Round one of Notre Dame vs. Ohio State went to the Irish, when Ohio native and coveted 2016 OL recruit Tommy Kraemer committed to the Irish last fall. Round two appears to be coming to a close as both the Irish and Buckeyes battle for blue-chip lineman Liam Eichenberg.
The Cleveland and St. Ignatius product will be in South Bend again this weekend, taking a final look at Notre Dame before a visit to Ohio State will conclude his recruiting visits. Then Eichenberg plans on making a college decision.
Per BlueandGold.com, Eichenberg is just one of a handful of key recruits on campus this weekend. He’ll be joined by OT Ben Bredeson, the No. 1 rated player in Wisconsin and one of the top offensive tackles in the country.
Two 2017 prospects from Cincinnati’s St. Xavier will also be watching Saturday’s open practice, with quarterback Sean Clifford and lineman Matt Bockhorst also on campus.
While Bredeson already holds an Irish offer, the focus will likely stay on Eichenberg. Visiting with his parents, grandparents and brother, Eichenberg told Irish 247 what he was thinking about heading into the home stretch of his recruitment.
“I just want to spend some time with the players and the coaches,” Eichenberg told Tom Loy at Irish 247. “My main focus this weekend is to look at the depth chart with Coach Hiestand and see where I would fit in if I were to end up there. I want to see what it would be like as a student-athlete if I were to end up at Notre Dame. I’ve been there a lot, so it’s nothing new, but I do want to see where I would fit in on the field as a freshman.”
At Ohio State, early playing time is definitely part of the sales pitch. According to Eichenberg, Meyer—and former Irish assistant Tony Alford—having a spot in the starting lineup with his name on it.
“Ohio State has been telling me that I would pretty much come in and start right away at guard as a freshman,” Eichenberg told Irish 247. “I was told that Coach Meyer talks about me every day in meetings and he is talking about how much I’m needed.”
The Buckeyes have four returning starters projected on their 2015 offensive line and signed (literally) 12 offensive linemen in the last two recruiting classes, but it’s no surprise that Meyer, Alford and former Irish assistant Ed Warinner are pitching a job to Eichenberg.
Along the Irish front, 2016 could have a few openings as well. Nick Martin will be gone and Ronnie Stanley is expected to be as well. Guard Steve Elmer will be a senior, Mike McGlinchey will be a veteran and redshirt freshmen Alex Bars and Quenton Nelson are likely to be in the mix. But if Eichenberg is as good as the Irish staff thinks, he’ll have a chance to get in the mix, though Brian Kelly and Harry Hiestand‘s preference seems to be redshirting.