The Commitments: The offensive line

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Part two of our series recapping the recruiting commitments set to sign letters-of-intent with Notre Dame next Wednesday.

Often times, the most attention is heaped on the recruit that got away. That was certainly the case when Taylor Decker, a six-foot-eight, 310-pound tackle that was long pledged to the Irish flipped his commitment to Ohio State after coaches Ed Warinner and Tim Hinton did the same. After months of simmering on the back burner as the Irish’s longest tenured recruit, Decker made gigantic waves, throwing away a commitment that had lasted since early March to join Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes in the final month of recruiting.

Decker’s defection was part of a wave of negativity, coupled with Ronald Darby’s reopening of recruitment, a bad week turned on its head when the Irish were able to flip five-star quarterback Gunner Kiel the day before the spring semester started. Even without Decker, the Irish are adding two (technically three including long-snapper Scott Daly) linemen to the fold, a slender class, but one that likely won’t haunt the Irish because of their significant depth along the front line.

Let’s take a look at the three linemen the Irish will be adding next Wednesday:

RONNIE STANLEY
High School: Bishop Gorman — Las Vegas, Nevada
Measureables: Six-foot-seven, 290-pounds
Other major offers: Auburn, Cal, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA, USC
Fun Fact: Bishop Gorman will have over a dozen players in D-I football next year.
On choosing Notre Dame: “LeBron took his talents to South Beach. I’m taking my talents to South Bend.”
What he’ll bring to the offense: The top player in the state of Nevada, Stanley is another prototype tackle coming into the Irish system who will likely have some time to develop and build on an impressive frame. It’s tough to quantify how good Stanley is until we see him against legit competition, but he certainly looks the part and has a really impressive list of offers. Just as important, the Irish fought their way into Bishop Gorman to land Stanley, a school that’s been supplying the Pac-12 talent for years.

MARK HARRELL
High School: Charlotte Catholic — Charlotte, North Carolina
Measureables: Six-foot-five, 270-pounds
Other major offers: Auburn, Clemson, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee
Fun Fact: Was a fullback in middle-school until a growth spurt.
On choosing Notre Dame: “It’s an incredible academic situation there, an awesome academic school with the business program,” Harrell told Irish Illustrated. “The coaching staff, the players, the students overall, they’re all just awesome people. The football tradition can’t be beat. Notre Dame just checked all the boxes as far as that goes.”
What he’ll bring to the offense: Will join an interior of the offensive line that’ll need to replace both Trevor Robinson and Andrew Nuss, and potentially Mike Golic. Has done nothing but impress ever since coming out of nowhere at the U.S. Army All-American combine after his junior season. Built big enough to be a tackle, Harrell will start on the interior, giving the Irish a great athlete at guard.

SCOTT DALY
High School: Downers Grove South — Downers Grove, Illinois
Measureables: Six-foot-four, 230-pounds
Other major offers: Northwestern
Fun Fact: Rated No. 1 long snapper in the country by Rubio Long Snapping.
On choosing Notre Dame: “I was pretty much thinking this is a dream come true,” Daly told Irish Sports Daily. “I’ve really been waiting for Notre Dame to pull the trigger, and now that it’s finally happened, I’m still pinching myself. It’s like I said, it’s a dream come true and I’m very happy about it. I still can’t believe it.”
What he’ll bring to the offense: He’ll bring in immediate competition for Jordan Cowart, who found himself in Brian Kelly’s doghouse after breaking his hand in a scrum against Purdue, and hasn’t been able to hold down both the short and long snapping job. The Irish were actively recruiting a long snapper late last year as well (potentially another hint at their evaluation of Cowart), missing out on Bryce Haynes, who ended up at Ohio State, and was similarly ranked by Rubio Long Snapping. Daly is a perfect fit for today’s long snapper, a tall and lean athlete that can run down the field and cover punts.