Irish add ‘nasty' to line prospects
10:00 am, April 23, 2012
On April 18, Everett, Mass., offensive lineman John Montelus visited the University of Florida, enjoying the visit so much that he listed the Gators as his leader.
As of early last Saturday evening, Twitter followers of Montelus were greeted with a picture of Montelus sampling a blue Florida jersey with a No. 74 on it.
Today, however, all that really matters is what Montelus tweeted late Saturday afternoon.
“Committed to Notre Dame #Irish,” he wrote.
Montelus becomes the 11th player to verbally commit to Notre Dame's recruiting class of 2013. Just as important, if not more, is that he's the fifth offensive lineman to join the group.
Offensive line was one of the key areas of need in the current cycle, and Montelus likely becomes the final piece in a stellar group that also includes Steve Elmer, Hunter Bivin, Mike McGlinchey and Colin McGovern.
“I don't know if they could have done any better,” 247Sports.com national recruiting writer Steve Wiltfong said. “These are all guys that were high on (Notre Dame's) board. Offensive line was one of the big things that Notre Dame needed. To land the caliber of guys that they landed — and you can look at all five of their offer lists and see how highly sought after they were — Notre Dame landed five really good ones.”
“Offensive line-wise, they're looking great,” offered CBS Sports Network analyst Tom Lemming. “All five have All-America potential. It's one of the best offensive line hauls they've ever had.”
The difference between the previous four offensive line commits and Montelus is that each of the initial quartet stands at least 6-6. Montelus, not exactly vertically challenged, stands 6-5.
“He's a guy that can play multiple positions along the offensive line for Notre Dame, and that's what they wanted with their final offensive line commit,” Wiltfong said. “He's the perfect complement to the other four guys that they have committed to play tackle. Montelus can be that nasty guy inside for them.”
Montelus, according to Rivals.com, also held offers from Florida, Michigan, Nebraska and Ohio State, among others. He also caused Wiltfong to pull an adjective from the Charlie Weis Era when it came to describing his style of play.
“He's just nasty, is the first thing that stands out about him,” Wiltfong said. “He's a strong young man, explosive, has good pop off the snap and really drives linemen down the field.”
And a young man who was able to make up his mind while on an unofficial visit to South Bend this weekend. Montelus spent some time with Irish coach Brian Kelly on Friday before taking in Saturday's Blue-Gold Game.
“Florida was the leader coming in,” Wiltfong said, “but Notre Dame was able to seal the deal this weekend.”