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 2020 season.
#71 John Olmstead, OG
John Olmstead is a rising sophomore from Metuchen, NJ. Coming out of Saint Joseph High School in the class of 2019, Olmstead was ranked #185 overall in the country, #18 at offensive tackle, and #4 in the state of New Jersey. Although Olmstead held offers from all over the country and visited the Ohio State Buckeyes, Ole Miss Rebels and Rutgers Scarlet Knights late in his recruitment, he was considered a near-lock to Notre Dame all the way through the process. He made things official by committing on on April 20, 2018 and signing early in December.
As is typical for offensive linemen in their freshman years, Olmstead took a redshirt year in 2019 and thus retains four years of eligibility. Despite having played tackle in high school, Olmstead was moved inside to guard. Olmstead will hope to thus follow in the footsteps of Quenton Nelson, another Jersey Domer who is “big, nasty, flexible and can move,” and became an all-time program legend after moving inside to guard. Olmstead is indeed a monster at 6’6” and 300 pounds, and is an efficient run blocker with a powerful lower body motor.
Olmstead is studying criminal justice at Notre Dame. Given that, his ferocious playing style and his roots in the Northeast, I can see no better fit for him than Bruce Willis’ tough-as-nails, unkillable supercop from the Die Hard franchise. Let’s hope he has many occasions to quip “yippie-ki-yay, motherf***er” while standing over pancaked defensive tackles.
Olmstead spent his 2019 learning the Irish playbook while adding upper-body strength and honing his chops as a pass blocker to complement his already-formidable skills in the run game. However, the road to playing time in 2020 still looks difficult. He will have to beat out fellow guards like Dillan Gibbons and John Dirksen just to get garbage-time minutes, with Aaron Banks and Tommy Kraemer returning as unquestioned starters. While it’s not impossible for him to get some game experience in, it’s likely Olmstead spends another year honing his game to start seeing action in 2021. Expect to see a monster and a great competitor on the field when he does arrive.