Status Report: Irish Offensive Linemen

Our final series of spring wrap-up columns examines Notre Dame’s roster with a look at each individual’s status entering the summer months. Is he ascending? Has he stagnated? Did he take a step back?

Ronnie Stanley (LT) – Likely Notre Dame’s best lineman on either side of scrimmage, Stanley was one of the team’s two best offensive players overall this spring and is in line for captaincy in 2015. His potential fifth-year of eligibility for 2016 is a pipe dream. Next stop, NFL.

Status: Ascending


Quenton Nelson (LG) – Entered spring ball in a dead heat with classmate Alex Bars for the open left guard position and seems to have a leg up for the role at the session’s conclusion. Nelson is a three-year starter at Notre Dame – he won’t need the fourth.  

Status: Ascending


Nick Martin (C) – Returning co-captain is poised for a breakout season after struggling for much of 2014 battling torn thumb ligaments, a lingering knee injury from 2013 surgery, and a position switch to guard (the result of his thumb.) Martin is a much better player today than he was in September 2014.

Status: Ascending


Steve Elmer (RG) – Firmly entrenched at right guard after spending Spring 2014 and September 2014 miscast at right tackle. Could be Notre Dame’s best run-blocker this fall.

Status: Ascending


Mike McGlinchey (RT) – Capitalized off his first career start (Music City Bowl vs. LSU) to cement his role as the team’s starting right tackle. McGlinchey has three years of eligibility remaining – the sky’s the limit for this six-foot-eight-inch 315-pound athlete.

Status: Ascending


Hunter Bivin (RT) – Entered spring ball as the de facto No. 2 left tackle and exits as such. Technically. In reality, it appears that if a starting tackle were to go down, Alex Bars would be the first man off the bench on either the left or right side.

Status: Stagnant


Alex Bars (RG) – Likely the first player off the bench at LT, LG, RG, and RT. That’s a nice gig for a redshirt freshman. Expect Bars’ future (2016-beyond) to be that of starting tackle at Notre Dame.

Status: Ascending


Sam Mustipher (C) – Firmly entrenched as the No. 2 center due in part to the unexpected transfer of fifth-year senior Matt Hegarty, but also to Mustipher’s own work in the trenches this spring. After missing much of August and early-season 2014 with a foot injury, Mustipher is back on track and has four seasons of eligibility in his back pocket.

Status: Ascending


John Montelus (RG) – Let’s put it this way: Montelus didn’t dress for home games as a freshman, and played in only the first two games of 2014 – both massive blowouts. He’s now likely the second guard off the bench behind Alex Bars. Montelus (three seasons of remaining eligibility) and Nelson (four) are true maulers

Status: Ascending -- and relatively speaking, more so than the rest.


Mark Harrell (RT) – Can play guard, center, and tackle, but it appears that versatility will be contained to the practice field. Harrell is a valuable program player but is likely the sixth guy off the bench for the offensive front. Has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Status: Stagnant


Colin McGovern (T/G) – McGovern’s versatility is intriguing to head coach Brian Kelly and with a strong summer, will push Bivin for “No. 9” offensive lineman status. Expect him to be listed as the two-deep RT against Texas. McGovern has three seasons of eligibility remaining.

Status: Ascending


Tristen Hoge (C) – Early enrollee will battle Mustipher for the starting center role in 2016. Until then, it’s a season in the weight room and on the scout team, though his early enrollment will doubtless prove invaluable heading into August Camp and Winter Conditioning 2016. 

Status: Ascending, if your glass is half-full.


Jimmy Byrne – Entered spring ball as a third-team guard and exits the same. Byrne has four seasons of eligibility remaining so he need only improve through the summer and season to compete for two-deep duties next year at this time.

Status: Stagnant


Summer Addition: Guard prospect Trevor Ruhland, giving offensive line coach Harry Hiestand 14 scholarship players for 2015.

Next in our Spring Status Series: The Irish Defensive Linemen


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