If you thought the torrid pace at which the Notre Dame coaching staff closed the class of 2017 would slow down after Signing Day, you thought wrong. Notre Dame picked up its third commitment in two days on Tuesday when 3-star OT Cole Mabry committed to the Irish following his Junior Day visit this past weekend.
Like fellow recent commitment Kalon Gervin, things moved fast with the recruitment of Cole Mabry. Notre Dame just offered the Tennessee native last week. He quickly scheduled a trip to South Bend for Junior Day and two days later he was the 9th member of Notre Dame’s quickly exploding class of 2018.
While he was just recently offered, Mabry has been on the radar of new offensive coordinator Chip Long for some time. One of Mabry’s first offers was from Memphis where Long was most recently the OC. It didn’t take long for him to convince offensive line coach Harry Hiestand that Mabry was worth offering. Other early offers for Mabry include Indiana, Colorado State, and Cincinnati. LSU, however, was also showing interest though they had not yet offered.
Mabry is just Notre Dame’s third commitment on the offensive side of the ball joining quarterback Phil Jurkovec and running back Markese Stepp. That makes him the first lineman for Harry Hiestand in this class.
At 6’6′, 255-260 lbs (depending which recruiting site you look at), Mabry is still a lean prospect with a lot of room to grow. Given Notre Dame’s depth at the offensive line after signing four lineman in 2017, he is an ideal first lineman for the class of 2018 as he will be afforded plenty of time to continuing growing and bulking up before being called upon.
In some ways, Mabry is similar to the first offensive lineman to join last year’s class – Dillan Gibbons. Gibbons ended up being the lowest ranked member of the group with higher rated prospects Aaron Banks, Robert Hainsey, and Josh Lugg all garnering 4-star rankings.
With Mabry committed, Notre Dame has now picked up three commitments this week alone. In addition to Mabry and Gervin, 4-star safety Derrik Allen committed to Notre Dame earlier this week. Notre Dame could continue this hot streak on Friday when 4-star wide receiver Micah Jones is set to announce his college decision. Notre Dame is considered the heavy favorite heading into that announcement.
Even after replacing more than half of the coaching staff and coming off a 4-8 season, Notre Dame has not skipped a beat recruiting. This class – while still in its early stages with a long way to go until Signing Day 2018 – has the chance to be a special, program altering type of class for Notre Dame.
This is the fastest start to a recruiting class that we have ever seen for Notre Dame. The recruiting cycle continues to move up every year, but even by last year’s standards, Notre Dame is off to a break-neck pace. And the Irish very well could end up with a smaller class this year. Notre Dame took 21 recruits in 2017 but might not have that many scholarships available depending on how the roster works itself out over the spring and fall camps.
Hats off to Notre Dame recruiting coordinator Mike Elston for keeping the Notre Dame recruiting train churning despite the staff upheaval and Notre Dame’s struggles on the field last fall.