Apr 23, 2012, 12:12 AM EDT
It appeared that Notre Dame was done recruiting offensive line prospects, with Hunter Bivin, Steve Elmer, Mike McGlinchey, and Colin McGovern restocking the future depth chart. But the Irish had room for one more along the line, with Everett, Massachusetts’ John Montelus giving his commitment to the Irish coaching staff after seeing campus for the first time this weekend.
Montelus, an imposing 6-foot-5 and 315-pounds, is actually the shortest of the Irish recruiting commitments. He’s also got one of the most impressive offer lists of the group, with the Irish beating out Florida, where Montelus just visited, Ohio State, Michigan, USC, Nebraska and a dozen others for one of the top prospects in the northeast.
“I knew right away this was the place I wanted to play at. Committing is a huge weight off my shoulder,” Montelus told the Boston Herald during the visit. “I liked the academics and I loved the coaching staff. I can see myself playing here.”
That the Irish expanded their wish list along the offensive line shows how highly they think of Montelus. And after receiving the commitment of four guys that look like tackle prospects, fitting Montelus into the interior line discussion makes a lot of sense, especially for a guy that looks really athletic on tape.
After starting out slow along the offensive line, Irish fans were squirming, especially after Michigan began snapping up some of the Midwest’s bigger names. But the Irish have more than rebounded, and their five-man class compares quite favorably to the Wolverine’s at least from the perspective of scholarship offers. (All five Irish commitments had an offer from Michigan. Three of the Wolverines’ commitments have ND offers.)
Montelus’ story off the field seems to be just as good as his work on the gridiron. Raised by a single mom that’s been working her way through nursing school, Montelus had hoop dreams before coaches at his school worked with him to develop as a football player. He’s started at left tackle for Everett High, who have won back-to-back Super Bowl titles. Montelus drove to campus with his offensive line coach to take in the Blue-Gold game. The result is Notre Dame landing one of the best offensive line hauls in the country.
“I don’t know if they could have done any better,” 247Sports.com recruiting analyst Steve Wiltfong told the South Bend Tribune. “These are all guys that were high on their board. Offensive line was one of the big things that Notre Dame needed. To land the caliber of guys that they landed — and you can look at all five of their offer lists and see how highly sought after they were — Notre Dame landed five really good ones.”