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April 25, 2013Mark Andrews' three-stop tour through the upper Midwest was exactly what you think. He saw the campuses of Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State. He met head coaches and talked football. There was some academic exploration mixed in there, too.
The aftermath is also by the book. Andrews, a four-star prospect, says only positive things about the three programs and offers no hint as to which school impressed him most. There is no indication of a list-trimming to come and nothing has been sensationalized. In essence, the ordeal is boring.
"It's hard to say which was best," Andrews said on Wednesday. "All schools have pluses and minuses, but they all treated me very well. Overall, I had an amazing time."
There are, however, some things to be gleaned. Andrews, a high school wide receiver, says the coaching staff at Notre Dame sees him in a "hybrid" wideout-tight end role that would feature the 6-foot-6 athlete moving around the field in a Tyler Eifert-like scenario and spending very few downs blocking on the line.
Meanwhile, Michigan would have him spend more time blocking while running the bulk of his routes from tight end spot. Ditto for Ohio State. It's not until he's asked which role he prefers that he finally gives a brief look into what he might be thinking.
"I have never put my hand in the ground or anything like that," Andrews said. "I've always been catching passes and running routes as a receiver."
When asked what surprised him the most about his three-school tour, he again snaps back to the Irish. This time, though, his thoughts have nothing to do with football. Reading much into anything Andrews says at this early juncture involves a share of guess work. Then, so is the nature of recruiting.
"All of them were very new to me, but I really thought the campus was beautiful at Notre Dame," Andrews said. "I like how small the actual school is. There were only 8,000 people. I was very surprised by how small it was. I thought all of the programs were great, though."
Andrews' foray into the Midwest is the end of his travel itinerary for now. These days, the focus is on spring football and weighing the pros and cons of the schools he's already visited.
"Those trips were to get a feel for the schools I'm very interested in," he said. "I'm going to take some time, think about what I saw and think of some more schools I want to visit."
Andrews says he has tentative plans to narrow his list slightly during the summer. He will not hit the camp circuit, as he feels the 17 scholarship offers he carries have eliminated the need for self-promotion.