Notre Dame football: Could Rocco Spindler crack the 2022 starting lineup?

May 1, 2021; Notre Dame, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Rocco Spindler (50) tight end Mitchell Evans (88) offenisve lineman Michael Carmody (68) offensive lineman Tosh Baker (79) and quarterback Tyler Buchner (12) run onto the field in the second half of the Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2021; Notre Dame, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Rocco Spindler (50) tight end Mitchell Evans (88) offenisve lineman Michael Carmody (68) offensive lineman Tosh Baker (79) and quarterback Tyler Buchner (12) run onto the field in the second half of the Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Notre Dame football team has some big decisions to make on offense, and one of them is upfront along the offensive line.

The Notre Dame football program has long been known as one that produces elite NFL talent along the offensive line. In 2022, the Irish could have one of the best offensive lines in the country, as they return every starter from the 2021 season, and that group gelled down the stretch for the Irish.

After inserting Andrew Kristofic and Joe Alt into the starting lineup as the left guard and left tackle, respectively, they took off. Their strong play was evident by how well Kyren Williams was able to run the football down the stretch, as well as Jack Coan getting more comfortable in the pocket.

Now, with spring practices kicking off this week, it is time to start looking at one player who could end up cracking this starting lineup and stealing a job from an incumbent starter. That player is Rocco Spindler, a crown jewel of the program’s 2021 recruiting class, and one who is ready to take the next step forward in his collegiate career.

Notre Dame football loaded along the offensive line

Spindler was seen as a top offensive guard going into his true freshman season, and many felt he would join Blake Fisher as starters in Year 1. However, he was unable to breakthrough, and with a year within the system under his best, and a new position coach coming in, he will have every opportunity to supplant either Kristofic or Josh Lugg this offseason.

The truth is, Spindler has the size, athleticism, and power to earn a starting job this offseason, but he has a tough road ahead of him considering how well this group played together in 2021. He is an elite talent, and someone who will be key for this program down the stretch, and I believe, when all is said and done, he will be a starter for the team at some point in 2022.