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Irish A-to-Z: Mike McGlinchey

Jul 24, 2014, 5:42 PM EDT

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Notre Dame broke the mold when they signed offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey. With a body better suited for Mike Brey’s hardwood, the Philadelphia native looked like a developmental project when he pledged his commitment to Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish.

But McGlinchey’s star has risen quickly, and when spring football arrived it was McGlinchey who was ready for the starting lineup, given the first shot to slide into the right tackle position vacated by Ronnie Stanley. It’s a sign that Harry Hiestand is ready to put his faith in McGlinchey, a key cog on an offensive line that’ll be as good as the sophomore allows.

Let’s take a closer look at Notre Dame’s starting right tackle.


6’7.5″, 300 lbs.
Sophomore, No. 68



Both Rivals and 247 saw McGlinchey as a four-star prospect. But 247 was far more bullish on McGlinchey’s future, ranking him as one of the Top 150 players in the country. With offers from Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin, the datapoints are there to suggest that he was an elite recruit. But at a reported 6-foot-9, the question started to be, “Is McGlinchey too big for football?”

On Signing Day, Kelly talked about the issues, while also focusing in on the incredible athleticism McGlinchey possesses for his size.

“Mike is another young man that as he continues to grow, we worry that Mike Brey is going to take him from us,” Kelly said. “He could be 6’11” here soon, but 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. 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.  He comes from a great high school, William Penn Charter School, just a perfect fit for us at Notre Dame, and again, on the offensive line gives us that long‑reach guy that can play the tackle position for us.”



Freshman Season (2013): Did not see action.



The sky is the limit for McGlinchey, who is building a bit of a mythology before ever stepping on the field for the Irish. Multiple times, Kelly has talked about McGlinchey’s athletic ability — either throwing the football, playing basketball or having the ability to do something freakishly athletic.

All those skills are great traits to possess, but how that translate onto the football field come August 30th is all that matters. At this point, McGlinchey’s only 6-foot-7.5, not too big, and certainly checks all the elite size/athleticism boxes you could ever ask for.

But again, having the tools is far more important than having the tool box. So McGlinchey will have to prove he’s up to the task in 2014.



McGlinchey is one of the few players where you can honestly say that the season hinges upon his ability. If McGlinchey can’t cut it at right tackle, a pretty significant domino-effect is going to happen. Steve Elmer will shift to right tackle, Conor Hanratty could be the next guard in, or guys like Matt Hegarty or Colin McGovern all of a sudden get an opportunity to play on the inside, taking away some of the depth that’s been so enviable.

At this point, it’s worth looking back at the offensive linemen Kelly has taken a shot on at a young age. First was a redshirt freshman from Indiana that was plugged in at left tackle from the beginning. It worked out okay for Zack Martin. Next was Lombard, who stepped in at right tackle in 2012, when Matt Romine had a fifth year available.

Ronnie Stanley more than proved his worth in a very impressive debut campaign last year. As did Steve Elmer, who played big minutes as a true freshman. That all bodes very well for McGlinchey, who has the size, length and athleticism to do some very impressive things at right tackle.


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
Christian Lombard
Tyler Luatua
Cole Luke
Nick Martin
Greer Martini
Jacob Matuska
Cam McDaniel

  1. golfboy66 - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    Sometimes I think we get so close to the program that it’s hard to be truly objective, but I believe that this year’s offense can be as dynamic as any in the country. We are deep, very talented, big and fast and strong. I also believe that on the other side of the ball we should be much better than a lot of folks are prognosticating. Each level of the defense is anchored by a stud (Day, Smith, Russell) who are all potential All-Americans. Most of the rest of the pieces have been in the program long enough now to have been developed by BK and his staff to be at least a better than average unit. This is by far the most important year of Coach Kelly’s tenure. It’s as in place as it might ever be. Let’s see what you got, coach.
    I’ve said it before. The difference between being a good team and a great team this year, one with NC aspirations, could simply be special team play and attention to detail. Let’s play with discipline, LEARN TO TACKLE, improve dramatically on coverage teams and in the red zone, etc. All, and I mean all, the elite teams in the country emphasize and give equal weight to the little things, the details. It’s what separates them from the rest of the pack. I’ve never really seen this focus during BK’s time at ND. Hopefully, this is the season when those needs are addressed as well. Go Irish!!

    • papadec - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:00 PM

      I hope you’re right. I think we’ll surprise a lot of people this year.

