Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey Intends to Return for 5th Year

Photo: Kevin Jairaj // USA TODAY Sports
Photo: Kevin Jairaj // USA TODAY Sports

In a somewhat surprising announcement, Notre Dame senior captain Mike McGlinchey told reporters on Wednesday that he intends on returning for a 5th year in 2017.  The starting left tackle for the Irish is currently projected to be a 1st round pick by most NFL Draft prognosticators.

Just five games into 2016 no one expected McGlinchey to address his future already, but he took it upon himself to do so on Wednesday.

No one saw that coming at this time.  Before anyone gets too excited though, remember that Will Fuller said he was coming back for his senior year last December before changing course a few weeks later and declaring for the NFL Draft.

Brian Kelly has had tremendous success in getting players to return for additional years in the past prior to last off-season when Will Fuller, Keivarae Russell, CJ Prosise, Ronnie Stanley, and Jaylon Smith all left with a year of eligibility.  Stanely as a top 10 pick was a no-brainer though and Smith’s injury likely pushed him towards declaring.  Fuller ended up being a 1st round pick and is tearing up the NFL already.

Should McGlinchey stick with his plan to return, Notre Dame could potentially return its entire offensive line 2017.  Some draft experts have junior Quenton Nelson pegged as a potential first round pick too so Kelly and Harry Hiestand could still have some work to do.  In addition to McGlinchey and Nelson, Nyles Morgan could play himself into draft consideration but that might be a stretch with just one season of starting experience by season’s end.

All eyes will now turn to Deshone Kizer who artfully dodged questions about the NFL Draft on Wednesday like they were opposing defensive ends collapsing the pocket.  Kizer wouldn’t say one way or another what he was thinking and only said that his sole focus has been on the Notre Dame offense.  Some NFL Draft experts have pegged Kizer a top 10 pick and potentially the first overall selection should he leave.


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  1. It’s a good move for McGlinchey. He hasn’t had a good year so far. I see Kizer leaving after this year, especially if he stays at or near the top of the mock drafts. Why would he stay? They’re not winning a NC next year and almost certainly not 2 yrs from now. Maybe he wins a Heisman in the next 2 yrs, but who knows. His stock is as high as it’s going to get for the draft. Why risk it?

  2. as far as I’m concerned no matter what players stay or go until Notre Dame gets a whole new great coaching staff the results will stay the same. the same.

    1. You suck, “Little Mike” McGlinchey! Go be a late round NFL draft pick!

      I’m just si fed up by ND mediocrity at every level from the university president to the ball boys!

  3. If he has the rest of the year like his potential says he should, it will be difficult to say “no” to an early draft pick projection, having shown prowess at both tackle positions. Zach Martin stayed to play with his brother. Fuller, Russell, and Smith all had projections they couldn’t pass up. So the quicker he develops and the better he does, the less likely he might be able to “just say no” to the NFL next Spring.

    Quite a “catch, that catch 22!”

  4. If he and Nelson both return, along with the return of the prodigal Alize Jones, the ND offense may be interesting. Brandon Wimbush may be the perfect triggerman.

    Kizer, should he leave, Hunter, Folston, and perhaps Durham Smythe would the only significant departures.

  5. “no other Notre Dame player appears to have that sort of decision to make this off-season.”

    What about Kizer? He’ll be three years out of HS, so he could theoretically declare for the draft.

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