In reply to: I came into the season expecting us to have a Tertiary. posted by Porpoiseboy
Is it that there just aren't that many kids who are that big in high school? Do we play a defense that kids don't want to play in?
I just took a look at some of our best d-linemen from recent memory and they generally weren't very close to 300 pounds when recruited:
Louis Nix: 6'2, 230 (this HAS to be a misprint of 320)
Aaron Lynch: 6'6, 240
Stephon Tuitt: 6'5, 270
Sheldon Day: 6'2, 286
Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa: 6'4, 270
Jayson Ademilola: 6'3, 290
Isaiah Foskey: 6'4, 233
Along with a lot of pizzas.
We need the beef inside. SC abused us there.
Ends can and should be lighter but solid enough to hold the edge and nimble enough to pressure the QB.
Your point makes even more sense with the DEs taken out. But why can't we land the big guys?
Lots of thise kids are from the South and tend to stay there. Kids from the Pacific region including Polynesians usually prefer the West Coast. We do get an occasional Louis Nix or Myron Taglovailoa-Amosa.
There doesn't seem to be a lot of talented 300+ pound DL in the upper Midwest or Eastern US. New Jersey has a few but they mostly end up at Penn State, Michigan or even the SEC if they are really good.
I'm sure Freeman will try harder than Kelly but it won't be easy. There is one really good prospect in the 2024 cycle named Justin Scott. ND is on him but we'll see where he ends up.
Rivals has five DTs among its top 150 players, compared to 22 DEs (strong and weakside combined).
DL recruiting. The last one we recruited was Rubio in 2021 (none in 2022, 2023). Before that it was Keanaaia in 2020 and before that you go to 2018 with Jayson Ademilola and Franklin (we actually got 2 that year). In 2015 we got our biggest in Tillery - big and high ranked. And the year before we got Cage.
By contrast, in 2022+2023 (so far), UGA has 4, Alabama 3, Michigan and Ohio State 2 each.
Big miss on our part: Michigan's true freshman AA Mason Graham is listed as 317 (but only 295 when recruited per 247). He played great this year. He went to Anaheim Servite. We didn't recruit him per 247 and I read an October article where Elston said he was thrilled with him and specifically said "we didn't recruit him" (at ND) - no reason given. Offered by UPenn so grades not an issue. BTW - Graham was a great wrestler and they said they think that gave him a development edge. Maybe he wanted to wrestle and ND doesn't have anymore but Michigan does.
P.S. I used 247 and looked at weight at time of HS recruiting. Tired of trying to grow 300lbs players.
if Tuck had stayed Weis would have competed for the national championship. Great ones at ND really stick out.
What a team that would have been - and we were still the best in the country.
"ND got jobbed." ESPN football guys, especially Fowler, did everything they could to give the trophy to Florida State. It worked.