Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2018

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 45 of 63

46 MAY 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY COREY BODDEN Western Pennsylvania has been good to Notre Dame in recent recruit- ing classes, and the Irish struck again in the Keystone State by landing Gib- sonia (Pa.) Pine-Richland 2019 offen- sive tackle Andrew Kristofic April 23. The 6-6, 260-pounder picked Notre Dame over his other top contenders Ohio State and Clemson, plus offers from Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan and Virginia Tech. Notre Dame first entered the mix for the three-star prospect in Decem- ber, starting a period where Kristofic picked up more than a dozen offers in just a few months. The junior had been to South Bend before his March 27 visit, but it was the first time he was there as a recruited prospect. The Irish blew him away from the beginning. "It was an awesome visit," Kristofic told Blue & Gold Illustrated. "It was an incredible day. We were there first thing in the morning for all the meet- ings and practice. We got to meet with everyone and see everything that we could have. "I really haven't had a bad visit, but that was definitely the best visit I've been on so far." To that point, Kristofic had made trips to Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Michigan State and others during his process. A visit to Clemson shortly af- ter his time in South Bend brought the Tigers seriously into the picture. Kristofic mentioned he expected Clemson to be the last visit he would take before making a decision. How- ever, he returned to Ohio State before arriving at Notre Dame April 23 to take one last look and ended up commit- ting in person. "The combination that their school is able to provide, being one of the very best schools in the entire country academically and one of the very best athletically, stands out," Kristofic said of Notre Dame. "I think they have the best combination of those two things on top of being a school that is known for being able to produce such great offensive linemen. No other schools re- ally have the combination of all those. "When you can put together all the things that they can [put together] there, it's certainly not something you can overlook or take for granted." Harry Hiestand was the offensive line coach at the time Notre Dame ex- tended the offer to Kristofic. When Jeff Quinn took over in January, he also made the Pennsylvanian a top priority and quickly built a relationship. The March visit was the first time Kristofic had a chance to spend a lot of time with the Irish staff in person, and they did not disappoint. "It was cool to get to see Coach Quinn interact with the guys, teach and coach them in a football setting," Kristofic said. "It was good to get a better feel for Coach Quinn as a coach and not just a recruiter. Coach [Brian] Kelly is an awesome guy. It was good to meet and sit down with him for as long as we did. "That was a great experience in it- self. They all had things to do, and for the coaches and the head coach of the caliber of Coach Kelly to take a big part of his day to talk with my dad and me, that's definitely something that can't be overlooked." While Rivals ranks Kristofic as only the No. 55 offensive tackle in the 2019 class, Blue & Gold Illustrated football analyst Bryan Driskell graded him as a four-star prospect with five-star upside. USA Today selected him to its first-team All-Pennsylvania squad last fall. The Irish have now landed a Pine- Richland Ram in back-to-back classes with Kristofic set to join quarterback Phil Jurkovec, who inked with Notre Dame during the 2018 cycle. The pair combined to help Pine-Richland to a 16-0 record and the 6A state champi- onship in 2017. ✦ FILM ANALYSIS Strengths Andrew Kristofic is a left tackle target with legit five-star upside, which is why he was a top target for the Notre Dame staff … Has tremendous length, standing 6-6 with long arms and fast hands … Light on his feet, gets into his pass set quickly and comes off fast in the run game … Change of direction skills are top-notch, can mirror defenders on the edge and handles quick line games with ease … Aggres- sive blocker that constantly moves his feet, but he also plays under control and shows good patience. Areas For Improvement Still a bit on the thin side and will have to add weight to his 260-pound frame … He shows a good punch, but adding more weight room strength is a must … Competes in the run game, but ability to get movement will be aided by added size and strength. — Bryan Driskell COMMITMENT PROFILE ANDREW KRISTOFIC Fighting Irish Land Another Target From Western Pennsylvania Programs like Notre Dame, Ohio State, Clemson, Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State and Virginia Tech made a hard run to add Kristofic along their offensive lines, despite his three-star ranking from Rivals. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - May 2018