Blue and Gold Illustrated

BGI April 2019

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 52 of 55 APRIL 2019 53 Joining this group later was walk-on and future NFL player Mike Brennan — but he actually enrolled in 1985. 8. 1990: Aaron Taylor, Tim Ruddy and Mike McGlinn Two-time consensus All-American Taylor won the Lombardi Award and was a first-round pick. He and cen- ter Ruddy — a second-round selec- tion who starred 10 years in the NFL — spearheaded a line that helped Notre Dame win 17 straight games in 1992-93. McGlinn was never a full- time starter but also was inserted at times as a blocking tight end. 7. 1965: Bob Kuechenberg, George Kunz, Tim Monty, Tom McKinley and Ed Tuck Future NFL All-Pros and Hall of Fame candidates Kuechenberg and Kunz headlined this quintet. Kunz, the No. 2 overall pick in the 1969 NFL Draft, started as a sophomore for the 1966 na- tional champs before he was injured in the second game and replaced by Kuechenberg, who moved to defense in 1967. Had Kuechenberg, who passed away in January, stayed on offense, this group would be in the top five. McKinley was a two-year starter at guard, while Monty started at center as a senior and finished out the 1966 national title run as a 198-pound snap- per against Michigan State and USC in place of the injured George Goeddeke. Tuck was a sixth-round NFL pick at guard despite not starting for the Irish. 6. 1987: Mike Heldt, Tim Ryan, Winston Sandri, Joe Allen and Brian Shannon Center Heldt and guard Ryan were three-year starters (1988-90), highlighted by the school-record 23- game winning streak and stepping into their roles as sophomores for the 1988 national champs. Their impact was significant, with Ryan moving over from linebacker. Sandri and Allen also started several times between them as sophomores for the 1988 national champs, and pro- vided quality depth in future years. 5. 1974: Ernie Hughes, Steve McDaniels, Dave Vinson, Harry Woebkenberg and Mike Carney A three-year starter at right guard, Hughes was a second-team AP and UPI All-American for the 1977 na- tional champs, while 6-7, 276-pound McDaniels — a Goliath in his time — joined him on the right side. Vinson earned Academic All- America honors as a part-time starter at left guard. Tackle Woebkenberg and guard Carney started on the left side as juniors in 1976 before leav- ing Notre Dame for different reasons prior to their senior years. 4. 2014: Quenton Nelson, Sam Mustipher, Alex Bars and Jimmy Byrne In prior years, Byrne might have had a chance to start, but with the nine players Notre Dame signed in 2013 (five, see No. 10) and then in this class, it was a challenge to break into the two deep. On any future all-time Notre Dame teams, unanimous All-American guard Nelson will be one of the five representatives along the offensive line. Nelson, Mustipher and Bars also were named captains and were three- year starters. They were vital figures during Notre Dame's 22-4 run the past two years, highlighted by a Col- lege Football Playoff bid in 2018. 3. 1988: Mirko Jurkovic, Justin Hall, Gene McGuire and Lindsay Knapp Four offensive linemen were re- cruited in 1988 and each became two- year starters for a top-10 program, an outstanding hit rate. Jurkovic, who played on defense for the 1988 national champs, was an All- American right guard as a senior, and Hall was on the verge of starting as a freshman right tackle before getting injured. Sadly, both died far too young. McGuire played guard, center and tackle during his career, and Knapp was a two-year starter at left tackle. 2. 1971: Gerry DiNardo, Steve Sylvester, Steve Neece, Steve Quehl and Ed Bauer DiNardo was a three-year starter and consensus All-American right guard, while right tackle Sylvester won three Super Bowl rings for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, plus a 1973 national title ring. Left tackle Neece also started every game in 1973-74 when Notre Dame was 21-2 in head coach Ara Par- seghian's final two seasons. Quehl began his career at tight end, played tackle and started at center for new head coach Dan Devine's 1975 team — a unit co-captained by left tackle Bauer, who also enrolled as a tight end. 1. 1963: Tom Regner, Paul Seiler, George Goeddeke and Dick Swatland Interim coach Hugh Devore re- cruited them and Parseghian and Co. developed the group into national champs as 1966 seniors. Seiler was the 12th pick of the 1967 NFL Draft and Regner — who started on defense as a sophomore in 1964-65 and played both ways in 1965 — was selected 23rd. Tackle Seiler and guard Regner formed one of the most pow- erful left sides ever at Notre Dame, eclipsed perhaps only by the due of Nelson (left guard) and McGlinchey (left tackle) in 2016-17. Center Goeddeke was a second- team UPI and third-team Associated Press All-American who played six years in the NFL. Swatland was a two-year starting guard who made the Time All-America team and also played in the NFL. This group checked all the boxes: All-Americans, multiple first-round NFL picks, a national title and qual- ity depth. ✦ Alex Bars (71), Sam Mustipher (53) and Quenton Nelson (56) all signed in 2014, and became captains. PHOTO COURTESY FIGHTING IRISH MEDIA

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