January 13, 2010

Hendrix confirms Irish commitment

Notre Dame's collapse and firing of head coach Charlie Weis forced Andrew Hendrix to reopen the recruiting process, even if it was just for one other school.

Hendrix, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound four-star quarterback from Cincinnati, Ohio, was unsure what the future would hold when the Irish hired a new coach, so he began building a relationship with the coaching staff at Florida.

"That whole time, when Notre Dame started not doing very well during season and dropped three of the last four games. At that point lot of schools that still needed a quarterback and a lot of the elite level guys were taken already and had committed. A lot of schools saw that as being an open window and tried to jump in," Hendrix said. "The only school I entertained was Florida and that was just to so I wasn't left out in the cold. I didn't want to be left without a home."

During the time Notre Dame was without a head coach Hendrix continued to build a relationship with the Gators' coaching staff and he scheduled an official visit for the weekend beginning Jan. 8.

After Brian Kelly was named head coach, Hendrix traveled to South Bend to familiarize himself with Notre Dame's new coach and the offense the Irish would run.

"It was a good talk," Hendrix said. "It settled a lot of my feelings at that point, but I already had the visit to Florida scheduled. I told (Kelly) I was still going to go."

Apparently, Kelly wasn't too happy Hendrix still planned to visit Florida. But that sentiment changed after Hendrix explained the purpose of the trip.

"He wasn't too happy about it because I was previously committed," Hendrix said. "But, once he understood he gave me space and let me make my own decision."

The trip to Florida certainly gave Hendrix plenty to think about as he enjoyed every aspect of the trip, except maybe the weather.

"It was beautiful," Hendrix said. "It was only 45-degress, maybe that was kind of an omen that I was meant for the cold weather, but it was definitely beautiful. The stadium was incredible. Florida was up for consideration for a while."

When Hendrix returned to Cincinnati he discussed the situation with his parents. It was then that he realized he already had everything he was looking for and he confirmed his commitment to the Irish.

"There were so many things about Notre Dame that I loved," he said. "It's one of the most beautiful campuses in the United States and the Catholic side of things was big. I started thinking about the (offensive) system and the people; I think I fit well in the system and I know the coaches from Cincinnati. That's just one more thing in common, so many of us being from Cincinnati. I just realized Notre Dame was the place for me."

After the discussion with his parents, Hendrix contacted Kelly to reaffirm his pledge.

"When I told him I was committed he was really happy," Hendrix said.

Now, Hendrix is looking forward to Signing Day. It's been a long couple of months and the quarterback said he's just glad to have the recruiting process behind him, again.

"This choice was five times as hard as my initial choice because I built incredible relationships with the Florida coaches. To tell them no was pretty difficult," he said. "I hope they didn't take it personal because it wasn't personal. It wasn't what Florida didn't have but what Notre Dame did have, same with Ohio State initially. Notre Dame is just a special place. It's far ahead of what other schools have to offer."



 

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