Irish Offer Clelland

The Notre Dame coaching staff continues to find prospects that they believe will define the future of the program. The latest scholarship offer to be extended went to offensive lineman Lane Clelland from McDonogh School (Owings Mills, MD.)

Now that Lane Clelland (6-foot-5, 265 pounds) has college coaches tripping over themselves to get his attention, he'll refer to the man that got the recruiting process started for him when he needs guidance. His brother Lance went through the process several years back before landing at Northwestern ('98-'01) and becoming four-year starter along the offensive line. It was Lance that sent out a wave of film on his younger brother that now has coaches lining up to get a chance to speak with Lane.

"I'd basically just had in-state contact," Lane said responded when asked about his recruitment. "I went to the Maryland camp and they offered me first. Then my brother made a highlight tape for me and sent it out to a ton of schools. I think he sent it to Notre Dame about two weeks ago and now Notre Dame offered.

"We sent it out to Notre Dame about two weeks, so things have happened pretty quickly. When they called back coach Latina said he saw my film and he liked it. As it turns out, my other offensive line coach (Mike Damico) played under coach Latina at Temple. It was really a coincidence that it happened like that."

It wasn't a coincidence that Clelland received an offer. He is a strong solid kid that like to compete. Lane started wrestling as a freshman so that he could improve his play on the football field. Oddly enough his "off-season" training paid dividends for the wrestling program. Lane recently took second place in the state wrestling championship for private schools.

The knowledge and experience Lane gained on the mat will be invaluable when he works along the offensive line. Notre Dame isn't certain which position they'd like him to play, but they like his upside.

"When Coach Weis told me that he's offering me, the one thing he asked me was to keep going with my grades," Clelland recalled of his conversation with the Irish head coach. "My school is definitely hard academically. I just need to maintain everything. Just because of the [recruiting] process I can't let them my grades drop.

"They're recruiting me for the offensive line, but they really didn't say what position. Coach Latina said he likes me at left tackle and that's where I play at my high school, which means I could play just about anywhere. Coach Latina said they'd have to evaluate me further, once I got out there.

"Coach Weis said I could be one of the better linemen at Notre Dame and that he wanted me out there," Clelland explained. "He said he likes how I block and how I finish my blocks. That's what most coaches have said so far."

Now that the Irish coaches have evaluated and offered Lance a scholarship, it's his turn to evaluate the Notre Dame program and see if it is the best school for him.

"They have a great tradition," Lane said of Notre Dame. "It's pretty much the greatest tradition in all of college football. I've never been out to Notre Dame I've heard a lot about it. It's a great academic school. It's got one of the best combinations of academics and football that you'll find. I heard the campus is unbelievable.

"I know they run a pro-offense. That's one of the best things for an offensive guy, because it makes it so much easier to transition to the NFL…and that's my ultimate goal. I hear [coach Weis] gets people prepared for the next level."

Don't expect Clelland to rush to a decision. It is still very early in the recruiting process and he still wants to listen to other schools.

"Really I'm just going to get eligible," Lane said. "Then I can worry about figuring out which schools I like the best, which schools I fit in at and which school will push me to get to the next level."

"I'm going to take all five visits, I know that. I'm going to take my time during the recruiting process. I'll take a look at all of my choices and then I'll narrow it down to five and takes those visits. I don't want to short-change any school.


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