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Freshman Focus: Mike McGlinchey

Jul 14, 2013, 8:43 AM EDT

Mike McGlinchey

If you’re looking for a developmental prospect along the offensive line, there might be no better candidate than Philadelphia native Mike McGlinchey. With a frame that seems like a mold breaker and the size and athleticism to play the post for Mike Brey, McGlinchey is a true tackle prospect on an offensive line that often times resembles five guards.

While early enrollee Steve Elmer looks like the type of player that could slide in at left tackle after Zack Martin heads to the NFL, McGlinchey gives Harry Hiestand a big body they can be patient with at right tackle, and a guy with athleticism that excites the coaching staff.

Let’s take a closer look at McGlinchey.


Notre Dame wasn’t the only school that saw a budding star at offensive tackle, with McGlinchey receiving plenty of impressive offers. Long thought to be a Penn State lean, McGlinchey took an unofficial visit to South Bend and was ready to commit in short order.

A four-star, top 250 type player, McGlinchey turned down Florida, Florida State, Boston College, Michigan, Miami and Wisconsin among about a dozen others, with the Irish landing a two-sport star that they think could become something special.

“He’s another young man that has the athleticism to play the tackle position, but he’s athletic enough that he’s played tight end,” Brian Kelly said on Signing Day. “We were really impressed with the way he played basketball. He was a ferocious competitor, ran well, and is somebody that is going to continue to get stronger physically.”


In short, there’s next to no pressure on McGlinchey to see the field early. With a lot of growing into his body to do, nor should there be. With Zack Martin, Christian Lombard and Ronnie Stanley the Irish look like they have three tackles that Kelly and Hiestand can trust to play at a BCS level. Behind that, there’s a belief that true freshman Steve Elmer can step in and contribute if needed. After that? Well, it could get interesting.

Health along the offensive line — or at least healthy depth — won’t truly come until the 2014 season, when McGlinchey and Elmer will have a season under their belt, Lombard will be in his fifth year, and Stanley will be entering his third season (but just his sophomore year of eligibility thanks to a season-ending elbow injury). With Quenton Nelson and Alex Bars set for ’14, things start to look healthy quick.


Speaking to some people around the program, there’s a belief that McGlinchey could be a future star. He’s got the athleticism this staff covets along with some badly needed size. After losing prospects like Jordan Prestwood and Tate Nichols, the Irish have suffered some tough luck up front, and back-to-back recruiting classes in ’13 and ’14 will restock the offensive line.

If Elmer, Stanley and McGlinchey all develop, it could give the Irish the opportunity to shift Christian Lombard inside in ’14, opening up a job for the winners of the positional battle. Right now, it appears that it’s Elmer and Stanley with the inside tracks, but it’s up to McGlinchey to work hard in the weight room and turn into the type of athletic and massive tackle prospect that swallows up defensive ends.

We still haven’t been able to see how Brian Kelly likes to truly use his offensive linemen, as creating depth and keeping players fresh really hasn’t been possible with numbers being what they were. That critical lack of bodies up front killed the Irish in the run-up to last season’s BCS Championship, and still leaves them susceptible to injuries derailing the front five. But in the near future as the Irish begin war-chesting some impressive prospects, we’ll get to see how the staff successfully gets talented players on the field, and that could be the determining factor for a guy like McGlinchey.


  1. bernhtp - Jul 14, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Mike is a monster. At 6’9″ in high school, he is likely to grow at least another inch or two given that the very tall tend to keep growing longer. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at 6’11” by the time he stops.

    This seems well above the prototypical size, even for a tackle. While the advantages are obvious – take up more space and present more strength/mass to open holes and block gaps – there must be reasons you don’t see many such physiques playing the position other than there are fewer of them. Someone please educate me on OT physics and some of the reasons this is so rare.

    • nudeman - Jul 14, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      My response there would be that real tall guys don’t necessarily move that well laterally. Exhibit-A would be our boy Hercules. He can pile drive defenders when blocking but if you recall the Stanford game, the LB blew past his left side (I think) with ease and tackled Gholdston for 2 pts.

      Having said all that, maybe that doesn’t apply to McGlinchey, with the line about being able to play for Brey. Either way, it just seems to me that a kid named Mike McGlinchey from Philly needs to be at ND.

      Mike, come on down.

      • bernhtp - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        You’re thinking of this for Niklas at Stanford at 1:16. BTW, it was worse than a safety:

        In watching some of those highlights again, I think our receiving corps, including Riddick, was underrated last year. Look at all of the wobbly floaters tossed by Rees that our guys fought for and got. It made the difference in this game and several others.

      • ibleedirish - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        Recently re-watched this whole game (Aug 31 can’t come soon enough) and Troy Shirtless got absolutely smoked ALL DAY. He may have a body by Zeuss, but that kid flat out doesn’t like contact. I hope Welch/Koyack/Brooks can play well this year, my faith in Niklas is low. Hope I’m wrong. Had Rees been in all game he would have been sacked ten or so times.

