May 2, 2013, 5:08 AM EDT
Just a few days after adding one of the top running backs in the country, the Notre Dame coaching staff accepted the verbal commitment of New Jersey offensive lineman Quenton Nelson. The 6-foot-5, 285-pound offensive tackle had offers from Alabama, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford and a slew of others.
Nelson joins a growing offensive line class that includes projected guards Jimmy Byrne and Sam Mustipher. A Top 100 type of recruit, Nelson just won a pair of MVP awards on the recruiting circuit, impressing just about everyone at Rivals and Nike events, while looking like one of the elite prospects at his position in the country.
For those that enjoy the deep dig that comes along with evaluating high school offensive linemen in shorts and t-shirts, here’s Rivals.com’s recent review of Nelson’s performance at the New Jersey combine.
If there were any doubters about Quenton Nelson’s skills, he made them believers last weekend. Last year, Nelson still had some baby fat on him and some people questioned his physicality. On Saturday, Nelson showed up weighing about the same but he had slimed down and added muscle weight. It seemed like that new strength increased his confidence and made him more of a finisher.
Nelson’s exceptionally quick feet made it nearly impossible for any defensive end to beat him to the outside or counter to the inside. His strong, wide base helped him stop any bull-rush attempt by a defensive lineman. The most impressive thing about Nelson was his patience. He took a big kick step on the snap of the ball and waited to the defender to try to make a move. Nelson was able to slide his feet to get in front of the defender and time his punches almost perfectly. Nelson turned in a very impressive performance at Saturday’s camp.
With nine commitments, the Irish coaching staff has picked up some momentum heading into the summer. Just as importantly, with plenty of time until next February, Harry Hiestand’s troops have added another key building block, giving them the opportunity to be incredibly picky with any additional offensive line targets.
Nelson made his commitment official on Twitter and then went to work recruiting other elite prospects.