Earlier today Notre Dame picked up its 7th verbal commitment for the recruiting class of 2014 with the addition of tight end Nick Weishar. The Chicago-area native selected Notre Dame over offers from Boston College, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin among others.
Notre Dame’s latest commitment made it offical on Tuesday via Twitter:
Weishar, a Chicago area native hailing from Marist High School, had visited Notre Dame several times over the last year including most recently just a couple weeks ago and was offered a scholarship by the Irish a year ago making him one of the top tight ends targeted by Brian Kelly and the Notre Dame coaching staff for this recruiting cycle.
As a junior last year, Weishar hauled in 89 passes for 1,050 yards and 5 touchdowns in 10 games. Production like that makes it easy to see why the Irish were in on the talented tight end as early as they were.
At 6’5″, 220 lbs, Weishar is a huge target on the high school level and much like Tyler Eifert played a lot of wide receiver in high school. Weishar may not have the same top end speed as Eifert, but he does have a very similar pedigree to Eifert coming out of high school – a big, tall, oversized tight end that could grow into a playmaker at tight end on the college level once he hits the weight room and fills out a frame capable of supporting quite a bit more mass.
Rivals is a little bullish on Weishar’s ranking right now rating him as just a 3-star tight end. 247 Sports on the other hand lists him as the #5 rated tight end in the country and #97 rated prospect overall regardless of postion. Those offers from the likes of Michigan, Ohio State and Oklahoma give a lot of credence to 247’s evaluation of Notre Dame’s latest verbal commitment.
Weisnar fits the profile that Brian Kelly and his staff have identified at the tight end position. Like Mike Heuerman and Ben Koyack, Weisnar is undersized for a tight end right now, but has the frame to easily grow into the position. The key will be for Weisnar to maintain the speed and athleticism (see his highlight reel below) that has made him such a weapon for his Marist High offense while bulking up. Given Paul Longo’s track record, that shouldn’t be a problem at all.
With fewer spots available in this year’s class than in some recent years, its unclear if Weisnar will be the only tight end the Irish add this year. Last year Notre Dame picked up Heuerman early and then added Durham Smythe late in the recruiting process, but when looking at the depth at tight end, Troy Niklas, Alex Welch and Ben Koyack will have just one year of eligibility remaining after this season which could leave Notre Dame relying on a freshman in 2014 for depth.
Regardless of what it means for any additional tight ends in this class, one thing is very clear – Notre Dame got one of its top targets at a position that has become a factory line of NFL talent over the last 10 years for the Irish.