SAN ANTONIO – What’s the best way to sum up Aaron Lynch’s winding path through recruiting, one that took a new twist on Friday?
Probably best to let Lynch — a coveted defensive end who in July committed to Notre Dame, decommitted in October, picked Florida State in November and then on Friday said he’s likely going to visit ND next week — say it himself.
"I’m still in love with Florida State, but I’m still in love with Notre Dame too," Lynch said Friday afternoon in San Antonio, where he will play for the East team in Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl. "I’m all screwed up. That’s all I’ve got to say. I’m all screwed up."
Notre Dame would love to help with the untangling.
The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Lynch, who plays at Island Coast High School in Cape Coral, Fla., has been one of the most talked-about players in San Antonio this week. It continued Friday.
After walking off the practice field, Lynch immediately addressed the latest news in his recruitment.
"I think I’m going to probably open up my recruitment again," he said.
The roadblock with Florida State appears to be that the Seminoles reportedly continue to recruit other defensive ends. That didn’t sit well with Lynch and his mother.
"They’re getting all these D-ends," Lynch said. "I’m not trying to come in and sit here and just look at people on the bench. I’m trying to come in and play right away. That’s why I’m going in early."
And when Lynch and his mother found out about FSU's recruitment of other defensive ends, it struck a nerve.
"This morning, a lot of stuff went down that really made my mom real mad," Lynch said. "And I was just like, ‘All right, we’ll do this and that. We’ll see what’s going on.’ Nothing’s finalized yet."
But it will need to be soon. Florida State actually began its second semester on Tuesday, Notre Dame not until Jan. 18.
"If I end up picking Notre Dame, the next week after that I will be enrolled," Lynch said. "If not, then I’ll probably go straight to Florida State after that if I’m not into (Notre Dame)."
What Lynch has been into is the way Notre Dame has continued its pursuit even after he told them no the weekend of the loss to Tulsa, which turned out to be ND's final loss of the season.
"They haven’t given up. Notre Dame, they care," Lynch said. "They just kept coming and coming and coming."
As a matter of fact, Lynch earlier this week told reporters that he was done with his recruitment and was locked into Florida State. But if there's an adage in recruiting, it's that nothing's over until signing day.
"Stuff changes, you know?" Lynch said. "Anything can happen."
Including a potential dream matchup at defensive end. Lynch this week has tag-teamed with East teammate and Notre Dame commit Stephon Tuitt to provide a fierce pass rush in practice. The possibility of it happening in South Bend seemed to really get Lynch percolating.
"It would be great having him on the other side," Lynch said. "It's going to be nasty. If I do go there it’d be nasty."
Keeping things alive with Lynch was ND wide receivers coach Tony Alford, who stayed in contact with Lynch even after the decommitment. Lynch delivered that decommitment via text message, an approach he wishes he hadn't taken.
"All I’ve got to say is I regret it," Lynch said. "I texted him and told him I was decommitting. I think I should have done it a different way but I let people get into my head and tell me what to do. I shouldn’t have done that."
Consider it forgiven, although where everything lands remains up in the air. Lynch at one time Friday said he was decommitted from Florida State but also during the conversation said he remained committed.
"I’m still committed but I’m open, let’s put it that way," he said. "I haven’t officially decommitted. I’m confused right now."
Regardless, with early enrollment his choice, the finish line for his recruitment appears to be nearing.
"Yeah, I’m real tired of it," Lynch said. "I want it to be over with."