There are a lot of needs for this recruiting class, but offensive line recruiting is certainly one of if not the top priority. Here are the known offensive line recruits that Notre Dame is currently targeting.
This group is has an extensive interest in Notre Dame and vice versa. Notre Dame needs to land at least two of the three recruits from this list.
Matt Carufel, OL, 6-5, 280-pounds, St. Paul, Minn., (Cretin-Derham) – Look for this to end up being a Notre Dame vs. Iowa battle, although Minnesota and several other programs are involved.
Chris Stewart, OL, 6-5, 330-pounds, Klein, Texas – Notre Dame has an excellent shot to land Stewart. Texas A&M, Louisiana State, Nebraska and several other schools are giving chase. The biggest advantage Notre Dame has is that Texas bowed out of the race. Look for Stewart to decide by Christmas or shortly there after.
Sam Young, OT, 6-7, 290-pounds, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., (St. Thomas Aquinas) The hardest kid on the planet to reach it seems, Young is a long way from making a decision. The scuttlebutt I've heard recently says he'll end up at Michigan, Miami or Notre Dame. We'll see. Young is expected to make a decision after the football season is complete.
Irish Have A Shot
There is still quite a bit to learn about each of these recruits before determining what chance Notre Dame truly has. Notre Dame would love to land any of the three. That much is known.
Daron Rose, OT, 6-5, 275-pounds, Tampa, Fla., (Jefferson) – Will be a tough sell for Notre Dame going against several southern powers as well as schools such as Michigan and Southern California, but Rose is slated to take an unofficial visit to Notre Dame in late July.
Alex Stadler, OL, 6-6, 300-pounds, Bealton, Va., (Liberty) – Stadler was just offered by Notre Dame. Stadler is down to nine schools, but it's hard to say where he stands with the Irish until someone from Irisheyes speaks with him directly. It's a good sign that Florida State and Virginia Tech are among his offers.
Bartley Webb, OT, 6-7, 290-pounds, Springdale, Ark. – Notre Dame is one of the top four, but good money says he will end up at either Arkansas or Texas. Michigan and Florida round out his top five, with Oklahoma also in the mix. Webb participated in the Notre Dame summer camp this past Saturday. Webb will take his official visits before deciding.
Although Notre Dame would love to land any of these players, do not hold your breath.
Aaron Brown, OT, 6-6, 290-pounds, Cincinnati, Ohio, (Princeton) – Although Notre Dame showed strong interest it appears that Brown will likely end up at Ohio State, Florida, Florida State or Tennessee. Notre Dame is still trying to bring Brown to South Bend for an unofficial visit, but he's still considered a long shot at best.
Conner Smith, OT, 6-6, 300-pounds, Cincinnati, Ohio, (Colerain) – Considered by everyone to be an Ohio State lock, Smith plans to announce his decision on August 1. Notre Dame recently offered, but it's probably moot.
Kiante Tripp, OT, 6-5, 250-pounds, Atlanta, Ga., (Westlake) – Probably the biggest long shot on this list for the Irish, although Notre Dame has been mentioned. Florida and Georgia are the best bets, with the Dawgs the out-right favorite.
Down the Road?
These are recruits that Notre Dame has yet to offer, but could at some point. It's anyone's guess what will happen. The list here could be extended significantly…but the names below are mainly recruits who attended the Notre Dame summer camp increasing the odds an offer will be extended. Keep in mind that when it comes to recruiting no position changes more on an annual basis than the offensive line. Once the Notre Dame coaching staff has the opportunity to review senior film any number of offensive line recruits could come into the forefront by mid to late September, or even later.
Shawn Bernaky, OL, 6-6, 310-pounds, Downers Grove, Ill., (South) – Attending the Notre Dame summer camp on Tuesday, June 28. No major offers to date, but attending several camps in June.
Bryant Browning, OG, 6-4, 339-pounds, Glenville, Ohio – Notre Dame does not appear to be that interested right now, but Browning did attend the Notre Dame summer football camp. Iowa and Wisconsin have offered, with Ohio State also considering making him an offer.
Clark Crum OT, 6-7, 280-pounds, Dublin, Ohio, (Scioto) – Crum does not feel that he will receive an offer from Notre Dame this summer and he wants to make a decision before the start of his senior season. Look for Virginia Tech to win out. Boston College and Illinois are also in the mix.
Cody Faulkner, OL, 6-4, 300-pounds, Cicero, Ind., (Hamilton Heights) – Playing in suburban Indianapolis Faulkner is relatively unknown. Indiana and Wisconsin are two of the schools that have offered to date.
Brandon Flanagan, C, 6-1, 290-pounds, Wakefield, Mass. – Attended the Notre Dame summer camp this past weekend. Since Flanagan projects as a center the odds of him receiving an offer go up compared to some others on this list. No offers to date, but that's why it is important for him to attend summer camps. Most college coaches are leery of offering recruits from the Northeast due to the lack of overall competition in the region.
Bill Nagy, OG, 6-5, 290-pounds, Hudson, Ohio – Nagy attended the Notre Dame summer camp this past weekend. Right after attending the Notre Dame summer camp he went to Penn State and Indiana for their summer camps. Probably one of the better bets to receive an offer from this group.
Eric Olson, OL, 6-5, 300-pounds, Brooklyn, N.Y., (Poly Prep) – Arguably the most well known recruit from this section, Olson attended the Notre Dame summer camp. Wisconsin and Maryland are the teams to watch as both have offered.
Ryan Palmer, OT, 6-7, 280-pounds, Canton, Ohio, (Glen Oak) – Attended the Notre Dame summer camp this past Monday and worked out with coach Latina. Ohio State is definitely the team to beat if it offers, but Notre Dame is also high on Palmer's list. How long will Palmer wait for Ohio State to offer if Notre Dame does so in the mean time?
Andrew Phillips, C/OG, 6-4, 290-pounds, Darnestown, Md., (Georgetown Prep) – Phillips told me a few weeks ago that he was not going to do interviews from that point on so his situation is unknown.
Keith Williams, OT, 6-6, 310-pounds, Florissant, Mo., (McCluer North) – Williams's size alone is intriguing. Notre Dame showed early interested in Williams and he could be one to watch down the road.
SMITTY'S TAKE - It's still very early in the recruiting race. With the vast majority of Notre Dame's top offensive line recruits waiting to take official visits before deciding everyone simply has to sit back and wait.
There are undoubtedly a few offensive line recruits that were left off of this list. At some point there has to be a cutoff point.
The big questions still remain the same. Will any of the offensive linemen from camp be offered? And what new names will emerge in the fall?
And as a side note, never forget that defensive linemen and tight ends often times end up playing along the offensive line.
There is over six months until National Signing Day so anything can happen.