Brian Kelly pulled off another signing day surprise with the addition of offensive lineman Troy Niklas to the 2011 class.
Troy Niklas (OL/DL/TE – 6'5/265):
The final addition to the Class of 2011, Niklas chose Notre Dame
over chief rival USC shortly after 10:15 AM EST…Joins eight "power" players signed in the class as designated by Brian Kelly's recruiting model (Edit: Noted later by staff he is considered "Big Skill")…Could eventually compete for a role along Ed Warinner's offensive line but is likely to begin his Irish career on the defensive side of scrimmage according to Coach Kelly...Four-star prospect is ranked as the nation's No. 8 offensive tackle and the 10th Irish player to be awarded a four or five star designation by Scout.com.
Kelly recruiting profile: Power
Returning defensive ends: Bruce Heggie, Ethan Johnson, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Kona Schwenke, Hafis Williams (also NG)
Returning offensive linemen: Braxston Cave (C), Lane Clelland (T), Taylor Dever (T), Mike Golic (G/C), Christian Lombard (T), Zack Martin (T), Tate Nichols (T), Andrew Nuss (G/T), Trevor Robinson (G), Chris Watt (G/C)
Baumhower on Niklas: Niklas surprise many by signing with the Irish on signing day. He had connections to USC, and attends Servite high school that is pipeline to the Trojan football program. Niklas is a guy that the Irish coaching staff is very high on. The versatile freshman can settle in on either side of the ball, but he will get his first look at defensive end.
Berk on Niklas: Another long, lean athletic prospect who can play on either side of the football. While many look at him as a tight end, will get early look on the defensive side of the football with a possible move to offensive tackle in the future. Great recruiting win for Notre Dame over USC.
Niklas on his recruitment
All on Niklas