Head coach Brian Kelly and offensive line coach Harry Hiestand secured the first commitment of the 2016 class today in Ohio offensive tackle Tommy Kraemer. Kraemer is listed at 6'5" and 305 pounds, and is currently ranked #18 overall in the 247 Composite and #4 at his position.
The talented behemoth camped at Notre Dame for Irish Invasion, came back for the Michigan
game disembowelment of a poor defenseless animal, and visited again today for Stanford. There was lots of buzz about a potential commitment this weekend and Kraemer did not disappoint, announcing his pledge shortly before kickoff today.
Proud to announce my commitment to the University of Notre Dame! pic.twitter.com/6kTPy5NNtb— Tommy Kraemer (@Big_TK75) October 4, 2014
Recruiting Service Rankings
Rivals - 4-star (6.0 grade), #20 overall, #3 position, #1 in Ohio
247 - 4-star (95 grade), #37 overall, #8 OT, #3 in Ohio
ESPN - 4-star (83 grade), #60 overall, #7 position, #2 in Ohio
Scout - 4-star, #17 overall, #2 position, #1 in Ohio
247 Composite - 5-star (0.9870), #18 overall, #4 position
I could only find sophomore highlights on YouTube, but there was already plenty there to show why Kraemer was so highly rated. He shows some great traits that can't be taught (he looked pretty athletic on some pulls and he definitely likes to finish his blocks, and then some), and some great technique as well (in pass protection he moved his feet pretty well and used his hands to keep rushers away from his body). On this video he looks like he stands a little too tall sometimes and uses his physical ability to just overwhelm people, but that's easily corrected, not uncommon with elite high schoolers, and in any case this was sophomore tape so maybe he has corrected it already.
Notre Dame has stocked the offensive line very well over the last few recruiting cycles, so there's wont be an immediate need. But will there be an immediate opportunity? My gut says that even with the high recruiting ranking Kraemer will most likely redshirt his first year and focus on developing physically.
Kraemer projects as a future starter at tackle or possibly guard, given his aggressive mentality. It wouldn't be at all surprising to see him crack the rotation as a true sophomore, despite all the talent that has come in lately, and take over a starting role by his junior season. If he comes in and shows top-level ability from Day 1, move that timeline up to freshman and sophomore years. He should be a multi-year starter on the line and help to continue the development of the Legend of Hiestand.
Welcome to Notre Dame, Tommy!