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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Film Don't Lie: Andrew Kristofic

April 23, 2018
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It wasn’t that long ago that Notre Dame fans were wondering where things were heading with the 2019 recruiting class as the Irish were stuck on three commitments for a long period of time. Now the floodgates have rushed opened and there may not be a hotter team on the recruiting trail.

The latest addition to the class is Andrew Kristofic (Gibsonia, PA), a teammate of quarterback Phil Jurkovec at Pine-Richland both on the football field and basketball court. Kristofic isn’t the biggest, strongest, or most polished tackle prospect in the country, but his upside is enormous.

Jeff Quinn is going to have an opportunity to work with a very talented athlete whose best football is in front of him.

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 265

Projected Position: Offensive Tackle

ISD Grade: 89 (3-star)

National Average Grade: 87.4 (3-star)

What he does best:

Ronnie Stanley was a basketball player in high school much like Kristofic. I’m not sure if his experience on the hardwood is directly responsible for it, but Kristofic has pretty sweet feet for a big man like Stanley did.

He is quick and balanced with his kick slide. It looks easy to him and that’s a very good thing. He has good knee bend without much lean and he flashes a solid punch. It doesn’t hurt that he has some extra nasty to when he has a rusher locked up either.

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He is very mobile. He should be able to get to the second level and lead on screens regularly. Having that as an option opens up the playbook in more ways where he can hit and fit on the move.

Kristofic has a finisher’s mentality. Even when he isn’t winning initially, he continues to fight to win the battle. That’s something every offensive line coach loves to see and it certainly fits with the culture Notre Dame is trying to maintain at the position.

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He is a high effort kid who will go looking for more work as well. Many other linemen would be spectators after this run when the back is already well past him down the field. Kristofic is hustling downfield to get another block to help spring his back for more yards.

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That kind of effort is infectious. Just look at the receiver who is standing there thinking the play is done and then starts to sprint down once he sees the back is still going. When someone is going all out to get that extra block, it makes the other players on offense want to join either because they want to help or to not look bad by comparison.

What he needs to improve:

As a run blocker he needs to improve his hand placement. I love the fight he has, but he will get outside the frame of a defender too often. He needs to consistently fit better.

That goes hand in hand with him being better at the point of attack. Some of it is he has to get stronger and have a better base, but another part is that he has to play with better technique.

One thing that happens a lot with young linemen who are looking to pancake defenders as much as possible is that they stick on blocks too long. I don’t mean that in regards to one on one blocks, but with double teams he needs to pass it off and get to the next block.

There were also a couple of plays where he goes for the decleater with a defender that is already engaged with a receiver. That might look great on a highlight film, but he just took himself out of the play by doing that instead of getting a block on another defender. There is a fine line between keeping that nasty mentality and making sure that doesn’t become the focus of the play. Kristofic needs to straddle that line and not cross it.

What’s his ceiling?

Just watching him as an athlete and seeing how hard he plays, it’s fair to say that has the potential to be a great player at the next level. He plays right tackle for Pine-Richland, but could be a future left tackle for the Irish. Kristofic has all the traits to be awesome there.

The biggest questions have to do with his physical development. I’ve seen him listed as high as 270 pounds in some spots, but how accurate that is, I’m not sure. His playing basketball is something that would keep his weight down as well so he could be ready to be much bigger after he chooses to focus on football only in college.

He’s 3-star prospect right now, but if he shows progress physically and as a run blocker, then I would not be surprised if his ranking moves up considerably by the time his senior football season is completed.

Former Texas offensive tackle Connor Williams was an athletic, but undersized, 3-star tackle that blossomed into a standout player for the Longhorns. I don’t know if Kristofic will find the same kind of early success that Williams had, but the player Williams became is fair comparison to what Kristofic could become for the Irish. He has the tools to be a multi-year starter and a very good one.

 
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