Matt Cashore / Irishillustrated.com

Irish A-to-Z: Parker Boudreaux

Parker Boudreaux arrived at Notre Dame with the publicity of a five-star defensive end. A year later he’s on a tough career track, stuck inside a loaded offensive line.

Class: Sophomore (Eligibility: 4)
On The Depth Chart: Either a third-team center or a third-team guard, Boudreaux worked with the deep deserves during spring practice and appears to be behind both early enrollees along the offensive line in Robert Hainsey and Aaron Banks, even if he’s not playing their positions.
Post-Spring Status: Descending

Quotable

“ I would say Parker Boudreaux has done some good things at center, showing progress.” – Harry Hiestand during spring practice.

Best Case

Boudreaux scraps his way into the second-team offensive line during training camp. Whether that’s at guard or center doesn’t matter as much as just getting ahead of the younger linemen who may have already jumped him. If Robert Hainsey and Aaron Banks stay ahead of Boudreaux through this season, it’s unlikely the sophomore will climb over them long term. So while there’s not a starting job open this year for Boudreaux, he has to play a long game with the depth chart, setting himself up for something good in 2019 or 2020 as a fifth-year senior. There was a time when offensive linemen actually waited until their junior years before seeing real action. In other words, don’t hit the panic button on this one just yet. Still, Boudreaux probably needs to make a behind-the-scenes move this season to have a chance at a starting job a couple years down the road. 

Worst Case

Not only do Hainsey and Banks stay head of Boudreaux, but incoming freshmen Josh Lugg and Dillan Gibbons also move ahead of the sophomore during camp. While that’s unlikely to happen (Lugg is irrelevant in this case because he’s a true tackle), Boudreaux may find himself stuck as the third-team center for the next two years with Sam Mustipher and Tristen Hoge not going anywhere. It wouldn’t be a shock if any player in that depth chart situation departed for playing time elsewhere. For an athlete who committed to Notre Dame by pulling a bus on Bleacher Report and boasted 50-plus offers, Boudreaux’s career is off to a stereotypically anonymous start for an offensive lineman. For all the hype out of high school, it’s worth remembering that Boudreaux held up nicely at The Opening Finals before his senior year.

Career Comparison

Notre Dame football history is littered with talented offensive linemen who never played much in South Bend because there were just too many better players here. That might be the case with Boudreaux moving forward considering the other players in his class (Tommy Kraemer and Liam Eichenberg) with a talented four-man group behind him. In many ways Boudreaux’s career might mirror the track of current teammate Jimmy Byrne. The Cleveland product was a four-star prospect from a Catholic school (St. Ignatius for Byrne versus St. Thomas Moore for Boudreaux) and the Irish beat out heavyweight Ohio State to get him. Like Boudreaux, he played multiple positions on the scout team early. Like Boudreaux, he was also part of a talented offensive line recruiting class where somebody had to end coming in last. Byrne, now a senior, never could get ahead of Sam Mustipher, Alex Bars or Quenton Nelson. Boudreaux might run into a similar issue.

What The Future Holds

It’s too early to really tell considering Boudreaux is coming off a red shirt and endured a medical set back last summer than hurt his conditioning. Still, there are some signs that suggest Boudreaux will have a hard time getting on the field during the next three years. The Irish have recruited the offensive line spot so well that not everybody can play, even if they have plenty of talent.


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