(UHND.com) – Notre Dame bolstered its offensive line class for 2008 with the addition of Maryland native Lane Clelland Saturday. Clelland, considered a five star recruit according to Tom Lemming, picked the Irish over Michigan, Penn State, Maryland, Virginia, and Florida.
Clelland (6’6”, 270) became the first exterior offensive lineman in this year’s class joining interior linemen Braxston Cave and Mike Golic Jr when he committed to Charlie Weis and Notre Dame this past weekend.
Despite not having ideal size for a tackle on the college level, bulking up to the 300 poind range shouldn’t be much of a problem for Clelland. During the off-season, Notre Dame’s latest commit is a star on the wrestling team and as a result, he keeps his weight down a bit. By the time he reaches Notre Dame next summer, that shouldn’t be an issue.
Clelland’s experience as a wrestler should come in handy because it will give him a pretty good understanding about needing to use leverage to his advantage. A lot of high school offensive line can flat out dominate their opposition and then need to learn technique at the college level. Clelland’s wrestling skills will help him in that department.
Lemming rates Clelland as one of the best tackles in the country, as his five star rating would suggest. Scout.com isn’t as high on Clelland, but they still rank him as a four star prospect. His list of offers should also give fans an indication of his skills.
Clelland is the 12th commitment in this year’s recruiting class for Notre Dame and was the second recruit to commit to Weis and the Irish last week along with New Jersey defensive line prospect Hafis Williams.
With Emeka Nwanko and Andrew Nuss potentially playing along the defensive line from last year’s offensive line class, the o-line became a pretty high priority for Weis in recruiting this year and so far, the early results are very positive with the trio of Clelland, Golic, and Cave.
With three offensive line commitments already look for the Irish to go hard after one or two more very highly rated prospects. Weis and Notre Dame can afford to be picky along the offensive line now that they have already landed three of their top targets.