Reno Rosene will begin the season later this week with a keen sense of responsibility.
First, the sophomore offensive tackle from Westlake Village, Calif., wants to help his team to the first of many victories. Then comes the part about proving his game has developed since becoming a touted prospect during the spring evaluation period.
“I’m just trying to be as much of a leader as I can be for the rest of my (offensive) line,” Rosene said. “I’m trying to be as aggressive as I can on the field this year and really prove myself because there’s a lot of stuff that I need to show I can do.”
College coaches started to identify Rosene as a top talent in May while making stops at Oaks Christian High School to evaluate the long list of prospects.
Notre Dame offered a scholarship after offensive coordinator Chuck Martin and wide receivers coach Mike Denbrock, who recruits the West Coast, watched practice. Junior quarterback Brandon Dawkins landed an offer as well.
Rosene has since made a habit of reaching out to the Irish staff on a regular basis.
“They told me since I’m still young I don’t need to be calling them every week,” Rosene said. “I try to get a hold of them every once in awhile just to say hello and see how everything is going.”
The 6-foot-6, 290-pound prospect hoped to visit South Bend over the summer for camp. After that trip fell through, the plan became the Stanford game on Oct. 13 with Dawkins joining the trip.
Travel arrangements are about “95 percent” complete, Rosene said.
“I’m looking forward to meeting the offensive line coach since I’ve only met the offensive coordinator and their recruiting guy for the area,” Rosene said. “I want to learn about him and see what he does with his o-line. I’m real excited just to see what the campus has to offer as well and how the school is as a whole.”
Some other programs showing interest in Rosene include Cal, Colorado, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, Stanford, TCU, UCLA, USC, Washington and Wisconsin.
Another visit Rosene plans to make is Stanford. The Cardinal holds a commitment from teammate Francis Owusu, a wide receiver whose brother played college ball in Palo Alto. It’s likely Rosene will join when Owusu takes an official visit after trying to set up a visit earlier in the summer.
“I called their coaches and they were all on their coaching break so they said to go up with Francis Owusu when he takes his official,” Rosene said. “I might be going to watch that game with Francis and his family.”