Yesterday I asked what other coaches would get in on the fun of Mike Elston’s recruiting success. That question was answered quickly by Irish Offensive Line Coach Jeff Quinn as he and the Irish got the news that 4-star Offensive tackle Tosh Baker committed to the Irish last night.
God. Country. Notre Dame.
— Tosh Baker (@tdbakes) May 8, 2019
Baker, from Pinnacle High school in Phoenix, is widely considered one of the top offensive line prospects in the country.
He is a consensus four star recruit, and ranked #51 overall in the Rivals 100 for 2020. If you take one look at him, it’s fairly easy to see why. Standing at 6’8 275 lbs, Baker is an absolute mammoth of a human.
Early analysis of Baker as a player shows that he already has the tools to be an elite pass blocker, but is still so raw compared to what he could be. He’s keeping some weight off currently due to basketball, but his frame suggests that he could still put on a lot of good weight, and become an elite run blocker as well. The Mike McGlinchey comparisons have already started.
This commitment isn’t a huge surprise to many. The Irish were believed to be big front runners for Baker even with Alabama, OSU, Michigan, and USC all doing their best to get involved.
Baker seemed to like what many recruits have been liking about playing for the Blue and Gold. The opportunity for an elite education while being able to play National Championship level football. The success of Irish lineman was also a big selling point.
I can’t imagine it’s hard to sell Offensive Line recruits on Notre Dame being that all you have to do is look at the NFL for an example of what the program can do for the big guys. Either way Jeff Quinn gets most of the credit here.
Quinn did everything right from the start even making sure to offer Baker his scholarship in person. Baker has stated that Quinn made him feel like cares for him both on and off the field.
I’ll be the first to say i wasn’t thrilled with Quinn taking over for Harry Heistand. Mostly because it just seemed like Heistand was producing NFL lineman like an assembly line. I can no longer argue with Quinn’s success as he has maintained the backbone strength of the program – especially on the heels of the 2019 class featuring four 4-star offensive linemen.
Since Jeff Quinn became the #NotreDame OL coach last year…
• The Irish were a semifinalist for the Joe Moore Award (best OL) in 2018
• A quartet of four-star OL signed to ND's 2019 recruiting class
• OL Tosh Baker, a consensus Top 55 overall player nationally, commits to ND
— Carter Karels (@CarterKarels) May 8, 2019
The Irish staff have had a lot of success selling their 4for40 pitch to recruits, but let’s be honest here. That pitch doesn’t work unless your team is playing in meaningful games late in the year. Notre Dame’s success in 2017 and 2018 have granted them the ability to recruit the kind of talent they need to win.
Northwestern, Duke, Vandebilt, and Purdue are all elite academic schools, but don’t ever play in meaningful games late in the year. Notre Dame’s success on the recruiting trail is due in large part to making their inaugural playoff appearance.
Notre Dame has had another recruiter who’s been very helpful in not only recruiting Baker, but everyone the Irish are targeting. Class of 2020 quarterback Drew Pyne has been extremely active on social media befriending Notre Dame’s top targets. It Appears he’s already on to the next one as well….
Your turn‼️☘️☘️👀👀 https://t.co/JV2b9MxKEH
— Drew Pyne (@dpyne10) May 9, 2019
It would seem he will be getting some help in that department as Baker has commented that he will assist Pyne in securing other prospects especially RB Chris Tyree who I spoke of yesterday.
Every time I begin to speak about the potential of this 2020 class, it gets even better. Just yesterday I talked about this being one of the most exciting recruiting classes Notre Dame has had under Brian Kelly, and then they landed a four star tackle.
#NotreDame has landed its No. 1 QB target, its No. 1 WR target, its top two TE targets …. and now it has landed its No. 1 OL target.
All that is left now is the No. 1 RB target.
— Bryan Driskell (@BGI_CoachD) May 8, 2019
All eyes will now be on the two recruits I talked about yesterday. Chris Tyree and Braiden Mcgregor. If Notre Dame is able to secure both of those then i think you could argue that the Irish will have a top 5 class in 2020. Another running back to keep an eye on is Tirek Murphy who visited a couple months ago and has the Irish high on his list.
Now…. Let’s see if any coaches besides Elston AND QUINN would like to join the fun.