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October 1, 2013

Irish host local prospect

Rushing for more than 400 yards in a game two weeks ago turned Shaq Vann into a minor a local celebrity, at least briefly.

Notre Dame made a stop at John Adams High School to check on the running back from South Bend, Ind., who camped with the Irish over the summer. Vann followed up by visiting campus last weekend for the Oklahoma game.

Vann arrived early enough to receive a tour of the facilities and walk over to Notre Dame Stadium with the team. All were new, unique experiences for the local product.

"It was really (good)," Vann said. "I got there around 11:30 and stayed at the Gug and they showed me around that. Probably the best thing of the whole visit was just doing the walk to the stadium. It was just amazing. It was unbelievable, just the fans. I'm not even like a big-time recruit and there were fans out there I didn't even know that were like, 'Shaq, come to Notre Dame. Commit today. Notre Dame is the place for you.'

"Just showing the love. That just really showed a lot. It was really nice."

Once the game started Vann soaked in the environment from the recruit section, located just below the throng of students. Vann paid particular attention to the running backs, including a career best game from George Atkinson III in the Irish loss.

Vann hoped to pick up some things to incorporate into his own skill set.

"I was definitely watching the whole game but keying on the running backs of both teams," Vann said. "Not just Notre Dame. Just picking up little keys to make my game better, you know? Taking it all in and having a good time."

Before kickoff Vann touched base with Tony Alford, running backs coach and recruiting coordinator. Alford extended an open invitation to the 5-foot-10, 196-pound prospect for another game.

Vann plans to take Alford up on that but doesn't have another visit set yet. He's considering offers from Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Miami of Ohio. Purdue has also been showing steady interest.

How things could shake out with Notre Dame remains to be seen.

"I really can't do anything from here," Vann said. "I've just got to keep playing how I play and hopefully an offer can come. That would be nice. But if it doesn't, other options will definitely come also. I've just got to keep playing how I can play so I can get that offer."

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