Inside the Irish

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Notre Dame gets the letters: John Dirksen and Cole Mabry, consensus three-star offensive linemen

JOHN DIRKSEN

Marion Local; Maria Stein, Ohio.

Measurements: 6’5”, 300 lbs.

Accolades: Consensus three-star; No. 37 offensive tackle in the class per rivals.com and No. 28 prospect in Ohio.

Other Notable Offers: Notre Dame offensive line coach Harry Hiestand identified Dirksen and secured his commitment before the recruitment got out of hand. Nonetheless, Dirksen received offers from Iowa State, Michigan State and Boston College.

Projected Position: Offensive guard.

Quick Take: The Irish could afford to take only so many offensive linemen in this class (though not necessarily done). Thus, who filled those slots became a selective process. That fact alone, along with Hiestand’s track record, should illustrate a bright future for Dirksen.

Short-Term Roster Outlook: Notre Dame returns four starting linemen for next season, so Dirksen’s chances of breaking into the lineup from the outset are slim, even if the same would have been said of current freshman Robert Hainsey a year ago, now one of those aforementioned returning starters.

Long-View Depth Chart Impact: At some point or another, every offensive lineman gets his chance under Hiestand. That may be at guard or tackle for Dirksen, with a frame that could fit at either position. A guard spot will open up following the 2018 season with senior Alex Bars using up his eligibility. Otherwise, Dirksen may need to wait another two years for sophomore Tommy Kraemer and Hainsey to finish up their time.


(rivals.com)

COLE MABRY

Brentwood High School; Tenn.

Measurements: 6’6”, 275 lbs.

Accolades: Consensus three-star; No. 65 offensive tackle in the class per rivals.com and No. 23 prospect in Ohio.

Other Notable Offers: Mabry committed on Valentine’s Day this spring, preventing any senior year jumps in scholarship offers. Cincinnati, Indiana and Memphis had already chased him to that point.

Projected Position: Offensive guard.

Quick Take: Bringing in Mabry helps counteract the effects of losing two linemen to transfer in the 2017 offseason. He may not be a contributor from the outset, but the practice depth he provides is a value on its own, let alone the future possibilities he offers.

Short-Term Roster Outlook: Mabry will almost certainly spend 2018 preserving a year of eligibility.

Long-View Depth Chart Impact: Mabry would enhance his future possibilities by becoming a utility knife of a lineman, a la Hunter Bivin. At some point, one of those can then become his specialty.