Skip to content

Irish A-to-Z: Sam Mustipher

Jul 30, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

Sam Mustipher

In incoming freshman Sam Mustipher, offensive line coach Harry Hiestand found himself another interior offensive lineman who looks the part of a future starter.

Mustipher comes to South Bend from one of the top programs in the Washington D.C. area, a three-year starter at Good Counsel High School. With no rush to see the field at Notre Dame, Mustipher will join a depth chart filled with plenty of former blue-chippers, all looking for a chance to see the field.

Let’s take a closer look at Mustipher.


6’3″ 294 lbs.
Freshman, No. 53



Mustipher played in the Under Armour All-American game, and was a first-team All-State and All-City performer during his senior season at Good Counsel. A Top 250 recruit, Mustipher had elite offers before committing to Notre Dame in April, turning down Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Stanford.

That’s the type of offer list that should get you excited, and on Signing Day, Brian Kelly talked about his expectations for Mustipher, who camped at Notre Dame over the summer.

“Sam was another young man that we got a chance in the summer to see and spend time with. I think Coach Hiestand has done a great job in building relationships with all of these young men,” Kelly said. “He’s a powerful guy inside, and again, I think what stood out for us with Sam was his ability to move his feet.”



At this point, it’s beginning to sound like a broken record. Notre Dame has hand-picked offensive linemen with offers to play at some of the top programs in the country, so on paper just about every one of these guys that have been recruited by Kelly and Hiestand have the projected ability to help a program.

Of course, not all of them can do that, especially as the competition to see the field gets stiffer. But one thing that’s on Mustipher’s side is the excellent coaching he received at Good Counsel, a program that produces a ton of talent, and a school Notre Dame has to feel good about getting into.

Mustipher is not the towering prospect that many thought they signed, with his 6-foot-3 height limiting him to playing on the interior of the offensive line. He’s also not the most physically well put together lineman in the freshman class, meaning he’ll need to get friendly with Paul Longo and his staff before he’s ready to contribute in the trenches.

But all of that is nit-picky. Mustipher has everything you want from a young lineman, and the elite offer list he holds all but proves it.



Something quite eventful would need to happen for Mustipher to see the field in 2014. So his eligibility clock likely starts ticking in 2015, with Christian Lombard gone and Nick Martin, Conor Hanratty and Matt Hegarty in their (potential) fifth years. That should make for an interesting battle on the inside, with Steve Elmer likely able to shift back outside if needed and other linemen like Hunter Bivin, Colin McGovern and John Montelus all angling for playing time.

But projecting that far into the future is a fool’s errand, especially when we’ve seen so little of the linemen that will be fighting for a job. But as we continue rolling through this exercise, one thing is certain: There is no lack of talent along the offensive line.



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
Mike McGlinchey
Colin McGovern
Pete Mokwuah
John Montelus
Kendall Moore
Nyles Morgan

  1. dudeacow - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    52 down, 29 to go. You can do this, Keith.

  2. johngaltisspeaking - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:42 AM


    • kansasirish - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      You are a douche You are a douche You are a douche

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:30 PM

        The SEC does it the right way !

  3. johngaltisspeaking - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    So I was just checking out the Crystal Ball Projections for USC:

    They are about to add the following to there already insane class:

    Iman 5 star
    Green 5 Star
    Houston 5 Star
    Marvell 4 star
    Gustin 4 star
    Broadus 4 star
    Ross 4 Star
    Bell 4 star
    Alston 4 star
    Roberston 4 star
    Hawkins 4 Star

    How can this even be fair ?

    • mediocrebob - Jul 30, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      Wow. Coach $ark must’ve found a lot of boosters willing to buy houses for these guys. U$Cheats back at it again. Can’t wait to watch the Irish take another one in the collesium. At least they know that game will sell out. That place sure looks like the dump that it is when there’s 40k in there like multiple games last year.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:06 PM

        OH Jeez the excuses just keep stacking up and up. I take it Clemson pays their players and so does Penn State right ?

      • mediocrebob - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:29 PM

        Not sure how Penn State or Clemson have anything to do with $C. Seems like you were making excuses for $C being so mediocre since saint Pete Carroll left. He got out right in the nick of time, didn’t he?