    • onward2victory - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:56 PM

      I think you’re right that the national media is under-valuing ND this year (big surprise). This offense should be really good and score a lot of points as long as Kelly pushes the tempo.

      But I’m very worried about the defense. I think we have some very good players starting, as you mentioned. But the depth in the front 7 is frightening. What happes if Day and/or Jones get hurt? Will Ishaq take the leap forward that we’re hoping to see? Middle linebacker is going to be a battle between a walk on, a guy recovering from a destroyed leg, a true freshman, a converted safety, and a converted WR. Yikes. And then while I love the potential of the secondary, they are very unproven. What if KVR gets “Jeremy Galloned” again? Is Redfield going to be ready? Will the safeties tackle better this year?

      Overall I think the defense will be average and the offense will have to carry the team. But if the defense can stay healthy and take some big steps forward individually, this has the potential to be a really special season.

  2. bernhtp - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    Mike McGlinchey has my vote for first one off of the bus.

  3. johngaltisspeaking - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    That is why you have to recruit in the top ten .

    • mediocrebob - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:32 PM


    • dwp1991 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:02 AM

      Ha, the year McGlinchey was recruited Rivals ranked our class #3 in the country, you half-wit. Sorry, I’m not even sure why I responded to that.

  4. jerseyshorendfan1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:28 AM

    A big, strapping Irish lad playing for ND……love it.

  5. yaketyyacc - Jul 25, 2014 at 7:26 AM

    We have all agreed that the Irish will be very very good. well pointed out, it will also depend on how Kelly pushes the tempo.
    McGlinchey fortifies the optimistic outlook. The clock to reality is ticking, and in a few weeks, we will see if we have been buying words or words based on facts. Answer: Keith has given us facts. The schedule is tough, our team is tougher.

  6. 4horsemenrideagain - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    McGlinchey will catch a touchdown before it’s all said and done, and maybe a few of them. I can only imagine what his wingspan is. He will have the words “tackle eligible” ringing in Def. Coordinators ears.

    • martyhealy - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:02 AM

      Good point on using a OL guy like McGlinchey as a 2nd TE, That’s a lot of beef up front to run in those short yardage situations and if you chose to pass. Now, we can give the defense something to worry about. I for one thinks we might surprise this year. Only, Florida and USC really worry me. I think USC has the talent to explode to the upside this year.

      • 4horsemenrideagain - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:45 AM

        I keep hearing about SC’s talent, but i’m not sold on their QB, Russell has a good shot at containing Agoholor and an attacking front seven can mean a long day for their run game. I also feel good about our offense hanging up some points on them, so it’s not going to be a low-scoring game like last year as I see it.

        Florida State, now that’s a different story. I will jump off that bridge when I come to it, though I will say that a line with ND as a 23 point dog is only about getting money flowing in, not about what the final spread will be.

  7. johngaltisspeaking - Jul 25, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Nobody likes me anymore

    • nudeman - Jul 25, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      I do. Love provocateurs

    • papadec - Jul 25, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      Nobody liked you to begin with.

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      Congrats on your most astute comment to date. Keep ’em coming.

  8. mediocrebob - Jul 25, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    I’m a big K Russell fan and think he’s solid. I’m just not quite sold on all the first round talk. We haven’t even seen him as the lock down corner yet. I think it’ll be an adjustment for him and the rest of th defense. If he plays his way into the first round this year, it likely means big things for the Irish.

    As for McGlinchey, whether he wins a starting job or not, he will see the field a lot I’m sure. The job BK and HH have done have been talked about plenty and it’s a tribute to their work that they’re in the position they’re in.

    • ibleedirish - Jul 26, 2014 at 9:06 AM

      Agree on Russell. I do think he’s talented, but who has he really shut down one on one at this point? Similar to the lead up to Gary Grays senior year, I think some people are confusing WANTING 1st round talent at corner, with actually HAVING 1st round talent at corner. Hope I’m wrong, and will be the first to admit when I am, but I’m not sure he’s in the same league as Darqueze Dennard. We do have more depth at DB that I can remember, so that’s encouraging.

  9. shaunodame - Jul 25, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    It’s hard to look at McGlinchey and not see coach Heistand’s finger prints all over him. This guy transitioned from being used primarily as a Tight End in high school to the starting Right Tackle at Notre Dame as Redshift Freshman. That’s astounding! Like I said in a previous post, Harry Heistand is probably the best assistant coach on the entire staff.

    • notredameirish1980 - Jul 25, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      And he has become a heck of a recruiter. Recruits are ‘lining up’ to play for him.

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