Irish Stock Report: Offensive Line

The Irish are off to a great start with seven commitments for the 2007 recruiting class, but with the May evaluation period in the rear-view mirror, it's time to evaluate where Notre Dame stands with their primary targets along the offensive line.

Notre Dame landed the best offensive line recruiting class in the country last year. Despite adding six players along the line, the Irish are still precariously thin, and they will be until they add depth. That means the Irish will likely bring in five offensive linemen in this class. The Irish staff won't bring in just anyone to fill a roster spot, so if they can only get four top prospects, they will likely settle for one less than desired.

Notre Dame has already missed on Josh Oglesby and Tray Allen, but there are still several elite linemen left on the recruiting board. What fans will want to keep an eye on is whether additional offers are sent out in the next month. Right now it appears that the Notre Dame staff feels comfortable with the prospects that they have offered.

Lee Ziemba (6-foot-6, 285 pounds): Scout.com's No. 6 offensive lineman. Last season Notre Dame was successful in bringing Bartley Webb north, and for the second straight year Notre Dame will attempt to lure Arkansas' top offensive lineman to South Bend. Lee camped at Oklahoma and Alabama. Both should be consider players in his recruitment, although Notre Dame's biggest competitor could come from the Razorbacks. Houston Nutt is trying to cash in on last's years recruiting momentum, and he has Ziemba's attention. I don't think Lee is near a decision, but I do think he has a favorite or two. Arkansas fans like their chances, but they will need a strong season to prove that they can compete with the big boys. I like ND is this race, but for now we sit still. Stock: Hold

James Wilson (6-foot-4, 305-pounds) Scout.com's No. 12 offensive lineman. Wilson is the one player that the Irish staff is targeting that truly fits the profile of an offensive guard. He will be in town for the Notre Dame football camp Wednesday. He's spending five days in South Bend just prior to heading out to Los Angles for two weeks. He'll spend time with his dad and look into USC while in California. He's narrowed his choices down to six, and he'll hope to make his decision known by sometime in August. This is a USC, Florida and Notre Dame race. I had felt very good about Notre Dame's chances, but there is something that just doesn't sit right with me on this one. Stock: Hold

Ryan Miller (6-foot-8, 280 pounds) Scout.com's No. 4 offensive lineman. Miller visited Notre Dame at the end of April and he loved the Notre Dame experience. He has over 20 scholarship offers, but has narrowed everything down to Colorado, Notre Dame, Miami, USC, Florida and Oklahoma. This will come down to Notre Dame and Colorado. Dan Hawkins is going to do a fantastic job at Colorado, and Ryan grew up a Buffalo fan and his grandfather played for them. He doesn't sound like he'll make a decision for several months, and he'll likely take most of his official visits. I believe this will come down to Notre Dame and Colorado. Stock: Hold

Matt Romine (6-foot-5, 275 pounds) Matt visited Notre Dame last season for the Tennessee game and then he came again for the spring game. He considered getting back for the football camp but decided against that. It is possible that another visit to South Bend could be in the works. His top offers are from Alabama, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Michigan and Arkansas. It is difficult to get kids from Oklahoma, but I think Romine will cross the border. I also like Notre Dame's chances if he does. Stock: Buy

Derek Sherrod (6-foot-6, 298 pounds) Talk about an uphill battle. Not only is Notre Dame going into Mississippi to try to land a recruit, but also his brother plays for Mississippi State. Interestingly enough, Derek was very excited when he got he news that Notre Dame had offered him a scholarship. He's visited Florida, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. He also has a visit planned for Notre Dame, and then he's done until he takes his official visits. As I said, it is an uphill battle, but John Latina also worked Mississippi and he's a fantastic recruiter. Stock: Buy

Chris Little (6-foot-6, 327 pounds) Scout.com's No. 9 offensive lineman. There was a time when I thought Notre Dame was long out of the race for this big man. Then all of a sudden Notre Dame makes his final ten and he said that the Irish would likely get one of his official visits. Notre Dame has done a great job of recruiting Georgia. Bill Lewis has taken the lead in Little's recruitment and that generally means good things. All that being said, I think player stays south. Stock: Sell


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories