Irish Add OT Tate Nichols

Notre Dame picked up another verbal commitment over the weekend when former Stanford commit Tate Nichols decommited from the Cardinal and gave his pledge to Brian Kelly and the Irish.  Nichols visited South Bend this past weekend without a scholarship offer, but was quick to accept once Kelly extended one to the Kentucky native.

Nichols (6-7, 278) played mostly tight end in high school, but will make the transition to offensive tackle once he arrives at Notre Dame – a move that he would have had to make almost anywhere he attended.  He originally committed to Stanford last spring but he recently opened up his recruiting and was receiving attention from BCS schools such as Michigan, NC State, and Illinois before visiting Notre Dame and becoming the second verbal commitment since Kelly took over the Irish in December.

Nichols told Irish Illustrated that the most impressive aspect of his trip to Notre Dame was the Basilica.

“The most impressive thing we saw was probably the Basilica,” Nichols said. “That was just incredible. I’m Catholic so it was obviously something that was unbelievable. Another thing was the game day locker room. Seeing the signs on the wall and all the national championships and the speech that the Gipper gave when he was on his death bed, that whole experience was just unbelievable.”

While Nichols doesn’t bring a lot of “stars” with him from the various recruiting services, he is a prospect with a high ceiling that could turn out to be a very nice addition to this class with some time in the program.  He’ll be learning a new position so it’s unrealistic to expect any big contributions from Nichols very early in his career, but if he can pick up the blocking schemes of new offensive line coach Ed Warinner and put in the work in the weight room with strength and conditioning coordinator Paul Longo, he has some very nice potential down the road.

One of the biggest problems with the Irish offensive line over the last few years has been a lack of mobility from the tackles.  Recruiting a high school tight end with the frame to develop into a tackle is one way to combat that problem.  Here’s a little video of Nichols from his senior year playing mostly tight end.


Nichols gives Notre Dame three commitments from recruits who had previously been committed to Standford this year.  Early enrollees Chris Badger (safety) and Tai-ler Jones (wide receiver) were also Stanford commitments at one time. Nichols is also the second offensive line recruit in this class along with Christain Lombard.

Notre Dame is also still actively recruiting offensive tackle prospects Seantrel Henderson and Matt James.

You may also like


  1. I have faith in BK, but, there is a saying “to a man with a hammer all problems are a nail,” why is BK meeting with Anthony Barr and Dietrich Riley and telling them he sees them as receivers? A little defense, please.

  2. Charlie Weis proved that ND can attract and land the 5 star recruit. Here I’m thinking that BK will pick up where CW left off. Only he would take the next step by developing them into All Americans, Heismen Throphy winners, and future NFL’ers. And perhaps win a National Title or two and return ND to the top of the College football Mountian along the way.
    This is only his first recruiting year. Signing day is still a week away . There is still time to for him to reel in a few of these 5 star hold outs. As a life long ND fan I’m willing to go on faith. For a while.
    BK inherited a pretty well stocked team. There is experience and talent.
    If he can win right away, perhaps the recruiting of 5 star players will take care of it’s self.

  3. On the Rivals Freshman All-American Team for 2009, there were more “2-Star” rated players than “5-star” rated players. The guy is 6’7″ and 278 and has a GPA of 3.6. With a training table and a real strength and conditioning coaching staff, there are many possibilities here. Otherwise, Harbaugh wouldn’t have wasted time on him and I would much rather have him here than on the opposite side for the next four years.

    1. Joe Pa was asked about focusing on 5 star kids, he said, “I don’t know what that is, I look for football players.”

      1. Granted, PSU only has 1 five star recruit that has verbally committed to them at this point.
        But that still is one more than us.
        PSU has gotten very competitive over the last 5 years, and occasionally gets a shot at the National title.
        Florida, Texas, & USC seem to be in the title hunt every year. These are the teams with the most 5 star atheletes. Coinsidence???

      2. You can’t argue with these people here Shazamrock. They don’t get it!!! They rather get 2 stars because that what Kelly won with instead of going after the big fish.

  4. faithful,

    We can’t go after projects exclusively! There are too many highly-rated players every year and ND needs to get its fair share of them. A project here or a coach’s hunch there is OK once in a while. But we won’t be beating Alabama, Texas, SC, Florida, etc. with 2-star TEs playing at OT or any other project players.

    1. SFR,
      You make an excellent point.
      The current recuiting rankings are as follows:
      Rivals has ND at 12
      ESPN has ND at 19
      Scout has ND at 20.
      Florida, Texas, USC,& Alabama all have at least 4, five star recruites.
      ND has ZERO 5 star commits.
      The last time that ND failed to land at least 1 five star recruit was Charlie Weis first year. Obvioulsy there is still time for that to change. There are a number of 5 star guys left who have visited ND and are undecided. Lets hope that our current staff can land one or two of them.

  5. I can see BK going after this type of guy for the OL in the next few years. Athletic guy with the body type to put on weight to be a decent OL. Now we will see how long it takes to “develop” this type of player.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button