Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2016 Issue

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

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FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY ANDREW IVINS T here aren't many offensive line coaches around the country that are better on the recruiting trail than Notre Dame's Harry Hiestand. This past February, Rivals named him one of the nation's top 25 recruiters. While there's no question that Hi- estand has a knack for signing elite talent along the offensive line, this recruiting cycle will present him with a unique challenge. For the first time since Hiestand arrived at Notre Dame in 2012, he will enter the May spring evalua- tion period needing to lock up more than just one offensive linemen. And given the targets that are on the board, it might be a while before the future of his line is in place. As of April 18, Notre Dame held pledges from just two offensive line- men in Wexford (Pa.) North Allegh- eny four-star offensive tackle Joshua Lugg and Clearwater (Fla.) Central Catholic three-star offensive guard Dillan Gibbons, with the goal of add- ing at least three more to the class. "We need to get five guys," Lugg said at a camp in early April. "We're working on it right now." And Notre Dame is, but it's not go- ing to be easy to land commitments anytime soon from the group of line- men that Hiestand and the rest of the Irish coaching staff is targeting. Out of the six uncommitted pros- pects that hold offers from Notre Dame, not one of them thinks that they will make a decision before the start of June. Most of them in fact plan to take official visits during the season before making a commitment in either December or January. It's a rare situation for Hiestand, who usually has his linemen com- mitted in May, but one that will force Unlike Years Past, Offensive Line Is Still A Priority Notre Dame offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, who was named one of the nation's top 25 recruiters in February, will be busy on the recruiting trail this summer. PHOTO BY ANDREW IVINS

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