Aug. 6, 2011; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly watches practice at the LaBar Practice Complex. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Prospect Evaluation: Sam Mustipher

The 6’4’’ 285 pound offensive guard from Olney, Maryland committed to Notre Dame this past Monday. This is an up and coming prospect rated differently by almost every recruiting expert on the internet. He was an All-American last season and he goes into his senior season as one of the best offensive guards in the country. He is currently on ESPN’s 2014 watch list, the 2nd best guard and the 122ndbest prospect in the nation according to Rivals. 247sports has him as the 19thbest guard and not ranked in the top 247 prospects. It is still early and more rankings will come out closer to National Signing Day (Feb. 2014).

After watching film on this guy there are many things that stick out as to why he is one of the best guards in the country. First of all, he is quick off the ball and stays low when making contact with the defender. His first step is very quick, but his second and third steps are even quicker, which will make him a great pulling guard and great ability to get to the next level to block linebackers. Mustipher never stops moving his feet, even after he engages and the play is past him he blocks until the whistle. That sounds easy, but there are many great linemen that struggle maintaining their blocks until the whistle. The point of contact on the defender is usually pretty good; sometimes he can get his hands a little too high. Mustipher has pure athletic ability combined with strength that makes him a very good lineman. His best attribute however is his football IQ, which comes into play on zone reads and other pre snap reads, which Notre Dame does a lot of. Mustipher will be a great addition to the football team in 2014.

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