As a kid growing up, Andrew Trumbetti remembers going to his grandfather’s house and seeing his granddad often wearing the same sweater.
“I’d go to his house and he’d be wearing a Notre Dame sweatshirt,” Trumbetti said.
He might not have realized it, but Trumbetti’s grandfather was slowly and subliminally turning his grandson into a Notre Dame fan.
“Everyone in my family’s a Notre Dame fan,” Trumbetti said. “I just grew up to be one.
“I was forced into being one.”
Fast forward to 2012 and Trumbetti is one of the most highly recruited juniors in the Mid-Atlantic as a defensive end at Demarest (N.J.) that makes a living off terrorizing opposing quarterbacks. With one game left in the season, Trumbetti already has 12 sacks to his credit.
Seven college programs have offered the Watch List product, including the Fighting Irish.
Trumbetti went to Notre Dame this summer for the Irish’s three-day camp to try and work himself onto the Irish coaches’ radars. He already had a few offers but none on the level of a Notre Dame.
Although Trumbetti’s 6-foot-5 and 250-pound frame will usually draw the attention of coaches based on size alone, he doesn’t think the coaches knew who he was at first. They told him they did, but he still doesn’t believe it to be true.
A few drills in, however, and Trumbetti had the coaches whispering to each other about a prospect to keep an eye on. To that point, Trumbetti already made quick work of two offensive tackles already committed to Notre Dame. An assistant coach found out Trumbetti was a junior, went and grabbed Bob Diaco, the Irish’s New Jersey recruiter, and a day later Trumbetti was sitting in head coach Brian Kelly’s office.
“That offer was emotional for me because I dreamed of that moment forever,” Trumbetti said. “… It doesn’t hit you right away until you finally get our and you’re like ‘I got offered from one of the schools I’ve been dreaming to go to.’
“I’m a giant fan. I’ve been waiting a long for [an undefeated season] since like 2002.”
A half-day’s drive all the way down Interstate 80, Trumbetti had good reason to camp all the way in South Bend for an Irish offer: his Grandpa.
“He died a couple of years ago. That was a little more motivation for me to go there,” he said.