Notre Dame picked up its 12th commitment for the growing class of 2018 over the weekend with another 4-star offensive lineman – John Dirksen – to stock Harry Hiestand’s troops. Dirksen, the second offensive lineman in this year’s class, committed to Notre Dame while on a weekend trip to campus.
John Dirksen is a composite 4-star recruit according to 247Sports, but his ranking is a bit inflated due to a high ranking from Scout who has him in their top 200 at #190. Rivals and 247Sports have him listed as a 3-star prospect. In what some consider a down year for offensive linemen though, Dirksen is one of just a handful of offensive linemen to receive an offer from Notre Dame.
Translation: Harry Hiestand sees something he likes in John Dirksen and when it comes to the offensive line, Brian Kelly tends to let Harry Hiestand go after what he wants. And honestly, no one can really argue with the results he’s produced recruiting along the offensive line.
Also keep in mind that Dirksen does not do interviews and has not been big on the camp circuit. He is a quiet kid who doesn’t get too caught up in the recruiting hype and drama – just like his new offensive line coach. Recruits who don’t talk to the recruiting sites and don’t do a lot of camps usually do not get rated very highly.
That ranking could change in a hurry though. Tom Lemming told Tyler James of The South Bend Tribune that Dirkseon is, “shooting up real fast as one of the best offensive linemen in the Midwest.”
Right now Dirksen checks in a 6’5″ and anywhere from 275 to 305 lbs and is listed as a tackle by most services, but he has the flexibility to play either tackle or guard – a quality that Hiestand loves. If he stays closer to 6’5” by the time he arrives on campus, guard could very easily be in the cards for Dirksen long term.
In fact, Scout’s high ranking could very well be their evaluation of Dirksen as a guard as opposed to Rivals and 247 listing him as a tackle. As a guard, Scout ranks Dirksen as the #9 guard in the entire country. 247 has him as the #35 offensive tackle and doesn’t even have him ranked at tackle. They just have him as a 3-star prospect.
Prior to committing to Notre Dame this weekend, Dirksen held offers from Michigan State, Boston College, Northwestern, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Iowa State. While his offer from Notre Dame came just a couple months ago, Michigan State offered Dirksen last June so he has been a big target for the Spartans for some time.
How John Dirksen Fits into the Class of 2018
Dirksen is the 2nd offensive linemen to jump on board for the class of 2018 along with Tennessee native Cole Mabry who committed to Notre Dame following their wildly successful Junior Day in February. With some limited scholarship numbers available this year, Notre Dame might only take one more offensive lineman this cycle, but that number is highly fluid at this point and dependant on graduate transfers, injuries, early departures, etc.
With two offensive linemen on board and only a handful of offers out to other offensive linemen, Notre Dame can afford to be picky now and really target the recruits they (ie Harry Hiestand) wants to round out this offensive line class.