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May 17, 2013

Bars follows family footsteps

Alex Bars needed no more time to make a college decision.

Last week the Rivals100 offensive tackle from Nashville expressed patience with the recruiting process, setting no concrete time line for announcing a choice. Now he is committed to Notre Dame, choosing to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Bars delivered the news to offensive line coach Harry Hiestand on Friday afternoon then also talked with offensive coordinator Chuck Martin and head coach Brian Kelly.

“I thought about it real hard for like the last month,” said Bars, whose father, Joe, played for the Irish. “Pressure started coming on and spots started filling up. I just realized that was the school for me.”

Notre Dame won out over scholarship offers from Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Michigan, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Virginia, among others.

Bars started trending in that direction after a spring visit to watch practice, during which he watched close as Hiestand put his players through the paces.

“He’s great,” Bars said. “He’s great. I know his current players love him. The guys that are committed I know really like him. He’s a really likable guy. I know he’s a great coach. I really liked his coaching style when I was up at practice.”

Now with Bars in the fold Hiestand holds commitments from four offensive linemen, all ranked in the Rivals250. Bars checks in as the No. 55 prospect overall. Quenton Nelson (66), Sam Mustipher (122) and Jimmy Byrne (184) round out the haul.

Notre Dame now has 10 commitments overall in the Class of 2014, including seven in the Rivals250 with five-star running back Elijah Hood and wide receiver Justin Brent.

Bars couldn’t be happier to cap off the recruiting process by joining the others.

“It’s a great academic school,” Bars said. “They’ve got a 100 percent graduation rate, a top football program. The staff is really cares about their players. Of course, the tradition. All around it’s just a great school.”

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