Four-star 2019 OL John Olmstead commits to Notre Dame (copy)
“Without further ado,” John Olmstead said.
Ado? There wasn’t any.
In arguably the most concise commitment ceremony in the history of college football recruiting, Olmstead — a consensus four-star 2019 offensive lineman — didn’t hesitate on Friday afternoon to smother any would-be suspense.
“I would like to thank all of St. Joe here, my family, my friends, my teammates. They mean everything to me,” said Olmstead, a standout at Metuchen (N.J.) St. Joseph High School.
“Without further ado, I’d like to say I’ll be committing to the University of Notre Dame.”
Seated behind a table in his high school gymnasium, Olmstead — who donned a black suit, blue shirt and blue tie — grabbed a white Irish hat off the table and pulled it low over his head, a smile creeping ever-so-faintly onto his face as the crowd erupted in applause.
“Why did you choose Notre Dame?” asked Gannett sportswriter Greg Tufaro, who was seated to his right.
“I just fell in love with the school,” Olmstead answered matter-of-factly. “Yeah, it’s the place to be.”
And what was the most attractive part of Notre Dame?
“Definitely the tradition and the history of the football program,” Olmstead said.
With that, the hulking 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive lineman stood up, hugged his family and posed with his teammates for pictures.
From beginning to end, the ceremony lasted a grand total of two minutes and 14 seconds.
It was quick. It was anticlimactic.
It was exactly what Notre Dame needed.
“He plays with the same mean, aggressive attitude that (soon-to-be NFL-bound) Quenton Nelson has,” said CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. “That will carry him a long way. He’ll probably play tackle. He’s a big-time player.”
This was a big-time coup, especially considering the competition. Olmstead — Notre Dame’s fourth 2019 verbal commit, joining defensive linemen Hunter Spears and Jacob Lacey and cornerback K.J. Wallace — visited South Bend three times since being offered last June, with the most recent trip coming on April 8.
He also stopped at LSU, Ole Miss, Nebraska and Michigan this spring, and chose the Irish from a top five that included Michigan, Rutgers, Minnesota and Ole Miss.
But unsurprisingly — at least, for first-year Irish offensive line coach Jeff Quinn — Notre Dame made the most lasting impression.
“I think when a young man comes on our campus, they see that firsthand, and the parents also see that firsthand, that their sons are going to come to Notre Dame and be a part of a very special and elite group of guys that are all about one another. It’s not about one individual,” Quinn said on Thursday.
“Then certainly the academic piece, the community piece — those are all very, very important parts to our success in terms of securing the recruits and getting them what they need to see.
“There’s a spirit here like no other place I’ve ever been. We want to demonstrate and show that each and every time a young man comes on this campus.”
Quinn and Co. certainly showed that to Olmstead, who also accrued offers from Florida State, LSU, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Florida, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Oregon, UCLA and more.
So what does it mean for Quinn — whose recruiting prowess was widely questioned when he was promoted in January — to corral a player hailed as the No. 63 overall prospect and No. 10 offensive tackle in the 2019 class by Rivals, as well as the No. 32 offensive tackle via 247Sports?
“Olmstead was one of their main targets under (former Notre Dame offensive line coach) Harry (Hiestand). That’s excellent,” Lemming said. “It shows you that Quinn has the recruiting prowess also. He has the ability to go after the top guys.”
There are certainly more top offensive linemen on the Irish radar in 2019, including consensus four-star prospects Quinn Carroll, who is taking an ND official visit this weekend, and Andrew Kristofic, a high school teammate of 2018 Irish QB signee Phil Jurkovec.
Quinn and Co. made a furious finish to the 2018 class, maintaining three-star offensive line prospect Luke Jones’ commitment before securing the signature of coveted Mission Viejo, Calif., native Jarrett Patterson on National Signing Day.
The 55-year-old longtime Brian Kelly disciple has an opportunity to make even more of a mark in 2019.
The first domino dropped on Friday — and without any excessive ado.
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