Joshua Lugg has been committed to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish longer than most celebrity marriages last.
Lugg finally made good on a 537-day vow by submitting his National Letter of Intent today. The 6-foot-7, 293-pound student-athlete from North Allegheny will join Harry Heistand’s offensive line, with the most likely outcome being a redshirt year in 2017.
Lugg was a consensus four-star athlete, with an offer sheet filled with marquee names (Alabama Crimson Tide, Ohio State Buckeyes, UCLA Bruins) and a dozen Big Ten and ACC schools (including the Wisconsin Badgers, Michigan State Spartans, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Penn State Nittany Lions and Virginia Tech Hokies).
Lugg is undoubtedly talented, although the scouting services disagree on the degree to which he’ll be a can’t-miss-player in college. 247 Sports has him highest at #86 overall - and 13th best at his position, while Rivals puts him at #236 (and 22nd best among offensive linemen.)
Adam Friedman, a Rivals recruiting analyst, said Lugg needs a year in the weight room:
“One of the big questions about Lugg heading into the all-star season was whether he would be physical enough to contend with other major prospects. The Notre Dame commit stepped up and played very well at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Lugg is a very good pass blocker but will need to get stronger before seeing meaningful playing time in South Bend.”
Barton Simmons, a national scouting director for 247 Sports, was much more bullish on Lugg after seeing him in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl:
"Junior film was good, not great. Very athletic. ... The knock on him was, look, he looks the part. He's got a great upside, but how good of a football player is he right now? Well, senior film was great, so we invited him to the All-American game and man, did he validate that pick. You know, throughout the week there were other guys really flashing, guys like Walker Little. Those were the guys getting a lot of the headlines. But by the end of the week, I looked up and watched the game, and re-watched the tape, and Joshua Lugg was about as dominate as anybody was along the offensive line. Just never got beat. Just quietly never got beat. I think that was really telling. Again, he's got all of the physical traits you could ask for and if I’m Notre Dame I'm thrilled with the body of work he put together in San Antonio."
Besides Lugg, Notre Dame has received - or is expecting to receive - three more offensive line commitments. They are four-star Aaron Banks, three-star Dillon Gibbons and four-star Robert Hainsey. Banks and Hainsey are early enrollees already on campus.