Notre Dame recruiting streak continues with OL Cole Mabry's commitment

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

The furious recruiting pace Notre Dame football finished the 2017 recruiting class with has carried over into the 2018 class.

On Tuesday, offensive lineman Cole Mabry became the latest high school junior to commit to play football for the Irish. A pair of four-star defensive backs — cornerback Kalon Gervin and safety Derrik Allen — did the same on Monday.

Mabry, a three-star offensive lineman from Brentwood (Tenn.) High, announced his commitment on Twitter.

“I'M PROUD TO SAY THAT I HAVE COMMITTED TO PLAY FOOTBALL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME!!!” Mabry tweeted in all caps.

The 6-foot-6, 260-pound recruit visited Notre Dame on Saturday and received a scholarship offer while on campus. The Irish were only the fifth school to offer Mabry a scholarship — after Memphis, Indiana, Colorado State and Cincinnati.

Both 247Sports and Rivals rate Mabry as a three-star recruit. 247Sports slates him as the No. 42 offensive tackle.

Mabry gives Notre Dame its ninth commitment in the 2018 class and its first on the offensive line. Rivals and 247Sports both peg the Irish class as No. 2 in the country behind only Penn State’s 11-player class.

The Irish have never received nine verbal commitments this early in a recruiting cycle under head coach Brian Kelly.

In the 2017 class, Notre Dame hit nine commitments on March 21, but that number included linebacker Pete Werner, who eventually left the class for Ohio State. One year ago, the Irish had five commitments in the 2017 class, but they lost defensive end Robert Beal’s commitment only days later.

While the commitment rate has jumped significantly for Notre Dame, early commitments are nothing new for offensive line coach Harry Hiestand. In fact, when Hiestand announced his class of four offensive linemen on signing day earlier this month, it was the first time he’d done so at Notre Dame without already having a verbal commitment in the next class.

Mabry fits the mold of a typical Hiestand offensive lineman: big and athletic. He doesn’t have the same national profile as many of his past commitments, but CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming described Mabry as an “upside pickup.”

“He has a pretty bright future,” Lemming said. “Cole’s someone that Notre Dame probably figures they can get into the weight room and train him and build him up. He has a high ceiling. With a redshirt year, they can really build him up into an outstanding offensive lineman.”

Alex Bars, Notre Dame’s last offensive line recruit from Tennessee, started 14 games in the last two seasons, including all 12 at right tackle as a junior in 2016.

Notre Dame’s recruiting hot streak has covered a span of 20 days and included nine commitments — six signed in the 2017 class and three pledged to the 2018 class. The revamped coaching staff has found momentum on the recruiting trail despite the troubling 4-8 season last fall.

The recruiting spree could continue for Notre Dame on Friday, when four-star wide receiver Micah Jones announces his commitment. The 6-5, 195-pound target from Gurnee (Ill.) Warren Township set his commitment date following a visit to Notre Dame this past weekend.

The Irish are considered the heavy favorites for Jones. He also named Iowa, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Illinois and Northwestern as his top contenders.

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

I'M PROUD TO SAY THAT I HAVE COMMITTED TO PLAY FOOTBALL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME!!!#goirish ☘️☘️☘️☘️ pic.twitter.com/pqY9Uuvv1g

— Cole Mabry (@cmabry5) February 14, 2017

Offensive lineman Cole Mabry, a three-star recruit in the 2018 class, reported a Notre Dame offer on Feb. 11, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Rivals)