Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Mustipher Will Be Back For Fifth Season

November 2, 2017

Notre Dame’s offensive line has been on a roll in 2017, but every now and then, Irish fans wondered about the future of the offensive line. Alex Bars and Sam Mustipher could return for a fifth-year next fall, and one of those questions was answered on Wednesday night. 

“I’ll be back without a doubt,” stated Mustipher. “I love these guys. I love this team. I’ll be back here next year.” 

The 6-foot-2, 305-pounder admitted he hadn’t discussed his decision with offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, as it was something that was just implied between the two.  

“It’s just something that’s understood between he and I,” explained Mustipher. “I have a lot to learn and improve on at this level. 

“He’s one of the greatest coaches if not the best. I trust his word wholeheartedly. I see the things on film, I need to improve on. That’s the reason Mike (McGlinchey), and Nick (Martin) came back. They have the opportunity to go pro. Q had the chance last year.”

It’s tough to disagree with Mustipher’s reasoning once he explains it further, in fact, you have seen it every Saturday this fall. 

“We understand we have much to learn,” Mustipher said. “If you look at Q’s film from last year, he’s obviously a great player and dominant, but this year, it’s at another level. It’s hard to argue that.” 

Rick Kimball/ISD
Sam Mustipher

While the Maryland native isn’t focused on his NFL future, Mustipher is focused on making sure the Irish continue building on a six-game winning streak.  

“We know where we are and we have an opportunity ahead of us,” stated Mustipher. “We knew every game after Georgia was like a playoff game and we’re going to do the same against Wake Forest.”

Notre Dame enters the weekend as the No. 3 team in the nation and the College Football Playoff hype has officially joined Josh Adams Heisman campaign. However, Mustipher doesn’t think the moments or stresses will be too much to handle for his team. 

“Last year was a disappointment, and we know how to temper ourselves,” explained Mustipher. “We understand where were last year and where we are now is because of the stuff we put in the offseason and the traits we have every day.

“We have to focus on those and understand why we are where we are right now and continuing to do the same things.”  

Mustipher has backed up his focus on the little things as he has made significant strides forward this fall and it’s by design.

“I’m focusing on the little things,” Mustipher stated. “I am making sure I deliver the snap to the quarterback every time. Using my technique and fundamentals and not taking any rep for granted. I’ve really tried to press on finishing my preparation all the way to Saturday’s.” 

The same preparation has helped Mustipher and many Notre Dame players this fall. Dr. Amber Selking was brought in by head coach Brian Kelly to build a championship mindset and keeping the same preparation has been a significant bullet point.  

“The biggest thing I have taken from what we’ve learned from Dr. Selking is the routines she harps on,” said Mustipher. “I have the same routine I do going into every game weekend now. I stay focused on that and don’t change it up. 

“I have a routine on Friday of getting up and coming in to watch film. Getting whatever treatment I need. No matter what, I am doing the same thing.”  

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