The preseason honors for Notre Dame senior guard Quenton Nelson continue as The Sporting News named the Holmdel, N.J. native the nation’s 21st best player in the country.
Nelson, an Associated Press third-team All-American after the 2016 season, is considered one of the nation’s premier offensive linemen. The Sporting News ranks him as the nation’s third best overall offensive lineman and the third best guard.
The publication had this to say about the Fighting Irish standout:
“Nelson bypassed for the NFL Draft to help the Irish bounce back from a 4-8 season, and he’s a mauler in the ground game on the interior. He’ll be a key piece under new offensive coordinator Chip Long. Teamed with tackle Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame is in business up front.”
Nelson was named either a first or second team All-America by Lindy’s Sports, Athlon Sports, Street & Smith’s, Phil Steele’s and he made The Sporting News’s first-team list.
A projected late first round to early second round NFL Draft pick, Nelson will look to have the same fourth-year rise that former teammate Ronnie Stanley made in 2015. Stanley was considered a late first round pick following the 2014 season, but he chose to return to Notre Dame to not only improve his game under the tutelage of line coach Harry Hiestand, but he also wanted to compete for a championship.
Stanley’s game went to another level in 2015, and the Las Vegas native earned consensus All-American honors. Stanley went on to be selected No. 6 overall by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Four Notre Dame opponents were also named to the Top 40 list. USC junior linebacker Cameron Smith checked in at No. 25. Boston College senior end Harold Landry was ranked No. 16, and he was immediately followed by NC State senior end Bradley Chubb, who was named the No. 15 player in the land. USC redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold was the highest ranked opponent, coming in as the No. 3 player in the country.
To read the entire list, CLICK HERE.