    • dbldmr - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      I think there’s no point in even playing the season(s). Let’s just total up recruiting stars and assign wins and losses that way. Think of all the time and angst it will save us.

  4. andy44teg - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Just read a Forbes article on the top 100 colleges in America. ND is @ 17. The SEC has a whopping three (3) schools. Vandy @ 54, Florida @ 87, and the Dawgs @ 94. I think when people chant SEC SEC SEC they really are saying that the SEC only has 3 schools that are worth a $h!t.

    • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      And what does a college education have to do with football exactly ?

      • andy44teg - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:11 PM

        The term “Student-Athlete” apparently means nothing to you.

      • papadec - Jul 30, 2014 at 2:13 PM

        jg – I don’t believe you really asked that question – uhhhhh yeah, I guess I do.

      • ndoneill - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:43 PM

        I think johngalt is just having fun trolling everyone and having his comments taken seriously.

    • wisner74 - Jul 30, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      Overall, I’m with Nude on this one. You can get a fine education at any of hundreds of colleges and universities in this fine country.

      On the other hand, I’m curious: how may Big Ten schools made the Forbes list? I’ll bet it was a lot more than three. And while I’m at it, I’d guess that the ACC has more than the SEC but less than the Big Ten.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        An education is important these days but I have to say I know more successful and happily married friends who A are not Religious and B who never went to college. For those of you who are going into Law or Medicine or trying to get into Wall Street yes a big name 400k degree will open the doors. For the rest of us who are going to start a business or do just about anything else a ND degree is a waste of money. For the most part education has become a waste of money.

      • mediocrebob - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:33 PM

        You CAN get a good education at many colleges and universities across the country. And some do. The difference is that at Notre Dame, the athletes aren’t held to different standards. Maybe some of the athletes wouldn’t have gotten in to school if they weren’t athletically gifted, but once they’re in, they don’t get a free pass.

        “I didn’t come to Ohio State to play school. I came to play football”.

        Err something like that.

      • jmfinsd - Jul 30, 2014 at 5:23 PM

        jgis – “For the most part education has become a waste of money.” And clearly you have not “wasted” your money. You demonstrate that with every post.

      • blackirish23 - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:40 AM

        Mr. Galt – The National Unemployment Rate would beg to disagree with your bold assumption that “education is a waste of money.”

        National unemployment rate in June of this year is 6.8%

        Unemployment rate for no high school degree: 9.1%
        ………………………….. for high school graduates: 5.8%
        ………………….. some college or 2-year degree: 5.0%
        ……………………Bachelor’s degree and higher: 3.3%

        Notice a trend here?? Good luck with your bold decree about education being a waste of time and money. I’d say the facts offer evidence to the contrary.

    • domerboyirish - Jul 30, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      I’m sure most the football players @ Alabama can’t even spell SEC!

      You can’t spell ‘SUCK’ without USC!

    • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:08 PM

      Alabama has student Athletes what’s your point ?

  5. andy44teg - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    What’s Alabama’s GSR? somewhere around 70% last time I checked. So, you’re right, john. They do have student athletes. Less than 3/4 of the team. So what’s the other quarter do after college? Go to the NFL early? yeah..some…go back to mama’s house? yeah..some..Find a cozy 8X10 cell with a roommate named Bubba? yeah..some….

    • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:09 PM

      75 percent which all in all is not bad compared to the rest of CFB. Different strokes for different folks. This still doesn’t make Alabama a thug program.

  6. mattymill - Jul 30, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    Holy hell — look at the rabbit hole one comment from john led people down! For the love of God, just ignore him and he’ll stop filling each article with 20 trolling comments. I tell my 3 yr old daughter to ignore her big brother when he is just trying to goad a reaction out of her . . . it’s the exact same here.

    • dbldmr - Jul 30, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      Can we have your 3 yr old answer john? I’m sure her answer would be at least as cogent as the insights he shares with us.

    • papadec - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:42 PM

      matty – you’re right! You know you’re right! We know you’re right! jg knows you’re right. But, there’s nothing better to do for the next month but poke the trolls with sticks. Well, that’s not entirely true, but, you get the idea.

