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Notre Dame Football: Quenton Nelson Ranked 27th Best Player By Sports Illustrated

Another Irish offensive lineman makes the cut.

USC v Notre Dame Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Sports Illustrated is ranking the best 100 college football players in the country, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have added another player to that list.

Irish guard, Quenton Nelson is ranked #27 by Sports Illustrated. Nelson has been described as a “garage door with arms” by longtime Notre Dame football beat writer, Eric Hansen- and for good reason. He is massive and adds a ton of toughness to the offensive line.

Nelson is one of two offensive linemen projected as early-round picks in next year’s draft who decided to return to Notre Dame for another season instead of jumping to the NFL. With Chip Long replacing Mike Sanford at offensive coordinator, the details of Nelson’s responsibilities on a down-to-down basis could change somewhat, but his basic charge remains the same, and it’s one Nelson has shown he can do with remarkable effectiveness: knocking back defensive linemen at the line of scrimmage. The Fighting Irish will rely on Nelson’s interior mashing to keep new starting quarterback Brandon Wimbush’s pocket clean and pave the way for a rushing attack that dipped to 62nd nationally in yards per carry last season from eighth in 2015.

Clearly SI thinks Notre Dame will have a solid offensive line (at least the left side) this year with Mike McGlinchey ranked at 47. Will Notre Dame put these monsters to use and run the ball (#RTDB)?


McGlinchey VS Nelson

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    (66 votes)
  • 70%
    (158 votes)
224 votes total Vote Now

We will have to wait and see, but this feels a lot like the 2015 and 2012 offensive lines. Both of those were good years on the ground for the Irish and the best two years under Brian Kelly.