CoachSpeak: Sanchez Breaks Down Irish Pledge

Four-star offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley became the 16th member of Notre Dame's 2012 class when he gave the Irish a non-binding oral commitment. His coach at Bishop Gorman High (Las Vegas) spoke to IrishEyes.com after the announcement to provide insight on what he saw working daily with Stanley.

Ronnie Stanley has quick feet, a byproduct of his basketball talent, his athletic and loves to compete.

Yet, as Bishop Gorman High (Las Vegas) coach Tony Sanchez discussed what Notre Dame is getting in its newest commit, he points to a character trait of the 6-foot-6, 285-pound, four-star Stanley.

It was the week of the Boston College game, and quarterfinals of the Nevada 4A football playoffs. Stanley was set to make his official visit to Notre Dame, but postponed it in the days leading up to the game.

"The reason he cancelled was we were playing Palo Verde, which is our big rival, and it was a huge game for our program," Sanchez said. "How many recruits cancel a trip to Notre Dame to get ready for a high school game?"

Stanley did, Bishop Gorman won 35-7 and went on to role to the state title two weeks later. On an offense that scored at least 42 points 13 times in 16 games (15-1), and put up 69 or more points four times, Stanley was the offensive line leader.

"He's got tremendous feet, and he moves very well," Sanchez said. "He can do a lot of things. He moves well, he has length and he is a tremendous competitor. He is mild and nice off the field, but he is a fierce competitor."

And there is plenty of room for growth for Scout.com's No. 14-rated offensive tackle, and the top-rated player in the state.

"You look at him, and right now he's about 285 pounds and he's skinny," Sanchez said. "He'll be a skinny 320 pound kid."

Being a highly-touted and well-publicized player, opposing defensive ends always had added motivation when they played Bishop Gorman. None of which fazed Stanley.

"I don't think he put two thoughts into it," Sanchez said. "He was always focused on the play that was called and the task at hand and winning the ball game."

Whether Stanley will be ready to play as a freshman at Notre Dame may depend on his offseason strength program.

Ironically, basketball helped Stanley develop very fast feet, but the commitment to play in the winter limits his weight training.

"He's like all freshmen, especially being a two-sport athlete with basketball, there's some ground to be made in the weight room," Sanchez said. "I think he falls into that category. I think he'll catch up faster than most because of his natural ability. We'll see. If they need him, he'll be ready to go.

"I'm sure (Notre Dame) coach (Brian) Kelly is willing to play him if he's ready. You always want to red-shirt your offensive linemen, if possible, but if not he'll be ready to go."

Stanley joins Taylor Decker of Butler High (Vandalia, Ohio) and Mark Harrell of Charlotte (N.C.) Catholic High as offensive line commits in the 2012 class.


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