(UHND.com) – A few months back Notre Dame fans were worrying about whether or not the Irish would be able to hold on the lone defensive lineman, Ian Williams, in last year’s recruiting class. Fast forward to the first week of June and Notre Dame just picked up their fourth defensive linemen in the form of Buford, Georgia native Omar Hunter.
Hunter (6’2”, 300), is the second prototypical nose tackle to commit to the Irish in recent weeks along with Brandon Newman and he picked Notre Dame over rival Michigan giving the Irish another recruiting win over the Wolverines.
As a junior, Hunter collected 85 tackles with 13 going for a loss for his Buford High School team despite facing constant double teams and ranks as one of the best defensive tackles in the country. Rivals has Hunter ranked in their top 250 and ESPN has him on their Top 150 list as well.
He is a big, powerful interior lineman who fits the bill as a prototypical nose tackle in a 3-4 defense because he can eat up space in the middle and clog running lanes. He is good off the snap and can create pressure from the inside as evidenced by his 13 tackles for loss last season. Hunter, however, is not simply just a “space-eater” of a defensive tackle. He’s got the ability to be a very good pass rusher along the same lines that Trevor Laws and Derek Landri were last year.
Like the other most recent defensive line recruit, Brandon Newman, Hunter has the size to be able to step in and play very early on. Hunter also has very good strength for a high school defensive lineman which should help him see the field very quickly once he makes it to Notre Dame.
Aside from being one of the top talents at a position of need for the Irish, getting Hunter’s commitment is huge for the Irish because its another case of Notre Dame doing down into the South and pulling an elite prospect away from traditional SEC powers like LSU, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida – all of whom offered Hunter. Hunter also had offers from the likes of Michigan, Ohio State, Clemson, Florida State, and Virginia Tech.
Hunter also grew up as a Michigan fan making his commitment to Notre Dame even more sweet for Notre Dame fans who have seen countless prospects who grew up Notre Dame fans go elsewhere during the “Davieham Era.”
Recently Hunter broke his leg during spring football practice during the first week of May, but the injury is not severe enough to sideline Hunter for the upcoming season.
With the addition of Hunter, Notre Dame’s Class of 2008 now includes four defensive linemen with Hunter joining Newman, Hafis Williams, and Sean Cwynar – a group which figures to be the strongest defensive line class for the Irish in well over a decade.
Notre Dame still remains heavily in the mix for other elite defensive linemen such as Marcus Fortson, Ethan Johnson, and Garret Goebel as well.