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April 16, 2011

Irish land Texas safety

All it took Nicky Baratti was a closer look to find his college destination.

Making his second campus visit for the Blue-Gold Game, the athlete from Spring, Texas, committed to Notre Dame on Saturday.

"Notre Dame is an amazing place," Baratti told Irish Illustrated prior to this weekend's visit. "It's just Notre Dame. What I've found out is no other school compares to Notre Dame, facility-wise and even coaching-wise. I don't get more e-mail from any other school besides Notre Dame. It's like everyday. I really like that."

Baratti chose the Irish over scholarship offers from Arizona State, Baylor, Houston, Iowa State, Louisville, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Rice, Southern Miss, Texas Tech and West Virginia. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, LSU, TCU and Texas A&M were also showing interest.

A versatile player, Baratti played safety as a sophomore at Klein Oak High School before switching to quarterback for his junior season.

As the primary signal caller for Klein Oak, Baratti compiled 1,873 yards and 13 touchdowns against five interceptions while completing about 51 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 1,267 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Interest from college programs flowed in for a variety of positions - quarterback, defensive back and outside linebacker - but Notre Dame projected the 6-foot-2, 215-pound prospect at safety.

"I don't really care what I play," Baratti told Irish Illustrated after landing an offer from Notre Dame in February. "I love football. I love the game. I don't wanna go to a good school and not play as a quarterback then wait for my senior year and finally play. I'll play wherever I can fit in and everything. I don't really have a preference."

Baratti becomes commitment No. 4 for Notre Dame in the Class of 2012. He joins California cornerback Tee Shepard, Ohio offensive tackle Taylor Decker and Maryland athlete Ronald Darby.


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