Offensive line recruiting at Notre Dame has been successful under Harry Hiestand, but his approach to talent acquisition is much different than other position coaches.
The highly-touted coach with an NFL background takes a methodical approach with his position. While the Irish have offered 15 wide receivers, Hiestand has offered only eight offensive linemen in total.
But Hiestand put his deliberate method aside this week when he offered Akron (Ohio) Archbishop Hoban sophomore guard Nolan Rumler.
The four-star has built an impressive offer list, including Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin and many more strong Power 5 programs.
Rumler is humbled by his offer from the Irish, a program he knows well.
“I’m really excited to have this offer,” Rumler said. “Notre Dame is a great college academically. Notre Dame has a lot of great history and tradition. I went up there in October for an unofficial visit and I really enjoyed the campus and the atmosphere on gameday against Miami. I’m just really excited to get back up there this summer.”
Although the 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman holds high interest in the Irish, an archrival program is also high on his list.
“All my family is from Michigan,” Rumler said. “I was born in Michigan and then we moved to Ohio when I was two. I always grew up as a Wolverine fan and they were my first offer, so that was pretty cool. In my recruiting process, that doesn’t really matter as much, it’s what I feel is most comfortable and what’s best for me.”
Despite heavy Michigan ties, Rumler has some Notre Dame connections too.
“My grandparents are actually Notre Dame fans,” Rumler said. “My grandfather was actually an usher there.”
Hiestand has made a strong impression on Rumler. His strong resume and appearance in Akron have piqued the sophomore’s interest.
“Coach Hiestand, he came into the school and he watched one of our workouts and he was really impressed,” Rumler said. “It was a week from yesterday, he seemed like a great guy. He’s very honest with you. He’s put guys in the NFL. I think he coached in the NFL.”
Rumler is widely regarded as a guard prospect at the college level. That said, he is more than just a guard at Archbishop Hoban.
“I’ll play guard or center, it just depends on the college,” Rumler said. “I play tackle in high school. My starting position is tackle but last year, I played both guards, both tackles and I even played blocking tight end.”
With heavy ties to Michigan and living in the Buckeye state, it would appear that the Irish are in an uphill battle.
However, Rumler maintained that the Irish are definitely among his top suitors.
“Yes, I do (see myself at Notre Dame),” Rumler said. “I like Notre Dame. I grew up watching them too. I just want to keep bettering my relationship with coach Hiestand and meet coach (Brian) Kelly. I think (my next visit) will probably be in June. I think that will probably be the best time.”
Rumler mentioned that he will also be visiting Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State this summer. He will continue to take in offers and assess them as they come, before making his final decision around this time next year.
A strong battle among juggernaut programs for this blue-chip lineman is beginning to brew.