Skip to content

Irish receive commitment from blue-chip OL Alex Bars

May 18, 2013, 4:04 AM EDT

Alex Bars

The future depth chart along the offensive line for Notre Dame just received another star-studded name when Tennessee’s Alex Bars gave his verbal commitment to the Irish coaching staff. The 6-foot-6, 280-pound linemen picked Notre Dame over an elite offer list, turning down Michigan, Ohio State, LSU, Penn State and Stanford among a slew of other top programs.

Bars is following in his father’s footsteps, as his dad Joe played for the Irish from 1981-1984. But the sway of a family connection wasn’t the only thing factoring into the decision, as Bars has a brother on the offensive line at both Penn State and Michigan, two schools that recruited the four-star prospect heavily. Home state Tennessee made a huge push with Bars as well, as did Ohio State and Urban Meyer.

What most teams see in Bars is a very athletic big body, and a lineman that is showing technical skills to match. If Bars does actually measure out at 6-foot-6, that’s plenty of height to play tackle for the Irish, giving this recruiting class a nice combination of inside and outside players, with Quenton Nelson and Bars looking like tackles and Sam Mustipher and Jimmy Byrne profiling as guards.

With depth dangerously low along the offensive line at portions of this season, Brian Kelly, Chuck Martin and Harry Hiestand committed to restocking the cupboards. They’ve done so in fairly miraculous fashion. It’s still too early to know how well these players will develop, but from a recruiting profile point-of-view, here’s what the Irish have done so far, with one spot likely still open in the ’14 class for an elite target.

Offensive line recruiting ’13-’14
Hunter Bivin
Steve Elmer
Mike McGlinchey
Colin McGovern
John Montelus
Alex Bars
Jimmy Byrne
Sam Mustipher
Quenton Nelson

The only lineman in that group that didn’t garner four stars from Rivals was Colin McGovern, who was good enough to get an offer from Nick Saban and Urban Meyer.

Bars announced his commitment on Twitter and also made probably the comment of record ($) to Irish Illustrated’s Jake Brown when discussing his decision:

“I thought about it real hard for like the last month,” Bars said. “Pressure started coming on and spots started filling up. I just realized that was the school for me.”

Those spots are now filled with four very highly rated linemen, and Bars the highest ranked player, currently No. 55 in the Rivals100. He’s the tenth verbal commitment in the Irish recruiting class.


  1. aceinthehole12 - May 18, 2013 at 4:29 AM

    This line + the backs that have been recruited = watch out nation.

  2. 1historian - May 18, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    Good to see they are building the OL so well. If you get to the point where you can redshirt 4 of them every year you’re where you need to be.

    QBs – This season we have Golson, Maire, Rees and Hendrix. Rees is in his 4th season so next year he’s gone. Hendrix is in his 4th year academically but he could probably get another year athletically.


    Given that he is a pre-med major – wouldn’t that mean he wants to go to med school? If he is due to get a B.A. or B.S. in June of 2014 – why would he want to stand on the sideline for another year (2014) instead of going on to med school? Which brings up the question – how many QBs are we going to try to recruit in this upcoming class? I would think that we need 2, so we have 4. But I have read that prior to Kiel’s departure the powers that be were not going to try to recruit a QB in the upcoming class.

    I’m sure that I’m missing something, so I am here to ask for some enlightenment.

    BTW – See the new Star Trek flik, see it in 3D. 2 hours of topnotch escapist entertainment.

    • skahops - May 18, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      ND now has a medical school. It is located across from the Main entrance on Notre Dame Ave. So, Hendrix could stay at ND and attend medical school his fifth year.

      • rdw71 - May 18, 2013 at 12:23 PM

        Not true on two counts. 1) The medical school is Indiana University’s, not Notre Dame’s. 2) There is no #$%^ing way he could practice and play football at the same time he was learning anatomy, physiology, etc. in med school. He would flunk out of one or the other.

