Four-star OL Chris Murray: 'Notre Dame is a special place'

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Chris Murray made his first trip to Notre Dame an official visit.

The four-star offensive lineman from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei was joined by his mother as well as a pair of teammates: five-star wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and four-star linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu. The three seniors all have offers from the Irish, but only St. Brown, the younger brother of Irish junior Equanimeous St. Brown, had previously been on campus.

Murray, who received a Notre Dame offer in August, had only made one official visit prior to his trip to South Bend. Utah hosted him earlier this month.

247Sports slates Murray as the No. 5 offensive guard in the 2018 class. Rivals ranks him No. 17 at the position. Murray will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January.

Murray discussed his Notre Dame visit with ND Insider, reviewed the highlights from the trip and detailed his relationships with head coach Brian Kelly, offensive line coach Harry Hiestand and recruiting coordinator Brian Polian.

NDInsider: What did you think of your official visit to Notre Dame?

Murray: “Overall, me and my mom had a great trip. That game kind of blew me away. I didn’t know what to expect. The whole atmosphere and the crowd, I got absorbed into it too. Notre Dame is a special place. I’m glad I got to get up there this weekend.”

NDI: Why did you want to visit Notre Dame in the first place?

Murray: “Just because I heard so many rumors about how these games are at home. How on game day the campus is livid. I just wanted to see it for myself. I wanted to get out there and see how Notre Dame is. I had never been to the state of Indiana or South Bend. That was good to see where I could possibly be living. I got to meet with coach Kelly and coach Hiestand. That was one of my goals to have a time where I could sit down and talk to them and see what they’re about.”

NDI: What was your impression of coach Hiestand?

Murray: “He’s a really good guy. I can tell just by talking to him how experienced he is and how he’s strictly about getting things done. He loves football, and he wants the best players to help achieve his goals of being the best.”

NDI: What did you think of how Notre Dame’s offensive line was able to do against USC?

Murray: “Wow. Seeing how dominant they are, that’s just crazy. That left side was something else. It was a great thing to see.”

NDI: What did you think of coach Kelly?

Murray: “He’s a really good guy. A lot of head coaches don’t have that time, but he made sure that me and my mom had enough time to sit down with him, ask any questions that we needed answered and not only talk about football, but just talk about life.”

NDI: Do you think Notre Dame’s in a better spot with you after this visit than beforehand?

Murray: “I would for sure say that.”

NDI: Do you have any other visits planned?

Murray: “I don’t have any other officials set up right now. I know that I’m setting up my Stanford official. The other two are still not scheduled yet.”

NDI: Do you have any idea of when you want to make a decision?

Murray: “I want to make a decision and verbal in December, and then I’m going to make it public and commit at the Army game.”

NDI: What was it like to be on campus with a couple of your teammates? Did that make the weekend a little bit easier, more enjoyable?

Murray: “Yeah, it just made it more fun. We got to experience it together. We got to talk about things when we got back to the hotel at the end of the night. I could get input from both of my teammates. It was a really good thing.”

NDI: What was the reaction like when Amon-Ra’s brother scored a touchdown?

Murray: “We were really excited on the sideline — John Brown (his father) and all of us. It was a great game to see up close.”

NDI: Going through this recruiting process, what do you feel like will be the one thing that separates the school you decide to commit to from all the others?

Murray: “Basically my relationship with the coaches. If I felt at home at that certain school. Just whichever school can set me up in life academically and with my dream of going to the NFL.”

NDI: Are there any other Notre Dame coaches that have been in touch with you regularly?

Murray: “Coach Polian has been in touch with me the most.”

NDI: What’s he like as a coach to keep in contact with?

Murray: “Coach Polian is a funny guy. He’ll make you chuckle. I love talking to coach Polian. He always has me fired up for games during the week. He always lets me know that they really want me. Up there, I appreciated when he showed me and my mom a lot of love.”

NDI: You mentioned getting to the NFL being a goal. How much did you research beforehand about coach Hiestand? And how much did you maybe learn through this visit about what he does as a coach and what he’s been able to do with some guys?

Murray: “I know his history and how he had years in the NFL and different coaching positions and where he’s been. I knew that, but I didn’t know to the extent of how many years he’s actually had and how many players he’s had and worked with that are in the NFL right now. Somebody told me coached Zack Martin. I didn’t know that. And that’s one of the best guards, or the best guard, in the NFL. That says something.”

tjames@ndinsider.com

574-235-6214

Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Notre Dame offensive line target Chris Murray, a 2018 recruit, walks around campus before the University of Southern California at Notre Dame football game. (Tribune Photo/MICHAEL CATERINA)