Josh Lugg committed to Notre Dame last August and ever since has worked hard to add more top prospects to the Irish recruiting class.
The 6-foot-6, 285-pound four-star tackle from Wexford, Pa., attended the Junior Day on March 19 and finally reaped the rewards of his recruiting efforts as the Irish landed five commitments in a three-day span.
“That's awesome,” Lugg said. “We doubled our number from what we had before the Junior Day. The coaches did such a good job of setting up the Junior Day that everybody wanted to jump on board after it.”
Lugg spoke with most of the new additions to the class including quarterback Avery Davis, who was the first of five to pledge to the Irish.
“I was telling him he's not going to get sacked at Notre Dame,” Lugg said. “I was so excited for him to be able to join us. We now have our QB that's going to lead our class. He's a great kid and he's going to be a great leader for us when we're at Notre Dame.”
Lugg also spoke with linebacker David Adams, who committed on Sunday morning after the Junior Day, and defensive tackle Kurt Hinish, who made his announcement a day later.
Adams and Hinish are teammates at Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, which played Lugg’s North Allegheny team twice in the 2015 season.
“I told them they need to get up to Notre Dame and see everything,” Lugg said. “David had been there before for a visit so he knew what was up. When Kurt was offered he really wanted to see Notre Dame. That was No. 1 with him since he was offered and he really loved Notre Dame too. Him and David decided they wanted to go to the same school and luckily it was Notre Dame.”
Lugg got nervous when Adams didn’t pull the trigger at Junior Day.
“I thought David was going to commit on Junior Day because he was really hot on Notre Dame, so that was surprising that he didn't commit on Junior Day. He committed on Sunday,” he said. “Kurt announced a little bit before that he was going to commit on Monday and at that point I knew it was going to be Notre Dame because he had Notre Dame at No. 1.”
Notre Dame’s class now has nine prospects with many more to be added prior to signing day.
Lugg and his future teammates plan to do their best to get some of Notre Dame's top targets to climb on board.
“We're still on the trail,” he said. “We're trying to get as many guys as we can. We're trying to get a lot more offensive linemen. We need three more for that class so we're really recruiting that position hard and I think we're all filled up at the linebacker now, which is awesome. We're just trying to build the No. 1 class for 2017.”
The Irish hosted several of their top offensive line prospects at Junior Day and Lugg made sure to rub elbows with each of them.
“I talked with Tyler Beach all day and Andrew Thomas a little bit and Blaise Andries too,” Lugg said. “They were doing all the academic tours and all of that, which I didn't have to do since I've been there like 50 billion times. Tyler Beach I talked to a lot. He really likes Notre Dame and I think they're No. 1 with him right now, which is good.”
It wasn’t all recruiting for Lugg.
He spent time following Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand and he was pleased with what he saw out of his future position coach.
“The coolest thing was I got to see the practice and I got to see how coach Hiestand coaches his players,” Lugg said. “I've been with him in the meeting rooms and I've seen him outside the football field. That was the first time I actually got to see him coach his players and coaches going out and hitting and all that. That was a cool thing to see.”
Lugg plans to return to South Bend for the Blue-Gold Game and he will compete in The Opening Regional in Columbus later this spring.