Signees: Blake Fisher, Rocco Spindler, Caleb Johnson, Joe Alt, Patrick Coogan
Notre Dame needed at least four blockers in this class and it needed tackle bodies, and the Irish checked off both boxes with this five-man class. There is one pure tackle in the class, two tackles that could also thrive inside at guard, and two interior blockers. It was a balanced class from that standpoint.
The one-two punch at the top of this class is as good as any in the class. Avon (Ind.) High School offensive tackle Blake Fisher was so good as a senior that he leaped Buchner as my top graded player. He showed improved conditioning, he reshaped his body a bit and he was absolutely dominant.
Fisher could be a multi-year starter at tackle, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he thrived at that position. It’s not hard to envision a future line that has 2020 signee Tosh Baker manning the left tackle position, Fisher dominating at right tackle, and Notre Dame having the nation’s best tackle tandem, which it had in 2015 and has again in 2020.
I could also see Fisher move inside to guard and becoming a special player there. In fact, a case could be made that guard is where his upside is truly the greatest, but it’s about picking between which position he could be very good at that allows him to get on the field the quickest.
Clarkston (Mich.) High School star Rocco Spindler is another Top 100 caliber player in this line class. Spindler played guard as a junior and thrived at tackle as a senior, but his highest upside is inside. A former wrestler, Spindler has the power and physicality needed to be a force at the point of attack, and he’s athletic enough to be a top-notch blocker on pulls, traps and on the second level.
What keeps this class from being either an A- or A grade is that players three through five aren’t in the same league as the top two, and while there is some upside there, it’s not to the level as past classes like 2019, 2017, 2014 or 2013 in regards to the quality of the depth.
Ocala (Fla.) Trinity Catholic big man Caleb Johnson is my third ranked offensive lineman in the class, and he had an impressive offer list. He’s a physical blocker that lacks the athleticism of other top tackles, but he makes up for it with length and toughness.
The player that holds the key to this class being elite is North Oaks (Minn.) Totino-Grace tight end Joe Alt, who projects to play offensive tackle in college. Alt has a low floor, and we don’t yet know if he can add the necessary weight and strength needed to play tackle in college without losing his athleticism.
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