Notre Dame lands another top O-lineman in Lugg
It’s like a movie you’ve seen over and over and over again — and somehow never gets stale.
Harry Hiestand identifies an elite offensive line prospect. Offers scholarship. Prospect commits to Notre Dame.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Josh Lugg, a 6-foot-7, 283-pound tackle from Wexford, Pa., is the latest serial O-line prodigy to reinforce Hiestand’s reputation as an elite offensive line coach and recruiter. The junior from North Allegheny High School committed Friday night to be part of ND’s 2017 class, announcing his decision on his Twitter account.
The Irish have 14 commitments in the current, 2016 cycle which culminates with National Signing Day in February. Lugg is the third commitment in the subsequent class, joining Texas tight end Brock Wright and Florida offensive tackle Dillan Gibbons.
“I think that Notre Dame has a chance to recruit better in ’17 than maybe they will finish in 16,” said Steve Wiltfong, director of recruiting for 247Sports, “although they’re in on some really good guys.
“They had to integrate four new assistant coaches and I think that hurt them in the relationship-building department for a couple of months in the ’16 cycle, but now these guys seem to be gelling well, and they’ve also been able to get a lot more ’17s on campus early.
247Sports rates Lugg as the No. 171 prospect overall in the 2017 class and No. 27 tackle. Rivals pegs him as the No. 21 tackle and No. 196 prospect regardless of position. Both list him as a four-star prospect.
Tennessee, Pitt, Penn State, Michigan State and UCLA were among the other schools pursuing Lugg.
“Before you even look at the tape, you trust Harry Hiestand,” Wiltfong said, "the way he’s picked out kids and developed them. He didn’t recruit Ronnie Stanley and Nick Martin, but there are a lot of other really good players that he did recruit and that are going to play professionally, too.
“When you do look at the tape, probably the first thing that stands out is that there are not many offensive linemen in the country that are as athletic as (Lugg) is and have the upside he has, with his size and length and frame.”
CBS recruiting analyst Tom Lemming, who scouted Lugg at ND’s Irish Invasion Camp in June, said the prospect’s best football is ahead of him as he fills out his large frame. Lemming also has Lugg listed as a four-star recruit.
“It all starts with Harry Hiestand,” Lemming said. “He’s someone you can’t say ‘no’ to right now.”