Notre Dame added another #ShamrockSoldier to the recruiting class of 2015 on Saturday afternoon in the form of 4-star offensive lineman Tristen Hoge giving the Irish a trio of highly touted commitments already for the class of ’15.
Prior to committing to Notre Dame on Saturday, Hoge picked up scholarship offers from the likes of Stanford, Penn State, LSU, Florida, and UCLA but had been favoring the Irish since the summer months when Notre Dame initially offered the 4-star tackle from Idaho.
Hoge is listed by as an offensive guard by some recruiting websites, but can also play the center position giving the Irish coaching staff the flexibility they greatly value with their interior linemen. Brian Kelly recently mentioned that when it comes to the center position, they like to get their linemen on campus first and see who is up to the task of playing the position and handling all of the responsibilities of being the quarterback of the offensive line before labeling any a center right off the bat.
If Hoge’s recruiting rankings are correct, however, the Idaho native could be an elite center for the Irish. Tem Lemmming and 247 Sports both have Hoge ranked as the top center in the class of 2015 already while Lemming has him ranked as the #18 overall prospect in the country regardless of position. 247 meanwhile has Hoge inside their initial top 100 at #92 overall.
Since getting that offer over the summer, Hoge made a return trip to Notre Dame in October as part of a blockbuster recruiting weekend for the USC game and is back in town this weekend for yet another visit. On this trip, Hoge decided it was time to end his recruitment and commit to Brian Kelly and the Irish coaching staff.
Notre Dame now has three stellar commitments to start the class of 2015 with Hoge joining fellow 4-star offensive lineman Jerry Tillery from Louisiana and 4-star quarterback quarterback Blake Barnett who committed to Notre Dame just last week. Barnett and Tillery decided that the moniker for the class of 2015 would be the #ShamrockSoldiers15 after the class of 2014 took on the name of the #GoldenArmy14 and the class of 2013 the name the #IrishMob13.
With three 4-star commitments before the close of 2013, this is the earliest we can remember Notre Dame ever being off to this fast of a start to a recruiting class in terms of quality, top 100 type talent – something all three players have the potential to be.
The days of Notre Dame failing to add top quality linemen and coming up short on numbers in the trenches appear to be long, long gone with this current coaching regime – especially since the arrival of Harry Hiestand. Since Hiestand’s arrival following the 2011 season, not only has the Notre Dame offensive line been stout on the field, but the Irish have also flat out cleaned up on the recruiting trail along the offensive line.