Notre Dame getting personal with OL target Josh Lugg

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Josh Lugg is plenty familiar with Notre Dame.

He grew up watching the Irish on Saturdays and was just on campus last month with his father and brother for a visit and to compete in a lineman camp.

Lugg returns Thursday for another visit this time with a Notre Dame scholarship offer to his name and his mother along for the trip.

“My brother and father really loved it,” Lugg said of his June visit. “We wanted to get my mom up on campus to see it. The coaches wanted to have me back. That was only for a junior day and a camp that I was there for. Now it’s going to be more personal.”

Lugg, a 6-foot-6, 280-pound rising junior, left Notre Dame’s campus with a lasting impression of the Irish.

“The players were like no other players I’ve met,” Lugg said. “I’ve been on a lot of visits to a lot of other colleges and the thing that stuck out to me the most was that every single player I met, they came up to me first and introduced themselves. That was huge for me. That just shows how respectful they are as Notre Dame football players.”

Less than a week after visiting Notre Dame, Lugg received a scholarship offer from offensive line coach Harry Hiestand. The Irish joined a list of more than a dozen schools who have already offered the four-star recruit.

“It was very awesome to receive that offer,” Lugg said. “It was one I’ve been hoping for for a very long time.”

Despite the high praise for the Irish, Lugg said a commitment from him is not imminent. Following his Notre Dame visit, Lugg has plans to see Tennessee on Friday and Virginia Tech on Saturday. The Wexford, Pa., product also visited Penn State last weekend.

Lugg said his communication with Notre Dame started through tight ends coach Scott Booker. He spoke with Hiestand for the first time during his June visit.

“He went over his schemes and how he coaches the Notre Dame offensive linemen. I really liked him because what he teaches is exactly what my offensive line coach at North Allegheny High School is coaching,” Lugg said. “They related a lot. Now I talk with coach Hiestand weekly. I’m going to call him (Thursday) and talk to him again because he won’t be at Notre Dame. He’s still on vacation.”

Instead Lugg will be hosted by Booker and other members of Notre Dame’s coaching staff. If anyone deserves a break from recruiting for the Irish, it would be Hiestand. He has recruited some of the best classes of offensive linemen in the country in the last three recruiting cycles and already received verbal commitments from three highly regarded linemen in the 2016 class.

Offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons, a three-star prospect, has already committed to Notre Dame’s 2017 class. The addition of Lugg could make for another hot start for Hiestand. 247Sports slates him as the No. 24 offensive tackle and No. 210 overall in the 2017 class. Rivals ranks him No. 196 regardless of position.

The Irish still have work to do in swaying Lugg into making a more permanent stay in South Bend.

“I have the best relationships with Pitt, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Tennessee,” Lugg said. “All the other schools, I’m still looking at them. I have no favorites right now.”

Below are Lugg's sophomore highlights via Hudl.

tjames@ndinsider.com | 574-235-6214 | Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Notre Dame offensive line coach Harry Hiestand speaks to players before practice Saturday, March 28, 2015, during practice at Loftus Sports Center in South Bend. (SBT Photo/GREG SWIERCZ)