Irish Recruiting Board: Interior OLs

The official visit season is underway and jockeying for the remaining elite prospects is ongoing. IrishEyes.com continues its "Irish Recruiting Board" series, which offers a look at the prospects, and IrishEyes.com's thoughts on where Notre Dame sits with each prospect. This edition focuses on interior offensive linemen.

The way it looks now, there's a reason there are only two legitimate interior offensive linemen on Notre Dame's A list of prospects.

It's because the Irish have depth in the program at the guard and center positions, and with one commitment for the inside of the offensive line already done, there isn't a need to land a bunch more players.

The committed player is Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic's Mark Harrell, who plays as a blocking tight end in the run-heavy offense. When he arrives in South Bend, Ind., the plan is to move him to guard.

The Irish lose Andrew Nuss and Trevor Robinson after the season, but return more than a half-dozen interior offensive linemen, including a trio of true freshmen.

Chris Watt and untested sophomore Bruce Heggie are back, and both centers, Braxston Cave and Mike Golic are eligible for a fifth year. By the spring, Brad Carrico, Conor Hanratty and Matt Hegarty will have spent a season in the program and will be in position to push for playing time. Carrico was a 2011 early enrollee.

Because of that depth, and with the Irish still recruiting a handful of offensive tackles, a position in which guys often slide into the guard position, the recruiting is very focused when it comes to interior linemen in the 2012 class.

Here are the two major prospects on Notre Dame's radar:

Evan Goodman, 6-4, 290, Lakeland (Fla.) Senior High
The skinny: He is committed to Arizona State, but said he did it because the Sun Devils were running out of scholarships and he wanted to secure a spot in case he decides to play with his brother (an ASU freshman) in college.

However, Goodman already took official visits to Notre Dame and Nebraska, and he is scheduled to visit Auburn, ASU and a fifth yet-to-be-determined school. He likes Notre Dame's atmosphere and academics, but it was his first visit, and keeping that positive feeling going after four more trips isn't the easiest thing to do.

Goodman is a cerebral kid, and he values Notre Dame's total package.

The current read: Give the Irish a puncher's chance

Joshua Garnett, 6-5, 270, Puyallup (Wash.) High

The skinny: Garnett has been toying with an official visit to Notre Dame for the Oct. 22 game against USC, but none of his visits are set in stone. The nation's top offensive guard is looking to take official visits to schools that are on the far side when it comes to travel, and Miami, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Michigan, as well as a host of Pac-12 schools, remain in contention for official visits.

The built-in advantage of Washington will be hard to beat since Garnett can visit any time, and that means the coaches can get him to campus and have him build bonds with current members of the program much easier than the other schools.

The current read: Getting Garnett off the west coast will be tough.


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