Notre Dame Added to Growing OL Class with Joe Otting

Notre Dame picked up its latest commitment on Tuesday when offensive lineman Otting selected the Irish, giving them 14 commitments for the class of 2023 and three linemen in an offensive line class that is starting to take shape.

Otting fits the mold of some other recent Notre Dame OL that the Irish identified while their rankings were low such as 2021 freshman Joe Alt who became a freshman All-American. Like Alt, Otting is a multi-sport star as well, which keeps his weight relatively low for an offensive lineman, but there is little worry that Otting won’t bulk up once he starts working with Matt Balis. If anything, coming in a little leaner after basketball and track season should give Otting a better frame to work with than an OL prospect who comes in and needs to shed some baby fat before adding on.

Otting projects as an inside lineman (whether it be center or guard) for Notre Dame, where his athleticism could lead to him developing into a big-time player for the Irish. Jamie Uyeyama from ISD recently described Otting as a “freight train.”

Jamie also ranks Otting as a 4-star prospect in his own rankings on ISD compared to most of the recruiting services that have him as a 3-star. However, Blue and Gold Illustrated’s Mike Singer hinted that a rankings bump was in Otting’s future in the On3 rankings in the near future.

It’s rare for Notre Dame to take a 3-star offensive lineman these days. The Irish tend to recruit high 4-star and 5-star linemen almost exclusively these days, but the staff accepted the commitment days after his official and with other, more highly rated (by the services) linemen still set to visit this month. That should be a clear indicator to all Notre Dame fans that the staff is much higher on Otting than any of the services. Based on Singer’s comments on the latest BGI live show, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the services catch up to the staff’s evaluation.

Notre Dame’s main competition for Otting was Iowa, Iowa State, and Kansas State. Based on his profile and multi-sport background, Otting is the exact kind of under-rated lineman that Iowa tends to land and turn into an NFL lineman that other teams look at and say, “why can’t we do that.” He might not be the kind of player who can step on campus and force themselves onto the field as Alt did in 2021, but he’s got all of the tools to develop into yet another great offensive line for the Irish.

Notre Dame now has three linemen committed for 2023, with Otting joining tackle Sullivan Absher and interior lineman Sam Pendelton.

Is Elijah Paige Next for Notre Dame?

There has been a slew of predictions over on 247 for Notre Dame to land Elijah Paige, another 3-star lineman like Otting, even though some big-name linemen are still left on Notre Dame’s board. That suggests that the staff thinks both Otting and Paige are more than 3-star players.

Paige was the lone official visitor for the class of 2023 at Notre Dame last week, with the focus on the class of 2024 and beyond with the Irish Invasion. He is also considering Washington, USC, Michigan State, and UCLA.

And then What?

If Notre Dame adds Paige at some point in the near future, that would give them four linemen committed for 2023 with two elite linemen left on their board – Charles Jagusah and Monroe Freeling. Jagusah will visit Notre Dame on June 19, while Freeling will be in town this weekend. There is talk that Notre Dame could take six linemen this year if they are high on the players who want to jump on board. Notre Dame has long been linked to Jagusah, but there has been more momentum with Freeling and the Irish in recent months as well, so it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

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