      • skahops - May 18, 2013 at 11:40 PM

        This is from the Bulletin from IU School of Medicine. All of the students that I have met studying at ND/IU Med School claim to be ND students. Pre Med at ND is not in some ways different that Med School. Plus Not everyone takes what might be considered a full load of classes. Hopes this dispel anyone believing that ND does not have a medical school. Go Irish Saws.

        Indiana University School of Medicine—South Bend

        Assistant Dean and Director: Professor Navari

        The Indiana University School of Medicine—South Bend is located on the campus of the University of Notre Dame (UND). South Bend is the center of a metropolitan area extending from Elkhart, Indiana, to Niles, Michigan, with an urban population of more than 300,000. Students assigned to the center are considered special graduate students of the University of Notre Dame and are eligible for privileges of UND students. Most medical students live off campus. Assistance in locating housing is available through the office of the center and through the University of Notre Dame.

    • nudeman - May 18, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      I would watch a 4 hour, no commercial, HD version of “The Tommy Rees Story” before I’d watch 15 min of anything Star Trek

      • mtflsmitty - May 20, 2013 at 12:04 AM

        Dude, you’re brutal. But that’s funny.

  3. 1historian - May 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    As the song goes – I did not know that.


  4. dudeacow - May 18, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Jeez… this is going to be one stinkin’ good offensive line. Some schools get depth at this position- some 4 stars, but mostly three stars- but ND is getting starting depth- nine players, all capable of starting. The only thing these classes have been lacking is an elite prospect, so I expect the Irish to really start recruiting Braden Smith hard now. 5 star, #2 OT, loves ND and TX A&M. And Keith, Scout graded McGovern as the #9 OT. But I suppose his Alabama offer speaks more than anything.

    I don’t think the Irish are switching to BK’s Cincinnati offense. Looks more like Alabama’s. Win in the trenches, have a power back, have an efficient QB. ND has all of those. If they were switching, more WRs would be committing, and the Irish probably wouldn’t have been recruiting Hood.

  5. dudeacow - May 18, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    BTW ND is now #1 in Scout’s team rankings, #2 in Rivals’.

  6. irishaggie - May 18, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    I like what notre dame is doing in recruiting. They are picking up guys from the south. We are virtually stealing them from the SEC and thats what we need to do to compete for national championships. The best players in the country are in the south by far and you can see the emphasis ND is taking.

  7. jerseyshorendfan1 - May 18, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Kid looks good. Has a brother at PSU and one at UM that play OL? That’s impressive but I wouldn’t to pay their grocery bill every week. Thems are some big boys. Oh and I agree with you histy the Star Trek movie is good and I have never been a sci fi fan or Trekkie, in fact, I usually avoided that crap. Agree see in 3D.

  8. irish1958 - May 18, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    When I was in first year medical school, one of my classmates played tight end on the university football team. So it could be done.

  9. 10of14 - May 18, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    Cue the OSU fan with their patented comment; “we backed off this kid weeks ago because he wasn’t up to the level we had expected.” HA!!! Urban was in another coeds bed and missed out on this one.

  10. nudeman - May 19, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Just saw something interesting. In addition to their star ratings, Rivals also ranks recruits on another more granular scale with 6.1 being the highest possible rating and means the player has definite All American and probably NFL potential. For example Elijah Hood is a 6.1; maybe Vanderdoes too.

    Anyway the average rating for ND OL recruits has gone up steadily each of the last 4 yrs under Kelly; something like 5.4, 5.6, 5.7 and now 5.9 in 2014.

    Great way to build a team; and funny … the knock on Hiestand was he.couldn’t recruit.

    • mtflsmitty - May 20, 2013 at 12:08 AM


      Are those #s actual Rivals OL averages you researched, or estimates?

      • nudeman - May 20, 2013 at 1:08 AM

        Those are the averages of the OLs ND has gotten the last 4 years under BK. Steady increase.

