Notre Dame’s two-year football recruiting streak of not losing a verbal commitment came to an end on Wednesday.
Greg Crippen, a four-star offensive lineman from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, decommitted from Notre Dame’s 2021 recruiting class. He had verbally pledged to the Irish last March, nearly one year after quarterback Cade McNamara decommitted before eventually signing to Michigan’s 2019 class.
Notre Dame's coaching staff expected Crippen’s decision. His last visit to South Bend came in June for a recruiting camp. Then he took trips to other schools and declined media interviews, including with the Tribune. As recently as last month, the Irish sent graphics to recruits of their commits that excluded Crippen.
Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan and USC are among other the other programs that have offered the 6-foot-4, 285-pound Crippen a scholarship. 247Sports ranks Crippen as its No. 13 offensive guard in the class, while Rivals pegs him No. 5 at the position and No. 129 overall.
Whether Crippen turned down the Irish or vice versa remains unknown. Notre Dame’s opportunities to land highly rated offensive linemen beyond Crippen materialized long before his decision had been made public, however.
Offensive line coach Jeff Quinn helped organize what some inside the Guglielmino Athletics Complex consider the biggest offseason recruiting weekend under head coach Brian Kelly.
The March 20-22 weekend will feature six offensive linemen visitors ranked among the top 75 overall players in this class on either 247Sports or Rivals: Clarkston (Mich.) High’s Garrett Dellinger and Rocco Spindler; Huntington (W.V.) Spring Valley’s Wyatt Milum; Olney (Md.) Good Counsel’s Landon Tengwall; Warwick (Pa.) Lititz’s Nolan Rucci; and commit Blake Fisher from Avon (Ind.) High.
Limited scholarship space likely prohibits Notre Dame from taking all six. Spindler and Tengwall plan to take official visits to South Bend on April 3-5.
Safety Justin Walters, quarterback Tyler Buchner, wide receivers Deion Colzie and Lorenzo Styles Jr., tight end Cane Berrong, defensive tackle Gabriel Rubio and Fisher comprise this Irish class, which now ranks No. 4 and No. 5 nationally on 247Sports and Rivals, respectively.