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2016 Football Recruiting: OL Review

In our third installment of our 2016 class review, we'll look at the offensive linemen.

RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports


On National Signing Day, we gave a review of the 2016 class and our scores for each player. We went into more detail about the offensive backfield, then took a look at the receivers. Today, we'll review the big fellas on offense, the linemen.

The transcript of Coach Brian Kelly's press conference on national signing day can be found here.


Irish Offensive Line Signees
247C Score Player City/State Ht/Wt. Position 1* 2* 3* 4* 5*
.982 Tommy Kraemer Cincinnati, OH 6-5/309 Tackle
.960 Liam Eichenberg Cleveland, OH 6-6/290 Tackle
.880 Parker Boudreaux Orlando, FL 6-4/287 Guard
.815 John Shannon Wilmette, IL 6-2/218 Long Snapper

Official OFD Recruit Grading Scale:

95-100: Elite impact freshman with All-American potential

90-94: Multi-year starter with All-conference potential

85-89: Eventual starter with chance to play as underclassman

80-84: Raw prospect with decent potential but a couple years away from impact

75-79: Likely a backup

70-74: Reach by the coaching staff

Note: All Height/Weight times as listed on


OT Tommy Kraemer

OFD Average: 96.0

Brendan: 95

I've seen some analysis on Kraemer that says he's good enough to push for playing time as a true freshman. Seriously. I'm always skeptical about true freshman linemen being physically ready for the next level, but Kraemer is very solid physically and shows excellent technique. Like Eichenberg at the Under Armour festivities, Kraemer met top competition at the Army All-America game and did well enough to improve his already lofty rankings, finishing as a composite five-star. I don't know if he'll play as a freshman barring injury issues ahead of him, but I do think he'll be a multi-year starter and continue the tradition of Zack Martin, Ronnie Stanley, and, in all likelihood, Alex Bars.

Eric: 96

Kraemer was the top rated recruit in the class since the day he gave his pledge to the Irish and no one seriously challenged him for that title, prior to any National Signing Day surprises as I write this. We don't miss on these type of recruits, at least not in recent times. The term 'elite' gets thrown around like candy but this is the one certified gem in this class. He's just as nasty as classmate Boudreaux and a little bigger than Eichenberg. It's tough to follow up the likes of Zack Martin and Ronnie Stanley but Kraemer has the tools and the potential to continue that line of great offensive linemen at Notre Dame. And if he doesn't play left tackle--he doesn't have super great length for LT which is nit picky--or even moves inside to guard that won't be a problem. He should be the best lineman on the team as a junior and senior.

Jamie U: 97

I like everything about Kraemer as a prospect. He is such a massive kid, but has not come close to reaching his physical potential yet. He plays mean, but rarely plays out of control. He makes it look easy because he is efficient with his footwork and overall technique, which is advanced for his age. At The Opening, Kraemer was not allowed to wear pads and I was still very impressed with what I saw. Not surprisingly with pads on at the Army Bowl, he was a dominant player during the practices I watched him and looked great playing right tackle. He is a swing candidate that can play either guard or tackle and could be great playing both. That versatility is going to likely help him a lot and I see him competing to the be in the two deep immediately and start for multiple seasons. The way Notre Dame fans talk about Zack Martin is the way I expect they'll be talking about Kraemer in a few years.


OT Liam Eichenberg

OFD Average: 92.7

Brendan: 94

Eichenberg played through a knee injury for most of his junior season, and even in so small a sample as a highlight reel you could see a decrease in aggressiveness from his sophomore season. His rankings dropped as his play softened, and those who hadn't followed him throughout were underwhelmed when he committed to the Irish. Tsk tsk. He was healthy for his senior year and dominant once again, including a very good showing against excellent competition at the Under Armour practices. With uncommon athleticism for his size, he should be a multi-year starter at tackle. Whether he lines up on the right or left will probably depend on Tommy Kraemer, but together they're pretty much a lock to be excellent bookends.

Eric: 90

It kind of felt like Eichenberg was starting to fly under the radar between the time of committing to Notre Dame in the spring and then arriving at the Under Armour All-Star Game. He was shaping up to be a national recruit then quickly pared his choices down to Ohio State and Notre Dame before choosing the Irish. Then, he missed some games as a senior with mono and didn't get as much hype and buzz as other highly rated offensive linemen. Eichenberg doesn't have a packaged highlight film from his upperclassman years. From what I've seen he's well-developed as both a pass and run blocker. I don't know if I see legit left tackle size and skill. He reminds me a lot of Steve Elmer and might take a similar career path once he's in college. Going through a couple knee surgeries is kind of concerning at his young age. If he's healthy though it'd be very surprising if he doesn't start at Notre Dame for 2 or 3 years.

