Notre Dame football has four offensive linemen already committed for the 2017 season. Who hasn’t committed yet should be their top focus, though.
Four-star offensive tackle, Foster Sarell, is one of the biggest players in the 2017 recruiting class. At 6-7 311 pounds, Sarell already has college football size and skill. The 12th ranked recruit on ESPN 300 was awarded an 89 overall scout grade and is fourth ranked tackle in the 2017 recruiting class.
Sarell currently has Notre Dame in his top three schools heading into December. By visiting the school on October 14th, Sarell took a significant step in his recruiting process.
For Notre Dame, Sarell is their number one guy. The Irish will lose at least two of the starting linemen this offseason. With the rest of the starters being juniors, Notre Dame’s future for this offensive line is still up in the air.
If the Irish are to lose more than two of their starters, they could be looking to give someone like Sarell an early chance. With that line being a major factor in DeShone Kizer’s 2016 success, Notre Dame can’t afford to have any fallbacks next season.
This is a team that has a lot of issues to fix this offseason. With their star quarterback most likely heading to the NFL, and their defense being one of the worst in the NCAA, Notre Dame’s focus will be on maintaining offensive success while rebuilding their defense.
The biggest part managing this firepower is going to be the offensive line. The quarterback battle for next season is still wide open for Brian Kelly. Whether it’s Montgomery VanGorder, Ian Book, or one of the Irish’s 2017 recruits, the biggest part of their success is going to come from the line.
As a first-time starting quarterback in college, having to deal with live game action is hard enough. Knowing the playbook, controlling the tempo, and not making mistakes are what their concerns should be. Whether or not they’ll have pressure shouldn’t be one of their concerns.
In Sarell, Notre Dame can find an immediate playmaker. He’s one of the biggest names in 2017 recruiting for that exact reason. Every team knows they can put Sarell in their starting five and expect him to make an impact.
Sarell one of the most athletic offensive linemen in this year’s recruiting class, which only benefits his strength. In high school, Sarell was able to drive defenders five or ten yards off the ball, each play. Although he won’t be able to overpower players as much in college, his size suggests he should still be able to win most battles against defensive linemen.
What makes Sarell special is his ability to keep blocks. This lineman can hold his blocks for most of each play. During sweeps, reverses, and pass plays, Sarell shows no signs of fatigue at any point throughout the play.
Right now, Sarell has visited Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Alabama. This makes him a must win player. As someone who can impact his team immediately, Brian Kelly cannot let him commit to another National Championship contender. At this point, Sarell is a make or break player for the Irish.
Notre Dame would be a fool not to make Sarell his top priority. As we all know, National Championships are won in December, but in February. Being able to secure one of the best tackles in the 2017 recruiting class will go a long way in Notre Dame’s success over the next four years.