If adding offensive linemen to Notre Dame’s class of 2023 at a rate slower than usual means they are all consensus four-stars, the Irish coaching staff will assuredly not mind the delays. Two weeks after Notre Dame landed its first offensive lineman commitment in this class, it landed a second consensus four-star with a Friday afternoon pledge from offensive tackle Sullivan Absher (South Point High School; Belmont, N.C.).
The No. 24 offensive tackle in the class, per rivals.com, Absher chose the Irish over finalists Clemson and North Carolina State, both considerably closer to home. The Wolfpack should not stand out as an odd inclusion among two Playoff contenders given North Carolina State has sent offensive linemen into the first round of the NFL draft in two of the last four drafts, including tackle Ikem Ekwonu at No. 6 overall just last month.
At 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds, Absher has the length of a tackle at the collegiate level, and he certainly has the quickness needed for it, as well. In fact, Absher hardly looks 285 pounds. He carries it in a lean way, more of it on his lower half than perhaps expected. (His reported weight could also be inflated a bit; such is far from uncommon in recruiting.)
But that observation is also a reflection of his quickness. His first step off the snap is not only powerful but also fast. A running back following Absher around the edge should expect to have a blocker, not to mention a big blocker, clearing a path at the second level of the defense.
Absher’s high school program hardly passes, so it is hard to gauge his ability in that half of the game, but his quickness and flexibility — the latter most apparent in his deep bend pre-snap — should serve him well there. Absher will have a learning curve in the passing game, but that can almost be construed as a positive thing under Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand’s tutelage, as he will need to break fewer bad habits.
“One of the biggest things about the football side is just getting coached by coach Hiestand,” Absher said to Inside ND Sports. “Right now, I’m in the triple-option offense, and we block low. I’ve been to camps where I’ve been in the pro-style stances and blocking, but I’m just excited to get on campus, get on the field and get coached by him.”
Absher joins consensus four-star tackle Sam Pendleton as the only two offensive linemen thus far in Notre Dame’s class, but it is expected to grow to at least four commits in the coming months. Absher is the 13th overall commit in the class.