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April 24, 2010As the son of Terry Hanratty, the former Notre Dame quarterback that led the Irish to the 1966 national championship, Conor Hanratty was all but considered a lock to follow in his father's footsteps ever since the recruiting process began for the 6-foot-4, 305-pound lineman from New Canaan, Conn.
But Hanratty remained patient throughout the process, even after the Irish extended an offer in October and again in February when new head coach Brian Kelly reconfirmed Notre Dame's interest. Hanratty visited several of the other schools on his offer list and on Saturday he again visited his father's alma mater.
This time, he wasn't about to leave without verbally committing to the Irish.
"I came here and put all my bias aside," Hanratty said. "Everything was perfect. (Notre Dame) completely outdid every school I went to."
The clincher was his 20-minute talk with Kelly on Friday and again on Saturday before the Irish took the field for their annual Blue-Gold game.
"I hadn't met Kelly before, so that was the biggest mystery for me," Hanratty said. "We sat down and talked for about 20 minutes. It worked out perfectly."
Hanratty and Kelly talked about many things including Kelly's expectations of his players and what Hanratty could expect once he suits up in the blue and gold.
"I committed right then," Hanratty said. "(Kelly) was real excited. He said I made his day."
During his visit Hanratty has had the chance to meet several of the other visiting prospects including new Irish commitments Jarrett Grace and Tony Springmann and Brad Carrico, who committed to the Irish in March.
"They've been great. They're real cool guys," he said. "I can't wait to play with them."
The elder Hanratty was happy with his son's decision.
"My dad is real excited," Hanratty said. "He loves coach Kelly too. He thinks it's a great fit for me."