Continuation of Slap the Sign’s countdown of the top 10 impact freshmen.
6’5″ 295 lbs
Everett High School, Everett, Massachusetts
The commitment of John Montelus flew under the radar of most Notre Dame fans. Montelus played in New England, not normally a fertile ground for college football recruits, and he rated low on most recruiting services who specifically cited the lack of competition in Massachusetts. But Montelus, not to be deterred, improved markedly between his junior and senior seasons and garnered an invitation to the US Army All American Bowl and ended as the number one rated recruit in the state.
As tape of his senior season reveals, Montelus is a bulldozer who routinely pancaked defenders in his way. Montelus played offensive tackle in high school, but he often pulled to clear holes for the team’s running game. Montelus comes out of his stance and moves the down the line quickly and efficiently. He controls his body well and delivers a devastating hit to anything in his way. Montelus also drives defenders well off the ball and slides into the second level. As a pass blocker Montelus struggles to protect the edge against quicker defensive ends and he leans forward to engage the defender. For these reasons, the Irish have Montelus slated as an offensive guard, a position that matches perfectly with Montelus’ physicality and run blocking skills. Montelus has the body type and the toughness to develop into an outstanding interior offensive linemen. Montelus (along with Michael Deeb) will be the steals from this recruiting class and will be anchors on this team in 4 years.
The early depth chart for 2013 has Nick Martin at center and Connor Hanratty sliding into Mike Golic’s old spot at right guard. Mark Harrell, Bruce Heggie and Matt Hegarty are listed as the primary backups on interior offensive linemen. Montelus will challenge Hegarty, Heggie and Harrell and may be simply too good to keep off the two deep depth chart.
Top 10 Impact Freshman
7. John Montelus
8. Steve Elmer
9. Cole Luke
10. Issac Rochell