And so begins another round of “This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football” here on OFD. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2019 season.
#74 Liam Eichenberg, Left Tackle
Liam Eichenberg, along with fellow blue-chip Ohio offensive line prospect Tommy Kraemer, was an EXTREMELY sought-after prospect in the class of 2016. A 4-star, top-100 offensive tackle with 6’6”, 290-pound size and lots of talent was certainly a top priority for many teams — especially the home state Ohio State Buckeyes, who had just won a national championship in the thick of Eichenberg’s recruitment. He also held offers from the Florida State Seminoles, Miami Hurricanes, Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, Penn State Nittany Lions, West Virginia Mountaineers, and various others.
Harry Hiestand, though, despite the line of schools courting them, was able to swoop into the Buckeye state to snag both Kraemer and Eichenberg, and so far both have proven to be very good gets.
Eichenberg redshirted as a freshman in 2016 — one of nine scholarship freshmen who did so (that group also included Ian Book, Tony Jones Jr., and Kraemer, among others). This made sense, as the 2016 line of course featured Mike McGlinchey and Alex Bars as entrenched starters at the tackle spots — with the budding All-American McGlinchey firmly in possession of Eichenberg’s natural position of left tackle.
2017 was not much more active for Eichenberg, as he only saw action in 5 games due to McGlinchey playing his final Irish season and competing at an All-American, 1st Round pick level. Eichenberg still got some time in blowouts and filling in on the right side when needed.
Last year, as a redshirt sophomore in eligibility, Eichenberg finally took the reins as #1 left tackle. He started all 13 games and although a little shaky at times, overall cemented himself as the near-definite left tackle for the rest of his Irish career, serving as a fairly reliable, effective blind side protector for Ian Book.
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“In These Arms” - Bon Jovi
Eichenberg is a long-armed, huge, athletic left tackle who’s only just begun to gain experience and develop into a very good offensive linemen. The Irish backfield, fellow offensive linemen, coaches, and fans are all in very good
hands arms with Liam Eichenberg trotting out to assume his role for another year (or two).
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Doing our best to make sure you know which one of man’s best friends match each Notre Dame player.
The Pyrenean Mastiff is, according to Wikipedia, a “strong, rustic breed [that] is self-reliant and calm. It is even-tempered and docile at home and is protective with children. It is gentle with other dogs as well as other pets and people it knows. However, if challenged, the Pyrenean Mastiff will not hesitate to defend its family or itself from a perceived threat.”
That’s a starting left tackle — and specifically the strong, even-tempered Eichenberg — in a nutshell, you guys.
I think Eichenberg was just scratching the surface in his first year as a starter in 2018, and now that he’s got a full year as the #1 guy at LT in the books, we will see a more polished, less-mistake-prone Eichenberg play VERY well and maybe even get some All-American talk at some point.
I’m not positive he will actually earn All-American honors, but I do think he’s going to have an excellent senior season and will have a tough choice to make come end-of-year as to whether he wants to enter the NFL Draft or come back for a 5th year and potentially play his way into being a 1st Round pick.
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Watching huge, athletic, elite offensive linemen dominate high school boys will NEVER get old. Let’s enjoy this look back at High School @Iggyike17 and hope Eichenberg begins to absolutely dominate some college men this year.