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April 24, 2010Since Tony Springmann began playing football he'd always dreamed of suiting up for his favorite team, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
The 6-foot-6, 257-pound athlete from Bishop Dwenger High School in Fort Wayne, Ind., had long been on Notre Dame's recruiting radar but it wasn't until earlier this month his dream became a near reality when the Irish extended a scholarship offer.
Springmann committed to Notre Dame on Saturday, joining former Dwenger teammates Tyler Eifert and John Goodman.
"What really set Notre Dame apart from the other schools was the mystique and the electricity you felt on campus," Springmann said. "Stanford is a great school and I really liked it but it didn't have that feel. It's just Notre Dame football. It's a dream come true."
Springmann's journey to South Bend began in earnest in March when he attended junior day.
"That was the first time I met the new staff," he said. "I guess I stuck out to them because I was bigger and better put together than they thought I was. A lot of hard work went into that."
That meeting moved Springmann up on the Irish recruiting board. He received an offer a couple weeks later.
Meeting the new staff sealed the deal for the Springmann.
"They seemed very up front and blue collar. I like that a lot," he said. "They are going to be hands on. They aren't going to sit around on their golf cart and yell at you. They're going to push you to be your best and that's how I want to be coached."
The Irish project Springmann to play on defense.
"They see me as a hybrid tackle and end," he said. "I think I fit in very well."
Springmann said it's his ability to move his feet quickly that will give him an advantage playing against offensive tackles in college.
"I do run well, that's really what sets me apart," he said. "I think that will translate well on defense, playing a four-technique. I'm the same size and strength as the offensive tackles but I'll have speed on them."
Springmann chose Notre Dame over offers from Boston College, Michigan State, Purdue and Stanford, among others.