Byrne finishes the drill

Our fifth of 22 (and counting?) "Eye in the Sky" film reviews for Notre Dame's incoming pledges examines four-star offensive line prospect Jimmy Byrne.

Ranked No. 12 among the nation's offensive tackles by, and 211th overall, Byrne joins Greer Martini, Justin Brent, and Jay Hayes as 2012 calendar-year pledges

Below is a film review of Byrne with an eye toward how his skills project to the collegiate level beyond next season.

Current strengths and areas for development

Shows a penchant for getting into, driving, and finishing his assigned defender, both at the point of attack and in open space where he often overwhelmed foes with seek-and-destroy blocks from his right tackle position…Finishes the drill with tremendous leg drive, never disengaging the defender until the echo of the whistle…Shows impressive hand placement, getting inside a defender's pads…Single-minded focus to finish blocks…

Has a propensity for reaching for a defender when he misses early (a recipe for holding calls at the next level)…Was a little high on film in his drive blocks but that's likely because he could get away wit it…Seemed to hold his fair share without being flagged, might have been due to his admirable refusal to disengage from any block…Blocks down with authority and often pancaked defenders in-line -- has a true penchant for the physical…

Shows a good punch and ability to extend in pass protection and keeps a wide base at tackle but will have some technique adjustments to make as he's likely headed for an initial evaluation at guard (or center) in college with Notre Dame's ample table prospects in the last three recruiting cycles…

Byrne is a coach's dream, the type of player that will register zero loafs in practice -- it's as if he has no idea there's a whistle or a play going on -- he's simply moving an opponent out of his assigned gap, because that's what he's asked to do…If only all players were as enjoyable to review on film as Byrne. I had classmate Sam Mustipher pegged as a future Irish center with Byrne at guard but both should get a look at the line's pivot position.

Road blocks to playing time

Byrne will be withheld from action unless a rash of injuries strike as Notre Dame has seven competitors for starting roles next fall: Steven Elmer (G/T), Christian Lombard (G/T), Ronnie Stanley (T), Mike McGlinchey (T), Conor Hanratty (G), Nick Martin (Center), and Matt Hegarty (C/G).

Add to that a potential eighth in promising 2013 scout teamer Hunter Bivin (G/T) plus two more 2013 prospects that should be fully recovered from injuries in Colin McGovern (knee) and John Montelus (shoulder). Both McGovern and Montelus appear slated for inter duty.

First-season playing time is unlikely for any of Kelly's quartet of incoming freshmen offensive linemen.

Reminiscent of… Former Notre Dame guard Dan Stevenson (2001-2005).

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