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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Notre Dame Football Early Signing Period | Offensive Line

December 21, 2022
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Notre Dame offensive line coach Harry Hiestand returned to college football last January and quickly answered any questions about his recruiting. Hiestand has reeled in one of the nation’s top offensive line hauls and stole a commitment late from former Wisconsin commit Christopher Terek‍ to put the icing on the cake. 

OL Charles Jagusah‍ 

Ranking
ISD: 95 (4-star)
Composite: 95.6 (4-star)

Vitals
6-6, 308
Alleman (Rock Island, Illinois)

Recruiter
Harry Hiestand

Recruitment Rundown
Jagusah didn’t give a ton away early in the process and would take official visits to Arkansas and Missouri, but by the time he neared a final decision in June, it was obvious it was down to two; Notre Dame and Michigan. Both schools offered academic opportunities off the field and he gelled with both offensive line coaches, but in the end, Notre Dame’s academics and Harry Hiestand won out.

ISD Expert Jamie Uyeyama
An athlete who grew up playing multiple sports who also is a state champion wrestler, Jagusah has the potential to be an elite guard at the college level with the traits to also play right tackle.

Aaron Banks was a bit different entering Notre Dame than Jagusah and he had to manage his weight, which won’t be an issue for Jagusah, but the power and sneaky athleticism for a big man remind me a lot of Banks. Jagusah has a chance to hit a higher level sooner than Banks did, in my opinion.

Favorite ISD Quote
“The opportunity that they provide outside of football, but also the opportunity that comes with playing at a University that's known for their o-line and playing under a coach like (Harry) Hiestand, who is genuinely just a good guy.”

Senior Highlights


OL Joe Otting‍ 

Ranking
ISD: 90 (4-star)
Composite: 88.4 (4-star)

Vitals
6-4, 270
Hayden Catholic (Topeka, Kansas)

Recruiter
Harry Hiestand

Recruitment Rundown
Otting wasn’t playing games with his recruitment when it came to Notre Dame. When he was offered in May, he set up an unofficial visit and already decided he wanted to take an official. He needed only the unofficial to decide Notre Dame was the spot for him, announcing his commitment to the Irish on June 7th.

Otting chose Notre Dame over offers from schools like Nebraska, Baylor, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State among others.

ISD Expert Jamie Uyeyama
I love that he is a multi-position player (9 sacks on defense as a junior) and that he’s a multi-sport athlete (basketball and track). When I watch Otting he reminds me of former Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum with the way he moves after the snap and the leverage he plays with.

I kept thinking that if he didn’t end up at Notre Dame, he’d probably develop into an All-Big Ten performer for the Hawkeyes. Too bad for Iowa that that’s not going to happen and very good for the Irish who just landed a very underrated prospect who could be a great one if he physically develops.

Favorite ISD Quote
”Just now, I had a call with Coach Hiestand and had a great talk with him and that's when he offered me.

“Speechless was all I'd say. Notre Dame's kind been like a dream school of mine.”

Senior Highlights


OL Christopher Terek‍  

Ranking
ISD: 89 (3-star)
Composite: 88.3 (3-star)

Vitals
6-6, 295
Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn, Illinois)

Recruiter
Harry Hiestand

Recruitment Rundown
Terek committed to Wisconsin back in June over offers from schools like Michigan, Kentucky and Iowa among many others. When Paul Chryst was let go by the Badgers at the start of October, those schools and more reached out to gauge his interest.

Terek wasn’t interested...until Notre Dame reached out.

He’d always been interested in the Irish and there was some preliminary talks earlier in the process, but the Irish filled up at the position before Terek even had the chance to visit South Bend. That changed when Elijah Paige decommitted from the Irish. Hiestand focused on only one player to fill that void, Terek.

The Irish got him on campus for an unofficial visit for the Stanford game and he left with a scholarship offer. 

Terek was torn between the Irish and the Badgers for weeks and found a welcomed distraction in his own season. But days after his season ended, he made the flip, choosing Notre Dame and announcing it publicly on Nov. 27th.

ISD Expert Jamie Uyeyama
Terek is one of these players who will walk on to campus with an NFL frame, but his journey at Notre Dame will all be about development. He has the mentality to be a great run blocker, but he’ll need to develop as a pass protector in order to become a starter.

I think he’s a natural fit at guard. He slimmed down to under 300 pounds, but should easily be able to put on some good weight and be 320+ in a couple of years. I love his toughness and I think he has the potential to compete for a starting job after a couple of years on campus.

Favorite ISD Quote
“I like Coach Hiestand a lot. He's old school. He cares a lot about the offensive line, that's all he really cares about. He's great in that way. Coach Watt went to Glenbard West, my high school. I've always known Chris Watt and I've talked to him a bunch in the past.”

Senior Highlights


OL Sullivan Absher‍ 

Ranking
ISD: 90 (4-star)
Composite: 90.6 (4-star)

Vitals
6-7, 290
South Point (Belmont, North Carolina)

Recruiter
Harry Hiestand

Recruitment Rundown
A busy weekend in January saw Hiestand visit South Point High School one day before the two would meet up again in South Bend. Sullivan would tell ISD he “loved the man” within two days of knowing him. The Irish may have got in late, but they quickly shot toward the top and ultimately to the top of the list, zooming past NC State and Clemson. 

He took the January visit with his father and then returned with his mother April. He actually committed to the Irish during that April visit and announced it publicly a couple weeks later.

ISD Expert Jamie Uyeyama
Watching the way he can get under the pads of shorter players, the way he moves, and his frame reminds me a lot of Mike McGlinchey in high school. That’s why, despite the unknowns about Absher as a pass blocker, he’s a prospect that is so intriguing.

It’s going to take some time, but he has the tools to develop into a quality starter for Notre Dame and those guys typically end up getting drafted. He has a monstrous frame.

Favorite ISD Quote
“I'm like, ‘Boys, I think Notre Dame has another silent commit.’ At first they were all like, 'What? What's he what's he talking about?'

“Then it dawned on them and we were just all laughing and hugging and high-fiving.”

Senior Highlights


OL Sam Pendleton‍ 

Ranking
ISD: 91 (4-star)
Composite: 89.8 (4-star)

Vitals
6-5, 290
Reagan (Pfafftown, North Carolina)

Recruiter
Harry Hiestand

Recruitment Rundown
The Irish got in late with Pendleton. In fact, Pendleton cut his list to five schools - Michigan, NC State, Clemson, Penn State and Virginia Tech on Feb. 1st. But when the Irish offered him a scholarship in mid-March, he knew his list had grown by one. He immediately locked in an unofficial visit for mid-April and by the end of the month, he had given the Irish his verbal commitment.

Pendleton never once wavered on his commitment and was one of the loudest voices of faith during the season’s shaky start.

ISD Expert Jamie Uyeyama
My question with him about possibly playing tackle is arm length and whether or not he is long enough, but I think he has the feet to play just about anywhere on the line.

I’m not quite sure why his national ranking isn’t higher than it is, but I think he has the potential to be a multi-year starter at guard and develop into a very good one. This is a player who reminds me of Robert Hainsey and he’s one of my favorite prospects in Notre Dame’s class.

Favorite ISD Quote
“I feel like it's definitely just a God thing. I've been so blessed to be recruited by Notre Dame and not just Notre Dame, lots of other universities. This does not take away from the opportunities I've been given by other places or things I've seen. There's been a lot of great places I've been, but nothing like Notre Dame for me.”

Senior Highlights

 

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