  7. irishdog80 - Jul 30, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    Student-Athlete is a misnomer for most programs. They are Athlete-Students. Check out the Alabama Press Guide. You won’t even see a mention of a major for any of their players. Most players are warehoused in a General Studies program…take all of the easy courses on campus regardless of the area of study. The end result is a worthless degree of 120-126 hours of unrelated courses, but an eligible player. ND’s General Program is a rigorous course of study that has students reading and writing about all the great works of literature. As others have noted, there are no easy passes at ND plus the athletes are competing against elite students in the classroom.

    • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      Do they read Atlas Shrugged ? If not than its a complete waste or an education.

      • papadec - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:48 PM

        Good grief jg – please proofread what you post. You are entitled to your opinion on the value of anything you have read. That one item is not the beat all, end all, of all literature.

      • 1historian - Jul 31, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        JG – I have to agree with Papadec – didn’t they teach you proofreading at Patrick Henry U.? Are Rag and Frank any better at it than you are?

        BTW – JG – Have you read it?

        I’ve read it 5 times since the 1st time in 1964. My reaction to it changes every time. The 3rd installment of the movie comes out this fall, or so they say. Neither of the 1st 2 was very well done, but it is a good idea to get the basic concept out there.

        Papadec – I’m not saying that it is the ‘be all’ (NOT ‘beat all end all’ (proofread much?) but it is an interesting read.

        On the other hand – ever since my dear departed daddy sat my (then skinny) 14 year old ass down at the kitchen table and put a book by P.G. Wodehouse in front of me and said “read this” I have been reading his books. One of the many virtues of his work is the fact that the older I get the funnier he gets.

        I also read a lot of Tom Clancy books about once every 5 years or so. The fact that we both went to the same H.S. has nothing to do with that.

        29 and a wakeup – GO IRISH!!

      • papadec - Aug 1, 2014 at 3:05 AM

        1hist – I understand your point. But, the point I was trying to make to jg was that Atlas Shrugged wasn’t better than anything else every written, or that will ever be written. He seems to think it is. Perhaps you missed the comma between beat all & end all? Also, while I do proofread – I still make mistakes.

    • tucsonfan - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:47 PM

      I’m not sure “reading and writing about all the great works of literature” does much for you in the job world, unless you want to be an English teacher. It’s also subjective grading, so lots of room to grade lightly if a prof were so inclined.

      A Notre Dame degree doesn’t guarantee success at anything, nor does any other school’s degree, Harvard and Yale included. You still have to put in the work and have the talent and personality to get ahead in life. Degrees are door openers, that’s all. Without one things are tougher but still doable. By the time someone has 5-10 years career time in, most companies don’t give a darn where you went to school, they just want performance and integrity. As a headhunter, the hiring spec I get always calls for a degree, sometimes in a particular discipline, but the actual career performance and types of companies worked at are far more important in assessing a candidate for any senior position. Degrees from different schools tend to balance out over time.

      • irishdog80 - Jul 31, 2014 at 12:25 AM

        Being able to read, comprehend and write at a high level are skills that apply to most professions. Many General Program majors from ND went on to successful careers in law, jounalism, advertising, and even teaching…which you seem to imply is a lowly all levels of education. That said, I am not sure what your point is. I was contrasting a General Studies Degree from Alabama with a General Program degree from ND. Are you trying to say that a General Studies degree from Alabama where an athlete may have never taken a more rigorous course than Football 101 is comparable to a General Program degree from ND? That you, as a head hunter, would look at a football player with a worthless degree and value him at the same level as a player with a meaningful degree. Do you find that poor students with meaningless degrees are highly prized in the job market?

      • irishdog80 - Jul 31, 2014 at 9:47 AM

        I agree that it is ultimately about how hard you work and your accomplishments/work performance. Just ask yourself this question, Who would you hire for a client’s Executive Training Program? The football player from Notre Dame with a meaningful 4 year degree or the football player from a football factory without a degree or a the owner of a meaningless degree? And we are not talking about the future NFL player from the program. We are talking about the guy that barely played on special teams.

      • 1historian - Jul 31, 2014 at 3:06 PM

        2 bennies to a degree from ND.

        1) If you have a degree from ND it means you EARNED it, and that can get you in the door.

        2) Given that ND has students from every state in the union and a lot from around the world, you have a pretty good chance of finding a fellow domer in a lot of places – The chances of finding a domer in a position to hire a fellow domer in Hawaii are probably a lot better than the chance of finding a Crimson Tide grad there.

