Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson: All-Americans or All-Hype?


Despite Notre Dame’s poor performance on the field, Left Tackle Mike McGlinchey and Left Guard Quenton Nelson receive lots of accolades.

Today, the Associated Press released their AP Preseason All-America team. While this list possesses even less value the preseason poll, two Notre Dame players found their names etched on this hypothetical lineup: Left Tackle Mike McGlinchey and Left Guard Quenton Nelson.

Despite a lack of a dominant run game in 2016, scouts, writers, coaches and fellow teammates continue to sing the praises of both young men. Such hype begs the question: ‘Is this hype or are these two Offensive Linemen for real?’.

Supporters of McGlinchey and Nelson point out two factors that demonstrate their greats. First, both players started on an Offensive Line that plowed their way to 207.92/game rushing average in 2015. Second, both players projects as 1st Round draft picks in several mock drafts (like this one by WalterFootball.com). These arguments can be easily dispatched.

Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson did not start at their current positions during the 2015 campaign. McGlinchey played Right Tackle while Nelson anchored the Right Guard spot. In addition to not playing their current roles in 2015, they also played alongside NFL players Ronnie Stanley and Nick Martin. Playing second fiddle on a team that ran for over 200 yards is not as impressive as the role Stanley or Martin played.

As for the second argument, mock drafts epitomize hype. Notre Dame fans questioning whether or not mock drafts are hype should think about how DeShone KIzer went from being a top pick to a Quarterback selected in the second round. Warts are exposed during the draft process. Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson have yet to venture through this poking and prodding.

Are Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson overrated because of the reputations garnered by Notre Dame Offensive Linemen in the NFL? Is it the respect for Harry Hiestand? Do the high recruiting rankings of these players play a role?

The answers to these question may be yes. In fact, they probably are. McGlinchey and Nelson possessed a great opportunity to push the 2016 team to a better record. The tandem false started (literally for Mike McGlinchey).

With rejection of their current All-America status stated, both players appeared poised to show the promise that was expected in 2016. McGlinchey and Nelson’s talent stacks up against anyone. Typically, these lists reward talent. Voters attempt to project what the talent looks like in November even though they cast votes in August.

Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson hold the talent. Now, they must turn it into production.