        Spot on with the receiver comment. Even the biggest Rees fans have to admit those throws were just plain awful. One of them is only about 20 yards and it looks like he shot-puts the damn ball. Ugly.

  2. mtflsmitty - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    In a sea of interesting reporting and good insights from KA, this may be the most on-target editorial point of the 2013 season:

    “That critical lack of bodies up front killed the Irish in the run-up to last season’s BCS Championship, and still leaves them susceptible to injuries derailing the front five. But in the near future as the Irish begin war-chesting some impressive prospects, we’ll get to see how the staff successfully gets talented players on the field…”

    Controlling the line of scrimmage, on both sides of the ball, is 80% of the game. And everything else looks easy, or really difficult, depending on how you do with the first 80%.

  3. ndnapa - Jul 14, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    The problem with real tall guys is they lose the leverage battle. It’s easy for shorter DL to get under the OT and control him. They also tend to have a harder time flexing their knees in pass protection which makes them very vulnerable to a bull rush.

    • mtflsmitty - Jul 14, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      And yet, coaches seem to covet tackles 6’5+. I don’t disagree with your points, but there’s obviously a reason tackles are usually taller than interior linemen.

      Anyone know why?

      • nudeman - Jul 14, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        Maybe it’s because the DEs they’re blocking are themselves usually 6’5″+, so to the earlier point the leverage battle isn’t so easily conceded.

      • jmset3 - Jul 14, 2013 at 1:19 PM

        Long arms that help keep D linemen from getting inside the body.

    • 1historian - Jul 14, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      I remember Sam Young. He was 6’8 and 320 and arguably the most coveted OL prospect the year Weis recruited him. Because of a lack of depth on the OL (and his own talent) he started as a freshman. He was never what people hoped he would be and I think he’s still in the NFL but he’s nothing special.

      IMO it’s a good idea to recruit lots of DLs and OLs and whenever possible have them redshirt for a year.

    • bernhtp - Jul 14, 2013 at 5:36 PM

      I agree that a bull rush will be easier, but a swim move should be harder.

  4. bernhtp - Jul 14, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    I just watched this Goldstein highlight video. God we’re going to miss him this year.

    • rayguy14 - Jul 14, 2013 at 9:16 PM

      Hey maybe Tommy’s accuracy, decision making, arm strength, speed, and pocket mobility have all improved this season, after all as we keep hearing, he is a senior…yikes, we are gonna miss Ghoulston. The best we can hope for is a Kyle Orton-like ’06 Bears season. Throw for around 150 yards per game, don’t turn the ball over, let Greg Bryant/Folston/Carlisle run behind the best Irish O-line in years, and let the D take care of the rest. It’d be nice if we could throw some special teams into the mix as well.

      • papadec - Jul 14, 2013 at 9:59 PM

        rayguy – I think you just defined the 2013 season. I think I would add “improved” to special teams.

    • mtflsmitty - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:12 AM

      I agree, Bern. Pretty compelling 2 mins of tape.

      Go Irish!

    • irish4006 - Jul 15, 2013 at 2:22 AM

      Why would you post a video like this? Why???? 😭

      It was only his first year starting… one can only wonder what 2013 ND could accomplish with Ghoulstone.

    • mattnef - Jul 15, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      That was depressing.

    • ibleedirish - Jul 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      That completely ruined my day, thanks for nothing. He’s more accurate falling backwards, off one foot, about to get decapitated than Rees is standing still with 10 seconds of time and no breeze. Plus he can throw farther than 15 yrds, so thats nice.

    • hbmichael9 - Jul 15, 2013 at 8:04 PM

      I must’ve forgotten this as my blood was boiling against Pitt, but EG put the team on his back, huge stones for a first year player. I am fine if we can pound it on the ground, but I was so excited to see what his next step is.

  5. fnc111 - Jul 15, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    I bet Stanley transfers in the spring.

  6. fnc111 - Jul 15, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Going to be a long season guys. On the bright side everyone’s favorite dbag coach, CBK, won’t be going to the NFL for the 2014 season. A 5-7 record in his fourth year won’t get him there. After all he is “building a program” at ND right now.

    The politician Kelly has fooled almost everyone in our fan base! No depth in the offensive line, no punter, no special teams to speak of, and never developed one QB while at ND. What a con artist.

    90 percent of my fellow ND fans would credit Tommy Rees and Kelly as to the reasons why ND wins as of late. Wrong answer. Without Diaco, Te’o, and the D-Line this program would be a bigger joke than the ’07-’09 Weis years.

    There is no improving for TR this year. It’s simple. If he is the 2011 turnover machine or the guy we saw all game against BYU last year, the best we can expect is .500. Sooo many teams gunning for this guy.

    Props to the defense. The real heroes for ND. I wish more people would jump off the band wagon logic of “we won, let’s give all the credit to the QB.”

    • jmset3 - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:04 PM


  7. ohioirish - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Every time I read this blog and see the different spellings of Ghouldstone’s name, all I can think of is this:

  8. 11thstreetmafia - Jul 15, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    I think Gouldstone plays for Bedrock U.

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