  8. irishmob89 - Jul 30, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Anytime John gets proven wrong (which is pretty much all the time), he just retorts with “SEC” or refers to recruiting rankings that don’t mean a hill of beans, so expect some sort of SEC response soon from the Trojan man. Since U$C sucks right now, John needs a good team to fall back on until the U$C is good again (which will be a long time considering they can’t cheat anymore)…so he just picks Alabama. He’s just your typical fair weather fan. If Auburn or LSU wins the SEC this season while U$C goes 7-5, he’ll brag about Auburn and LSU.

    • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:12 PM

      HA HA HA that is funny … You say IF the SEC wins….. LOL

      • mediocrebob - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:40 PM

        He said ,”if Auburn or LSU win the SEC this year…” . Were you a student athlete in the SEC?

      • irishmob89 - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:34 PM

        John, you’re obviously a few french fries short of a happy meal. Read Bob’s comment. Also, you say “if the SEC wins”. You talk about the SEC like it’s one single football team. First you proved you can’t do basic math on a previous thread, now you show you don’t have any reading comprehension. HA HA HA.

    • tucsonfan - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:50 PM

      I think we should be careful about assuming USC will suck this year–they always scare the hell out of me, and they always have a bunch of studs. Their soph receiver, Agholor (spelling?) that we tried to recruit but lost to SC is a nighmare.

  9. jerseyshorendfan1 - Jul 30, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    Keith, I am fine with the “broken record” content of these offensive lineman profiles. Sounds like they are all pretty good players who were sought by the best of the best and we’ll have an above average O line for years to come. These battles are won (or lost) in the trenches and I like our odds here. I have a feeling that in 2014, we are gonna see this offense roll like never before. Big skill guys plus big power guys equals points on the board. I just hope the big uglies up front can play an up tempo spread and limit the false start calls. I hope also that Kelly gives Ghoulston the latitude to call the plays and not stand there for 20 seconds reading some goofy picture cards from the sidelines. Remember how idiotic that looked? I think those days are gone and we will see a completely revamped offense that can score and sees the red zone not as an obstacle, but an opportunity. Well, as you can see, I’m getting amped up for the season to start and already sipping that blue and gold kool-aid. Time to go ram my head into the wall a few hundred times to make it stop.

    • papadec - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:53 PM

      joisey – Glad to see you are alive & well in the Garden State.

      • jerseyshorendfan1 - Aug 1, 2014 at 12:30 PM

        Likewise my good fellow.

  10. newmexicoirish - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    Jersey I’d say one of the really nice this about having our o-line depth and talent is that it does give us the ability to run an up tempo offense. We have the luxury of rotating in fresh sets of legs every few downs without too much of a drop off in ability. There’s a lot of D-1 schools who would love tone in our shoes!
    On another note, it seems to me that Mustipher might be a very good fit at center. He certainly has the time to learn the offense and has some great guys to watch in Martin and Hegarty.

    • 1historian - Jul 31, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      We can only have an up tempo offense if the QB can get the next play from the sidelines faster. In the past few years the sight of TR or EG standing there trying to figure out what the heck play they were calling was embarrassing, not to mention it effectively killed whatever momentum was threatening to build up.

  11. 1historian - Aug 1, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    papadec – your 8/1 @ 3:05 a.m. – I don’t think anyone would argue that ‘Atlas Shrugged’ is a great piece of writing – I’ve never seen JG make that claim, perhaps I missed it when he did. I’ve made references to many of the other characters and places in the book and he has never responded to any of them. The fact that the book is still selling – 57 years after its initial publication – is remarkable. I first read it in 1964 when I was in the Navy in Florida. I couldn’t put it down. I’ve heard it described as a ‘philosophical adventure novel’, which sounds accurate. However I wish to point out that the fact that I’ve read it 5 times does NOT mean that I buy what she is selling 100%.

    Suggested reading (for anyone) – ‘Ayn Rand and the World She Made’ by Anne C. Heller, Random House, 2009.

    ‘Beat all, end all’ – indeed I did miss the comma. My bad. As you pointed out – we all make mistakes. Mille pardons, mon ami.

    You’ll excuse the brevity of my reply but I’ve got to get going on the 2nd phase of my 3 state crime spree, which you so kindly suggested a few months back.

Leave Comment

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