Return visit to Notre Dame a priority for hobbled TE Tommy Tremble
Tommy Tremble might have to hobble around campus on crutches, but the three-star tight end recruit has made getting back to Notre Dame this weekend a priority.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior at Norcross (Ga.) Wesleyan had planned to make his official visit to Notre Dame for the Georgia game last month. But a broken left ankle wiped out his plans shortly before the itinerary was set.
He worked with offensive coordinator Chip Long to quickly reschedule the official visit for Saturday’s game against USC.
“I visited there in the summer and really enjoyed my trip,” Tremble said. “I really liked the coaches, really liked the area. It was really cool. I’ve been talking to coach Long for a while. I’ve been convinced to take an official there for a while.”
As a result, Notre Dame will receive Tremble’s first official visit. He hopes to ditch the crutches soon and finally feels comfortable enough to make a college visit. Official visits to Georgia, Michigan, UCLA and California are also in the works.
Tremble has been keeping a close eye on the Irish. He knows they’re ranked No. 13 in the AP poll. He knows the only loss this season came to Georgia. Now he’s ready to take in Notre Dame’s campus on a game day.
“I want to get a feel for the environment,” Tremble said. “I want to see how the players react. It’s going to be a good game against USC. I want to see how they react against a really good team. They haven’t played a really good team since Georgia. I want to see how they react if it’s a close game and see if they can pull through.”
Tremble has also paid attention to how Notre Dame’s used its tight ends this season in Long’s first year under head coach Brian Kelly. The Irish staff has pointed to junior tight end Alizé Mack, who leads the team with 17 receptions, as a model for Tremble’s future role at Notre Dame.
“He’s the same type of tight end as me,” Tremble said. “I’ve seen a few games where he’s really shown out and a few games that he hasn’t. It’s whatever you have to do to win the game. Sometimes the run game has been the best for them. I’ve seen enough on film to impress me.”
Tremble wouldn’t come to Notre Dame with the same kind of acclaim as Mack, who was ranked as the No. 1 tight end in the 2015 class by 247Sports. Rivals ranks Tremble as the No. 21 tight end in the 2018 class. 247Sports slates him No. 31.
And Tremble wouldn’t be the only tight end in Notre Dame’s class. The Irish received a verbal commitment from George Takacs, a four-star recruit according to Rivals, in June. But Tremble isn’t afraid of joining another tight end at whichever school he chooses.
“Having one tight end committed doesn’t really affect my decision,” Tremble said. “There will be a good competition with any tight end I go with. He’s more of an inside blocking tight end. I’m a different kind of hybrid tight end. It wouldn’t be like we’re fighting for the exact same position. But even if we had to, I’d be able to compete hard enough in that.”
When Tremble visited Notre Dame back in June, he was joined by his father. This weekend, both of Tremble’s parents will be making the trip. That’s because his mother’s opinion holds a lot of weight.
“She really likes the school just by its name,” Tremble said. “I’m excited to see how she feels about it, how she feels about the coaches.”
The connection with the coaching staff can’t be overstated. In fact, it could be the deciding factor in Tremble’s eventual commitment. He should know everything he needs to know about the Irish when he leaves campus later this weekend.
“There’s always school and football. But you can’t really enjoy the place you’re at unless you have a good connection with your coaches,” Tremble said. “That’s what I find is one of the biggest things. If I’m not able to connect personally and football-wise with my coach, that wouldn’t be a good place for me.”