        Btw the guys rated 6.1 in 2013 class are Vanderdoes, Jaylon Smith, and Redfield. I don’t follow the history of those ratings but I’d venture to say that’s the first time in a LONG time ND has had three guys rated 6.1 in one class.

      • nudeman - May 20, 2013 at 1:15 AM

        Sorry … Make that 4
        Forgot Greg Bryant. And some think Folston is even better.
        But 3 on one side of the ball is impressive

      • nudeman - May 20, 2013 at 1:39 AM

        OK, went back and re-read the article.
        Here are the exact numbers:
        2010: 5.625
        2011: 5.68
        2012: 5.75
        2013: 5.86
        2014: 5.92

        Nice trajectory. An average of 5.92 pretty much means you’re getting nothing but guys with AA and NFL potential.

        Alzo, the way Rivals defines these ratings, the diff between a 5.62 rating (2010) and 5.92 (2014) is HUGE.

        Again, this is the average rating for ND’s OL recruits.

      • mtflsmitty - May 21, 2013 at 12:24 AM

        Thanks, man. Solid data. And yeah, pretty awesome trajectory.

        Now, can you run the same analysis by position group for the same seasons, and run a regression analysis to define the dependent and independent variables for a predictive model for recruiting success by position group. Thanks in advance.

  11. bb90grad - May 20, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    I would watch a 4 hour, no commercial, HD version of “The Tommy Rees Story” or anything Star Trek before I’d spend 15 min crunching esoteric OL data.

    Just kidding NuDe, you’re still in top form…

  12. bernhtp - May 20, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    Keith, you should link to this article and comment on it:

    Here are my perspectives on large video boards in ND Stadium:

    1. I’m not against them in principle, but hate them in every implementation I’ve seen.

    2. Notre Dame, without a jumbotron, has a superior fan experience than anywhere else I’ve been, and I’ve been to a lot of college football games and venues.

    3. The use of technology has been mixed at ND, but we ultimately get it right. For example, the 2011 USC game saw the introduction of the new audio system. While aspects were cool, the overuse of music – Crazy Train played on every needed stop, and there were a ton of them given the way USC was marching up and down the field – detracted from the normal atmosphere. However, that was fixed last year when the use of piped music, Crazy Train or not, was diminished and instead they mic’ed the band, which was brilliant.

    4. Displays of garish commercial messages are not in keeping with Notre Dame spirit and tradition. Not only are they unnecessary to the finances of the university, but undermine what makes ND unique.

    5. Video flashes, explosive sounds, and loud/bright messages to cheer are also poor substitutes for crowd participation. It is my experience that they diminish it; people look at the board instead of the game and otherwise don’t participate as much.

    6. I am fine with some video replays and the display of football-specific stats information. But shifting the focus from the field to the video board is generally a mistake.

    7. My bet is that ND ultimately incorporates video technology into the stadium, but mercifully avoids most of the mistakes made by others. Swarbrick appears to be adhering to the Hypocratic dictum of first do no harm. Conservative is fine here.

    • nudeman - May 20, 2013 at 5:33 PM

      What are you hearing about Vanderdoes?
      Lots of smoke out there about “issues” re: him making it to ND
      Doesn’t sound like grades; sounds like he might be gagging on leaving CA

      • ibleedirish - May 20, 2013 at 9:32 PM

        Lots of chatter on twitter about this, including Jaylon Smith trying to convince him to stay. Doesn’t sound good.

      • bernhtp - May 20, 2013 at 9:41 PM

        I’m out of the country and not hearing anything, but was (generically) warned a month ago that everyone might not make it.

      • borromini - May 20, 2013 at 11:27 PM

        There are message board melt-downs at just about every Irish recruiting site tonight as each report consistent news from sources close to EVD that he has had a change of heart.

        This sucks…

  13. loadofwash - May 27, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    I wonder if this goon has any make believe friends?

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!