Headed into his first Notre Dame unofficial visit, picking up a scholarship from the Irish could’ve gone either way for Gus Ritchey.
“I was probably 50/50,” said Ritchey, a 2025 class EDGE rusher with 14 Power Five scholarship offers. “Part of me was like, ‘It’s my first time up there. Maybe they just want to see me a couple of more times before they do.
“But the other side was, they’re taking really good care of me, and I’m really feeling like home right now. So, there was another part of me that thinks they’ll offer me a scholarship.”
Ritchey’s latter feeling was right.
Irish defensive line coach Al Washington extended an offer to the 6-foot-3, 225-pound sophomore from Pittsboro (N.C.) Northwood High. That moment was not only unforgettable, but it was also one of his favorites from the visit.
“The first thing I did was I looked at (Washington) and hugged him,” Ritchey said. “I thanked him so much for believing in my talent and skills to play at Notre Dame. And I gave the other coaches hugs. My dad was really pumped. It was a great feeling, and I loved every bit of it.”
During Ritchey’s visit, he also toured the campus. Ritchey, who does not have an On3 ranking, has reported unofficial visits to nine other schools, which include Clemson, Duke, Michigan and North Carolina. However, Notre Dame’s campus was unmatched.
“The tour was amazing,” he said. “I’ve never seen a more beautiful place than Touchdown Jesus. All the other things going into the stadium. It was just amazing. …
“The Grotto and Golden Dome was amazing. I just loved how it felt and how the players and other students were into the culture. It was amazing to see the culture at Notre Dame.”
Ritchey shares observations of Notre Dame’s spring practice
On Wednesday morning, the Irish kicked off spring practice, and Ritchey was in attendance to observe. In addition to ND, he’s also watched North Carolina and Virginia’s spring practices this year. Notre Dame’s organization stuck out the most.
“Notre Dame did a great job of organizing their drills,” Ritchey said. “Their preparation. The coaches were really, really into it. They were super excited. It was an amazing experience watching.”
Even at 8 a.m., the energy the Irish displayed was infectious.
“Everybody was flying around,” Ritchey said. “Everybody was getting into it. It was a great practice. It was ran really well.”
Ritchey’s first visit to Notre Dame went so well that he’s already scheduled a return one. He will be back in South Bend for the Blue-Gold Game on April 22, and counting down the days to it after the treatment he received this go around.
“Notre Dame did a good job of making me and my family feel comfortable,” Ritchey said. “They spent a lot of time with us, and they really showed how much interest they had.”
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