Los Angeles Loyola safety Eamon McOsker is no stranger to Notre Dame. His older sister graduated in 2010, his older brother is a freshman on the rugby team and his father is a 1984 graduate who used to work in the school's development arm on the West Coast.
McOsker had committed to Pennsylvania but decided this week he would instead join Notre Dame as a preferred walk-on. Here, he talks about fulfilling a dream.
Your name caught a lot of people off-guard this week. How did the spot at Notre Dame come about?
Eamon McOsker: I sent Notre Dame my tape halfway through the season. I got more attention from Ivy League schools so I turned my attention to that. Then toward the end of the season a couple Division I schools came around. I got some interest from Northwestern, Notre Dame, from Stanford, from Washington. But no offers or anything. And then a couple Ivy League schools gave me an offer. And I kept in contact with Mike Denbrock. I came out for -- it was not official or anything -- a visit the last week of January. Loved everything about it. And then as soon as I got the OK, as soon as the coaches talked to admissions and got the OK to get me in school, I said yeah.
You grew up in a pretty Notre Dame-heavy household. What was your reaction just to be able to go there and have a chance to play football? How excited is your family?
EM: First of all, I'm genuinely excited. Can't wait. If I could go out today I would. I'm ready to get started, ready to work hard, be part of that Notre Dame family, be successful there. Everyone from my family's extremely supportive. All my friends have been great. Everyone just seems to be really happy for me. All my family wants me to be successful and that's important.
How far back do your roots with Notre Dame go? When do you remember first rooting for them growing up?
EM: Probably the day I was born (laughs). My dad went there. He did the right thing and raised us as huge Notre Dame fans. As long as I can remember I've been a huge Notre Dame fan, especially football. I also have a brother who's a freshman there now.
What's he told you? How's he enjoying it so far?
EM: He can't wait. He's extremely proud of me. He's excited to just be able to be there every step of the way at school. I've heard nothing but great things about Notre Dame from him, so I'm excited to get out there.
Was there any sense of regret you wouldn't be going to an Ivy League school? Or is it one of those things where your dream school gives you an opportunity and you just kind of take it and run with it?
EM: Penn's a great place. I loved it. But there's something special about Notre Dame that you can't really find at any other school in the nation, so no regrets at all.
How often have you been to the Notre Dame campus?
EM: Quite a number of times. Somewhere under 10, but close to there. My dad took us back to a couple games. I went to camp my sophomore and junior year, and I went back for my sister's graduation.
Do you remember your first time going to a football game there and taking it all in?
EM: It was incredible. I can't remember exactly what game it was -- I wanna say either Stanford or Georgia Tech. But it was just something, especially being in the stadium, seeing the guys come out of the tunnel, Touchdown Jesus in the background. I knew it was a special place.
What's the next step for you? Obviously you're coming in as an under-the-radar player, non-scholarship. How do you go about your business and try to make a name for yourself and distinguish yourself when, from the outside world, the perception of you probably won't be the same as that of some other recruits?
EM: First of all I just got to keep on working hard. After school every day lifting. Continue my workouts. And as soon as I get information from Notre Dame regarding playbook, stuff like that, I'll get to know as much I can of the system and then just get out to Notre Dame as soon as I can, meet with coaches and continue to try to fit into the system as soon as possible.