Now, the Irish are filled with five offensive linemen on board, and it culminated with four-star John Montelus of Everett (Mass.) High committing after last weekend's spring game.
The 6-foot-5, 295-pound Montelus was looking at Florida and Notre Dame, and following a visit to The Swamp, he was in South Bend, Ind., to check out the Irish.
So, what is Notre Dame getting in Montelus? IrishEyes.com reviewed his junior film for this scouting report.
What to like
A few things jump out when watching the film.
First, Montelus' feet are always moving, and moving quickly and freely. He slides well, he is well-balanced and his athleticism exudes throughout the tape.
Montelus has tremendous explosion, he stands defenders up quickly and not only does he have a good first punch, he is quick to deliver a second one if needed. His kick-step is good, and although he plays left tackle (No. 74) in the film, his body is built to play guard since he doesn't have the natural length of what Notre Dame wants in its offensive tackles.
I also love that most of his film is pass protection. Everett High throws the ball a lot, and Montelus has good technique, which will speed up his ability to play at Notre Dame.
Looking at the film, take a look at the second play. He moves well along the line of scrimmage, and delivers a good punch and is in control of his body despite the quick movements.
Give me an offensive lineman with balance any day, and Montelus shows it at the 1:46 mark of the tape. The defensive end tries an outside fake before cutting underneath. Montelus doesn't reach, stays grounded and easily blocks. It looks simple, but for someone Montelus' size, it takes a lot of coordination and work.
At the 1:53 mark, Montelus doesn't make a block, but he explodes quickly and gets down the field in impressive fashion.
Finally, the play I love the most is at the 2:54 mark. This is the lone play on the tape in which Montelus pulls, and he buries the defender to pave the way for a touchdown. Montelus shows the ability to rise out of his stance, step quickly to his right, get ahead of the play, square his body and crush the defender. Oh, so much to like right there.
What needs work
Go to the 1:28 mark of the tape. Montelus shows an ability to get out on a screen pass and identify who needs to be blocked.
However, he goes for a simple push rather than controlling the defender. What looks to be an aggressive, physical play actually results in the player being blocked getting in on the tackle. Recognition of where to block a defender is as crucial as blocking him.
Montelus plays tackle at Everett, and a move inside means a change in some technique. The game moves faster inside as interior defensive lineman and blitzing linebackers are on players more quickly. There is also different technique with steps, and those are things Montelus will have to learn.
Of the five committed offensive linemen I watched on tape, Montelus comes across as the one most ready to play. That is not a slight on the others, but speaks well of Montelus' athleticism, power, footwork and balance, in addition to his ability to pass-protect.
He is the No. 2-rated guard in the 2013 class for a reason, and his physical style and ability to run make him, in my eyes, as the most refined of the prospects.