Jamie U: 94

Injuries probably hurt Eichenberg a little bit in terms of the hype surrounding him after he committed. He played through some things in both his junior and senior season. Harry Hiestand doesn't care about that. In fact, he probably loves the toughness Eichenberg showed. Like every linemen who Notre Dame targets, he isn't as much of a finisher in the run game that I'd like, but he makes up for that with other parts of his game. I think he is a plus athlete for the position that is capable of playing guard at the next level, but is likely going to play tackle. Does a nice job of reaching edge defenders and can get out to the second level. He's a perfect fit in their zone running scheme. I believe he has the feet and length to eventually play left tackle for the Irish. He had a good week at the Under Armour game against some very good defensive linemen. He won't be asked to play early and will need a year or two to be ready to roll in terms of his physical development, but I think he has a bright future and projects to be a multi-year starter for Notre Dame.


OG Parker Boudreaux

OFD Average: 91.0

Brendan: 91

Joe Moore would love Boudreaux. This is a kid who is just nasty, nasty, nasty; if he could find a way to put his opponent on the other side of the turf, he would do it. Don't let the three stars fool you, either; at The Opening, he famously held his own against #1 overall prospect Rashan Gary and put up some of the best power numbers in event history at the combine. And he had over 70 FBS scholarship offers. He should be a multi-year starter on the inside, and a good one. I'm with Jamie in thinking that there's no way he's a tackle prospect, and in his commitment post I also mentioned his pass-blocking technique seems to be suspiciously similar to his run-blocking technique, which won't work here. The good news for him is he'll have plenty of time to work that out with the depth on the Irish offensive line.

Eric: 92

Well, he appeared to possibly commit homicide on a number of defenders in his senior tape. His blocking at the high school level is right up there with Quenton Nelson, just absurdly powerful and mean. I know there are concerns that he's close to his ceiling from a physical standpoint but that label gets put on damn near every interior prospect coming out of high school. That's more of a concern for me at the NFL level, rather than college. Coming out of high school I like that Boudreaux is an out-of-the-box ready guard prospect. I like recruits like this who won't have to worry about cross-training and can focus solely on working on the interior from day one. To me, I don't see a guaranteed top NFL draft pick here but what I do see is someone who has the ability to start for 4 years at Notre Dame and play at a very high level.

Jamie U: 90

I have seen Boudreaux in person and the concerns about his size are real. He isn't as tall as many thought and definitely is strictly an interior prospect. He is not quite as tall and does not have the length of just about every other offensive linemen on Notre Dame's roster. He may actually be someone who ends up getting moved to center during his time in South Bend. What I love about Boudreaux's game is what everyone loves about his game. He is mean and gets after it. That can go a long way to help with any limitations he might have, but I do think he needs to refine his technique. Right now he is a bit overagressive and needs to learn to fit his hands inside the frame a bit more because he can get a bit wide. He also has some work to do like most young linemen when it comes to improving in pass protection. Fortunately he is going to work with a heck of a coach so I don't see him having trouble improving in those areas. I don't agree with E that he is a ready to play player or that he has the ability to be a 4 year starter. He had some struggles against some good defensive line prospects at The Opening and it's not going to get any easier for him against college defensive tackles. He has the potential to develop into a a good starter at guard or center, but he is going to be going up against some stiff competition for playing time over the next few years.


LS John Shannon

OFD Average: 85.0

Brendan: 85

Not sure how much analysis is needed - Shannon is considered the #1 long snapper in the country and was actually invited to the Army All-America game, where he mostly hung out. He'll likely redshirt for 2016 during the final year of Scott Daly's four-year run, then take over for Daly in 2017 and start his own four-year run. He plays an unsexy but, as we've seen, critical position, and is a solid addition to the class.

Eric: 85

I'll trust the experts' opinions that he can snap the ball really well.

Jamie U: 85

I saw Shannon at the Army Bowl during practice and he and the other specialists didn't have to do too much. So it was like a lot of other football practices. When he was called upon in special teams periods, though, every snap was on the money. He's ranked where he is for a reason.