IrishEyes.com continues its signing day coverage with a player making a major position change when he joins the program next summer.
Mark Harrell (Offensive Lineman – 6'5" 270 pounds):
Approximately one year ago, Harrell was a 255-pound tight end, a position he continued to play last season at Charlotte Catholic, though for a run-oriented offense. Now at a healthy 270 pounds, Harrell's athleticism and quick feet will serve him well as a center/guard prospect for Brian Kelly's Irish over the next five seasons. Perhaps the most likely redshirt among the incoming freshmen, Harrell is expected to compete at center to begin his career, though his initial competition will be a calendar year spent under the guidance of strength & conditioning coach Paul Longo and new offensive line coach Harry Hiestand…Rated as a three-star OT prospect by Scout.com but he's headed for the pivot spot on Notre Dame
's offensive line.
Kelly Recruiting Profile: Power
*Veterans returning at offensive tackle: Redshirt-junior Zack Martin; redshirt-sophomores Christian Lombard and Tate Nichols; redshirt-freshmen Jordan Prestwood and Nick Martin (I'm projecting the latter).
*Veterans returning at center: 5th-year senior Braxston Cave; potential 5th-year senior Mike Golic, Jr.; redshirt-sophomore Bruce Heggie; redshirt-freshman Matt Hegarty is reportedly a candidate at center.
(*denotes eligibility entering 2012)
Fellow incoming offensive line prospects: Ronnie Stanley and possibly DL/OL prospect Jarron Jones
Berk on Harrell: Making the biggest adjustment in the class will be Harrell's continue work from tight end to center. Has the physical ability to play the position at a high level as he's got quick feet and the ability to reach second level defenders.
Dohn on Jones: Harrell played tight end in high school, but it was for a running team so he spent 95 percent of his time run blocking. He will move inside and play guard or center, and he needs to improve his strength and pass blocking.
Harrell's Pledge to the Irish
IE Breakdown: Mark Harrell
Harrell's high school coach on the Irish commitment
Harrell recaps his recent official visit
Additional Highlights: Mark Harrell
All on Mark Harrell (A collection of video is available at the bottom of the page.)