Dec 15, 2011, 10:06 PM EDT
Blue-chip offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley committed to Notre Dame this afternoon, adding a much needed sixteenth man to the 2012 recruiting class. The pledge, the first to the Irish since the last day of September, was important for a number of reasons, the first and foremost being the quality of player Stanley projects to be.
At a hulking six-foot-seven, 285-pounds, the Irish are reeling in another gigantic athlete, a prototype tackle that also looks to move pretty well for a player of his size. (Film here if you’re interested.) Just as importantly, he adds some certainty to a recruiting class that’s got a lot of unanswered questions, and he could help a few dominoes fall with his commitment.
Stanley took his official visit last weekend, visiting South Bend for the football awards show and immediately taking to the campus. Rumors flew at the end of last weekend that Stanley had all but committed to the Irish, with freshman wide receiver Davaris Daniels hosting Stanley on his visit and apparently doing a good job. At a small press conference at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Stanley showed a good sense of humor as well.
“Lebron took his talents to South Beach,” Stanley said. “I’m taking my talents to South Bend, Indiana.”
Stanley’s commitment added a much needed third offensive line commitment to the class, joining Taylor Decker and Mark Harrell. He also visited with Washington’s Josh Garnett, who was hosted by quarterback Andrew Hendrix, and plans on going the pre-Med route. After not having a good read on either Stanley or Garnett, the Irish have to feel like there’s a chance that both jump into the Irish recruiting class, a huge development for Brian Kelly, offensive line coach Ed Warinner and West Coast recruiting ace Mike Denbrock.
Stanley wasn’t shy on options, having chosen the Irish over Arkansas and Nebraska, while fielding offers from Auburn, Cal, Florida, Florida State, Miami, UCLA, USC, and more than a dozen others. Just as important, the Irish went into Bishop Gorman High School, the premiere football feeder school in Las Vegas, and pulled out the best player in the state. The school has Xavier Grimble at USC, Alex Turner at Stanford, Jalen Grimble at Miami, and Geoff Gibson at Cal, with four other classmates slated to accept D-I football offers.
Stanley hosts an in-home visit tonight with Warinner, a meeting that’ll likely be a lot more jovial with the news.
Photo property of the Las Vegas Sun. For a YouTube video of Stanley’s commitment to the Irish click here.