Apr 23, 2014, 8:14 PM EDT
Notre Dame closed out their offensive line recruiting on Wednesday, accepting the verbal commitment of Illinois offensive lineman Trevor Ruhland. The 6-foot-4, 270-pounder chose the Irish over offers from Cal, Duke, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern and Vanderbilt.
Ruhland is a consensus three-star prospect, and his offers are more reflective of a regional prospect than a national target. But the Irish coaching staff got multiple looks at Ruhland before offering, and it didn’t take long for Ruhland to commit to a school he’s long admired.
“It was a lot of things,” Ruhland told 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong. “How close it was to home. My parents and family can come watch me play. Also the tradition there. They’re always going to compete for championships. To be able to put that gold crown on and compete on Saturdays, nothing better than that.”
What Notre Dame looks to be getting from Ruhland is a brawler who projects to be an interior offensive lineman. After restocking the tackle position in the past few recruiting classes, the 2015 cycle features Ruhland and Tristen Hoge as inside men, while Jerry Tillery projects to be a tackle.
One quick look at Ruhland’s highlight film should alleviate any concerns over a modest star rating. He also is an Iowa legacy, where his father Matt was an All-Big Ten defensive lineman.
Ruhland started all 11 games for Cary-Grove High School. He was a first team All-State section by coaches, a first team All-Area selection by the Chicago Sun Times and second team All-State by the Chicago Tribune.
Ruhland is the seventh commitment in the 2015 class.