CoachSpeak: Oddo Breaks Down ND Commit

Notre Dame picked up the seventh member of its 2012 class Thursday when Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic High's Mark Harrell committed. Shortly after the commitment, IrishEyes.com caught up with Harrell's coach, Jim Oddo, and he broke down what the Irish are getting in their latest commit.

Notre Dame's seventh commitment for the 2012 class combines athleticism, solid fundamentals and enormous potential.

That is the picture Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic High coach Jim Oddo painted as he described 6-foot-6, 270-pound Mark Harrell, who committed to the Irish on Thursday.

"I think they're getting a pretty good one," Oddo said. "He's a big guy, got long arms, and he's a pretty good interior lineman."

Although Harrell played tight end in Catholic's offense, he was recruited to Notre Dame to play on the offensive line. And given the way Catholic operates its offense, it makes perfect sense.

The Cougars rarely threw the ball, instead relying on a running attack that produced more than 4,900 yards in 15 games. Harrell had one catch for eight yards, and while his position was that as a traditional tight end, his role was very similar to an extra offensive tackle in an offense that attempted less than five passes a game.

"(Harrell) has got good hips, he moves well," Oddo said. "He blocks well and has good technique and is very effective. I believe he (benches) 320 pounds. He's strong. He's not super strong, but he's going to get strong. He's big, agile, not a lot of extra weight."

Oddo added Harrell possess very good explosion and his footwork is above average.

"He should do real well," Oddo said. "The thing is at that size, he doesn't have any fat. He's got a good body. He's putting on weight. He put on 10 pounds in the last few months, and he'll get even bigger. I think he's going to be a great prospect.

"He's grown a lot since last season, and I don't think he's done. He was 255, 256, and now he's 270, 271. I think he's going to get bigger."

Harrell's footwork development was aided by playing basketball, where he averaged 3.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game as junior while playing in every game. And Oddo thought enough of Harrell's athleticism early in his career that a move to receiver was contemplated.

"He played basketball, started, and did a good job," Oddo said. "We thought that he might develop into a pretty good receiver. We just don't throw the ball a lot, or ever. We rush for 300 yards a game the last four or five years. We haven't had to throw the ball."


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