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Irish A-to-Z: Christian Lombard

Jul 19, 2014, 5:01 PM EST

Christian Lombard

One of four graduate students on the Irish roster, Christian Lombard feels like he’s been a part of the Notre Dame football program for a long time. As one of Charlie Weis’ earliest commitments in the 2010 class, Lombard has seen coaching changes, position switches and injury challenges in his five years in South Bend.

The injuries have only come recently. Back surgery ended 2013 for him after seven games. A freak wrist break ended his spring practice. But Lombard is healthy and will be back in the starting lineup, manning the right guard position for Harry Hiestand.

Let’s take a closer look at the Chicagoland product.

 

CHRISTIAN LOMBARD
6’5″, 315 lbs.
Graduate Student, No. 74

 

RECRUITING PROFILE

A USA Today and Parade All-American, Lombard played in the Army All-American Bowl, and looked the part of a blue-chip offensive lineman. The Gatorade Player of the Year for Illinois pledged very early to Notre Dame, a key building block to a transitional recruiting class.

Looking the part of an elite tackle, the Irish staff thought they had two key building blocks with Lombard and the late Matt James. Here’s more from Kelly on his first Signing Day in South Bend.

“Another premier offensive lineman,” Kelly said of Lombard’s talents. “If you’re looking at national recruits, both Lombard and James fill the bill for that, and on the offensive line, that’s why we’ve got some short-term successes and both of these guys are going to help us short-term and in the future as we develop our football program.”

 

PLAYING CAREER

Freshman Season (2010): Did not see action.

Sophomore Season (2011): Backup offensive tackle. Played in all 13 games, mostly on special teams.

Junior Season (2012): Started all 13 games for the Irish at right tackle.

Senior Season (2013): Shifted inside to right guard, starting all seven games he played in before a season-ending back injury.

 

UPSIDE POTENTIAL

There’s a very real chance that Lombard has the type of skill-set that allows him to continue playing this game for a long time, with his versatility paying dividends on the next level. Interestingly enough, while most recruiting analysts saw him as a tackle, the Irish coaching staff evaluated some of his high school film at right guard, a position he now mans, first because of Ronnie Stanley and now to give way to Mike McGlinchey.

Lombard has the body type of a guard, not quite big enough to be a right tackle. He also views himself as a guard, fully immersed in the transition. So if he’s capable of staying healthy this year after two injuries in the last calendar year, he should be a very productive veteran lineman for the Irish. And that could help get his name called in the next NFL draft, especially under Hiestand’s tutelage.

 

CRYSTAL BALL

While Kelly didn’t originally target and recruit Lombard, he’s always been high on him. One of the bigger decisions the Irish coaching staff made was letting tackle Matt Romine walk and play his fifth year elsewhere, counting on Lombard to step into the starting lineup and play. He did just that, starting all 13 games in 2012’s dream season.

From listening to Brian Kelly and sniffing around, there’s no reason to think that there’s any lingering issues with either the back or wrist. So if Lombard’s healthy, he’s a very key piece at guard, where Notre Dame has Steve Elmer playing in Chris Watt’s spot and Conor Hanratty serving as a primary backup.

One of just four fifth-year players on the Irish roster, both Lombard and Austin Collinsworth are slotted into the starting lineup. That’s a career to be proud of, especially with the way Kelly has restocked the roster these past few years.

***

The Irish A-to-Z
Josh Atkinson
Nicky Baratti
Alex Bars
Hunter Bivin
Grant Blankenship
Jonathan Bonner
Justin Brent
Kyle Brindza
Chris Brown
Jalen Brown
Greg Bryant
Devin Butler
Jimmy Byrne
Daniel Cage
Amir Carlisle
Austin Collinsworth
Ben Councell
Scott Daly
Sheldon Day
Michael Deeb
Steve Elmer
Matthias Farley
Tarean Folston
Everett Golson
Jarrett Grace
Conor Hanratty
Eilar Hardy
Mark Harrell
Jay Hayes
Matt Hegarty
Mike Heuerman
Kolin Hill
Corey Holmes
Chase Hounshell
Torii Hunter Jr.
Jarron Jones
DeShone Kizer
Ben Koyack

 

  1. footballnut85 - Jul 19, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    They don’t make them any better than this young man! I hope he has a healthy and productive season!

    • dickasman - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:07 PM

      I just thank god he’s not a Buddhist. It would be like Obama being Republican and creating a job or two that’s worth a dam. Quality over quantity my friends.

  2. irishmob89 - Jul 19, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    With the veteran leadership of Lombard, it can only help guys like Steve Elmer and our other young offensive lineman.

  3. shaunodame - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    If Weis were still around Lombard would probably be playing as the star Left Tackle. Much credit to coach Kelly and co. for landing all these fantastic linemen.

    For as much talk as there is around Kelly’s coordinators through the years I think his best assistant coach has been Harry Heinstand. Not only can he recruit bluechips but he continually molds them into some of the best and most versatile linemen in ALL of College Football.

    • shaunodame - Jul 19, 2014 at 11:04 PM

      Hiestand**

  4. yaketyyacc - Jul 20, 2014 at 5:55 AM

    good solid football player. Lombard sure serves as a mentor and steadying influence for younger players. ok Keith, you are at “L” and counting.

  5. johngaltisspeaking - Jul 20, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Big Ten Talent / Big East

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Jul 20, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      Big douche.

      • don74 - Jul 20, 2014 at 4:53 PM

        The question I ask is if he is ND talent. If the answers is yes, and in this instance it is, then I’m ok.

        22 starters, 15 key subs and 20 special teamers that are “ND talent” and play as a team will go places. How it ends up is a bounce, injury or crazy lucky play from playoff to top 15 finish.

      • heartofgoldandblue - Jul 20, 2014 at 9:57 PM

        Just burst out laughing on that one. Simple. Hilarious.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:44 PM

        I have no idea what Don74 is saying but Jersey Shore Bikini Barber made me laugh even though it was at my expense.

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