The nation’s top-ranked 2023 recruiting class added another four-star commitment on Friday when offensive tackle Sullivan Absher picked Notre Dame over finalists Clemson and NC State. He’s the 13th public commitment for the Irish, whose class ranks No. 1 on On3, 247Sports and Rivals.
In getting the Belmont, N.C. product out of his home state, the Irish scored another recruiting victory in their ACC footprint, with two of North Carolina’s top offensive linemen now committed to Notre Dame. Three-star offensive guard Sam Pendleton committed to Notre Dame on April 25; he also held offers from NC State and Clemson. Notre Dame could make it a clean sweep of its top offensive line targets in the Carolinas when four-star Monroe Freeling (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) returns for an official visit on June 10.
Absher, Pendleton and Freeling have all talked about playing together in college. If the Irish could land that trio, combined with four-star offensive tackle Charles Jagusah from Illinois, it would represent a near-perfect class for offensive line coach Harry Hiestand in his return to college football. It would also represent a shot across the bow for Clemson, which has struggled to attract elite offensive line talent in recent seasons.
Absher visited Notre Dame for the Blue-Gold Game, connecting with Hiestand during the trip. Hiestand has been forward in using his Notre Dame resume in recruiting, connecting prospects with former players in the NFL. Quenton Nelson and Sam Mustipher both returned to campus during spring practice. So did NFL All-Pro Zack Martin. Chris Watt is on staff at Notre Dame.
Those connections got the 6-foot-6, 275-pound Absher comfortable with Notre Dame, even if it wasn’t a school he grew up closely following. In the end, the Hiestand resume combined with a rare collection of offensive line talent in the Carolinas could prove to be a boon for the Irish this recruiting cycle.
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