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Mike McGlinchey commits, filling Irish offensive line haul

Mar 25, 2012, 3:25 PM EDT

Mike McGinchey

Oh to be a Notre Dame fan three weeks ago. To listen to some, the program was lost as sea, all but forgotten by the nation’s elite players as the team veered further and further into the abyss. With Michigan accepting recruiting commitments by the half-dozen, and Urban Meyer simply waiting for ND to identify his targets, Brian Kelly and his scrappy lads were at a high stakes poker game and dealing dead without even knowing it. The end was near, and the worst part was Kelly, athletic director Jack Swarbrick, and the players didn’t even know it.

Perhaps it was for the best. If those inside the program wasted their time dealing with the worries that have plagued fans since that loss to Florida State, they’d have never put this program on the veritable roll that it is on now. In a recruiting game known mostly for momentum, the Irish seized it this weekend, picking up their third offensive line commitment in the last 36 hours with the commitment of mammoth offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey, from Philadelphia.

After reeling in a stagger 159 inches of offensive linemen in Colin McGovern and Hunter Bivin (standing 6-7 and 6-8 respectively), offensive line coach Harry Heistand accepted the commitment of six-foot-nine, 280-pound McGlinchey this afternoon.

McGlinchey chose the Irish over programs like Penn State, Michigan, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, and Miami. He was actually on his way to visit Wisconsin when he committed to the Irish, turning around and heading back to South Bend for more time with the Irish staff before heading home. Earlier this month, it seemed McGlinchey was all but destined for Penn State, though he denied he was a heavy lean, and proved that today.

Christian McCollum of was able to catch up with the offensive tackle prospect this afternoon to get an update.

“I talked it over with my dad in the car and I decided to commit to Notre Dame today,” McGlinchey told ISD. “I decided it’s the right place for me and it’s a dream come true to be able to be a member of the Notre Dame football team.”

Notre Dame told its offensive line targets that it planned on taking four linemen in the class, likely helping McGlinchey jump on board and snatch up his offer before it went somewhere else. In a span of 36 hours, the Irish essentially closed out the most important position on their recruiting boards, doing it by landing three prospects with elite offers and really impressive size. That the Irish closed both McGlinchey and McGovern this weekend — both guys that didn’t seem imminent — might put an end to the worries about Harry Hiestand the recruiter. (It’ll also put an end to those crying for the Irish to chase more “profile” recruits. With last names like McGlinchey and McGovern, how much more in profile can they get?)

What the Irish are doing with their offensive line under Brian Kelly is pretty amazing. Just a quick look at the roster shows you how they’ve transformed what they’re looking for, finding players bigger and stronger than ever before. Fifth-year centers Braxston Cave and Mike Golic, and guard Chris Watt are the only linemen shorter than six-foot-four. All three were Charlie Weis recruits. Of the linemen Kelly has brought in, only freshman Nick Martin is shorter than six-foot-five, with Matt Hegarty, who many profiled as a tackle entering college, coming in as a 6-foot-5, 290-pound center.

With a spread attack, many assumed the staff would look for smaller, athletic players to work in the system. Yet Kelly has found bigger, athletic bodies, with Tate Nichols — a converted tight end — and now a 6-foot-8, 320-pound right tackle, the first Kelly recruit in line to start. With recruits the size of Steve Elmer, McGovern, McGlinchey and Bivin (none shorter than a reported 6-foot-6), it’ll be interesting if all four end up as tackles, positions they seem perfect fits.

McGlinchey is the Irish’s sixth commitment of the 2013 class.

  1. bernhtp - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    These guys are seriously big. Very nice haul on the OL.

  2. papadec - Mar 25, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    I just saw @ Irish Sports Daily that Malik Zaire (QB) from Kettering, Ohio also committed to ND today. That makes 7 commits for the 2013 class. ALL from what I would consider the ND backyard – MI, OH (2), MN, IL, KY, & PA. I would say that it was a very successful Jr Weekend, so far.

  3. jomilly - Mar 25, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Surprised by the qb Zaire commitment, guess the conversation is open to whip h current qb will be xferring. Great job with the o line

    • Keith Arnold - Mar 25, 2012 at 9:51 PM

      Not sure why you’d focus on who’s transferring after a weekend like this, but Brian Kelly has been open about adding one QB per class. This certainly continues that trend.

      • jomilly - Mar 25, 2012 at 9:55 PM

        im not going to guess, but I can do quick math and see that 5 qb’s on scholarship doesnt work well. I think that logical reasoning will say that someone is going to be left and out and they are all good enough to touch the field. Well whoever it is, I will wish them well. And get back to focusing on whos here.

      • bernhtp - Mar 25, 2012 at 10:14 PM

        I would think that Golson would be the only one that would be in a position to consider a transfer, but his interview made it clear that he would just work even harder if he didn’t get the nod. Everett displays a very humble, mature and positive demeanor.

      • nudeman2point0 - Mar 26, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        Agree … let’s focus on the guys who WANT to be at ND

        Re the question that Golson was asked (“what will you do if you don’t win the job”), he answered it exactly the right way which shows a level of maturity in itself. Having said that, it’s one thing to say in March “I’ll just keep plugging away”; it’s an entirely different mindset if the question is asked in December if he’s been on the bench this year.

        So I don’t place a ton of stock in what he has to say about it right now. Besides, I’m betting he wins the job and hope he holds it, which would render this issue completely moot.

  4. irishbornraised - Mar 25, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    According to Rivals ND just got a commit from a solid dual threat QB (7th overall QB) today. Name is MALIK ZAIRE

  5. bernhtp - Mar 25, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    The warm weather obviously showed off the glory of Notre Dame in full this weekend.

  6. 9irish - Mar 26, 2012 at 5:19 AM

    good grief…the guys are huge! good stuff…whoever you have behind the line doesn’t help much if nobody clears the way. I think the OL has already come a long way from 5 years ago anyway

  7. mattnef - Mar 26, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    I guess that answers that about Heistand. Wow.
    It looks like the recruiting philosophy is just get as many big atheletic tackles as they can find and sort out the tackle/guard situation later? I’m assuming all four of these kids are high school tackles. Going to be crazy in a year or two when the smallest OL is 6’6” 310 lbs.
    And I have a feeling they will take one more elite OL if it pans out that way. Who knows what might happen if the team is 10-2 and wins a BCS game, if they are already recruiting like this after last season.

    • nudeman2point0 - Mar 26, 2012 at 9:50 AM

      Nice. Now they can focus on WRs and CBs.

  8. fnc111 - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Win some games. ND unfortunately always leads the way in hype

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