game against USC in October.

Before he boarded a plane to head back to California on Saturday, future travel plans started to become clearer for Ulloa. He hopes to visit Arizona State and Stanford this summer before setting up official visits to both of those schools. The Irish, Sun Devils and Cardinal find themselves in a three-team race.

“Those are my top three schools that I’m looking hard at,” Ulloa said.

Ulloa’s most recent visit to Notre Dame was dedicated to getting familiar with the campus and the coaching staff.

“I learned more about the campus and academics,” Ulloa said. “Last time I was there, I wasn’t able to see it because we were in and out. This time I was able to enjoy the visit and soak up everything that I saw on the campus with coaches. I was able to interact with more of the coaches.”

Five different coaches received mention from Ulloa, but the two most important relationships could be with his potential position coach, Todd Lyght, and defensive coordinator, Brian VanGorder.

“They are great coaches,” Ulloa said. “Coach Lyght knows what he’s talking about. Coach VanGorder prepares you for the next level if you want to pursue that path, which I want to. It was great. I got a real good feeling for how the coaches coach.”

Before Ulloa was sidelined with a sore ankle, he felt he impressed the coaching staff in a group that included several other three-star safeties. Rivals ranks the 5-foot-11, 186-pound recruit as the No. 29 safety in the 2016 class. 247Sports slates him 58th at the position.

“I was probably the best one from a technical standpoint,” Ulloa said. “A lot of the kids I was watching didn’t have any type of technique. They were just raw athletes. That’s one thing that I know I’m superb in because I work on my technique. When I was doing all the drills, I felt like I looked a little crispy and making the right angles.”

Ulloa said he liked the way Notre Dame organized the Irish Invasion event. The tours and meetings combined with a shorter camp Friday night in Notre Dame Stadium allowed the visitors to get a taste of everything. Some camps, Ulloa said, run much longer and wear on the recruits.

The last thing left for UIloa to see is a game atmosphere at Notre Dame. In addition to getting a sense for the fan base, Ulloa plans to keep a close eye on the coaches when he returns.

“During the game, I want to see how they react to being up or if they’re down,” Ulloa said. “I want to see more of their coaching. Obviously they were coaching us Friday, but they may coach us different than they coach their players. That’s what I’m going to be looking for when I come back in the fall.”

The only thing that could present complications in Ulloa’s recruitment would be spots remaining at safety in Notre Dame’s class. The Irish added their first safety commitment for 2016 on Friday from Jalen Elliott. Ulloa said the staff wants to finish the class with a total of three safeties so he can stay patient for now.

“I’m high on their list,” Ulloa said. “They said there’s no pressure, but when they get two commits then they’re going to start pressing. But other than that, they told me to take my time and due diligence.”

tjames@ndinsider.com | 574-235-6214 | Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Safety target Chacho Ulloa runs drills Friday June 19, 2015 in South Bend. (SBT Photo/BECKY MALEWITZ)