By Maxpreps' Stephen Spiewak
Steve Elmer attended the instant classic between Notre Dame and Michigan two weeks ago on an unofficial visit with the Wolverines, in which Michigan won 35-31 in the game's closing seconds.
One week later, the 6-foot-6, 290-pound tackle from Midland (Mich.) committed to the Fighting Irish.
Elmer made the verbal pledge to Brian Kelly and the Irish over the weekend during a visit to South Bend, Ind. He chose Notre Dame over Michigan, Wisconsin and Michigan State.
According to his father, Steve Sr., Elmer made the call when the time was right for him.
"He has been on many campuses many times. We told him to pick one when he felt comfortable and when he knew with certainty, but don't rush it," he told MaxPreps. "He's a smart kid, very analytical by nature. We are confident and pleased with his decision."
According to Elmer, his trip to the Big House solidified his feelings about Notre Dame.
"I went to the Michigan-Notre Dame game last weekend at the Big House (in Ann Arbor)," Elmer told the Midland Daily News. "I'm being recruited by Michigan. I should be jumping around like the other 115,000 people. But I wasn't happy. I was a little bit upset that Notre Dame lost.
"I just knew, walking out to the car after the game, that I was going to go to Notre Dame. ... That was the defining moment. I really like Michigan too, but when I was upset (after that game), I knew that I couldn't go to Michigan because I loved Notre Dame too much."
Elmer's recruiting stock has skyrocketed over the last six months, where he's emerged as a top offensive linemen in the Class of 2013.
It seemed like Elmer's recruitment would be a photo finish between Michigan and Notre Dame, though Elmer did a great job of not tipping his hand. In retrospect, Notre Dame clearly had the inside track.
"I'm not sure how close it really was between Notre Dame and Michigan," Steve Sr. said. "He really liked the football programs at all four schools, but he followed our original plan and chose the best school for him, the one he would choose even if he wasn't playing ball."
Elmer becomes Notre Dame's first recruit for the class of 2013.
Landing him is an impressive recruiting victory for Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish beat out a team in Michigan that currently has the nation's No. 1 recruiting class in 2012 and a blue-chip recruit already in the fold for 2013, Shane Morris.
This will likely not be the last time the two schools do battle in the 2013 cycle.
Both schools would love to pluck Trotwood-Madison (Trotwood, Ohio) defensive back Cam Burrows from Ohio State's backyard. Burrows told MaxPreps that he was in Ann Arbor when the Wolverines took on Notre Dame, like Elmer, and similarly made the trip to South Bend the following week.
Texas offensive lineman Jake Raulerson also has early offers from Michigan and Notre Dame, though it may be difficult to pull the Celina (Texas) junior from Texas.
Taco Charlton, from Pickerington Central (Ohio), also attended the Michigan vs. Notre Dame game in Ann Arbor. He has an offer from Michigan, but also plans to visit South Bend this fall.