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.
#77 Quinn Carroll, OT
Quinn Carroll is a rising sophomore from Edina, Minnesota. A highly sought-after recruit, Carroll was the third-highest ranked member of Notre Dame’s 2019 class at #118 overall, #12 at his position and #1 overall in his home state. Notre Dame battled the Penn State Nittany Lions, Wisconsin Badgers, Virginia Tech Hokies (the alma mater of Carroll’s older brother), and Minnesota Golden Gophers for Carroll’s commitment, which he made on May 1, 2018.
Carroll enrolled early in January 2019. Despite Brian Kelly and Jeff Quinn’s preference for having freshmen linemen sit out a year, Carroll immediately started competing for number-two reps behind Robert Hainsey at right tackle. However, an ACL injury in fall camp put the kibosh on any playing time he would have received. Carroll now enters the 2020 season in more or less the same situation, with Hainsey returning.
As long as he is healthy, the physical tools are all there for Carroll, who was already a giant at 6’6” and 295 pounds and has had a year to gain strength. Carroll showed outstanding form in high school as a run blocker: hitting low, finishing blocks and getting to second-level defenders. He also showed quick feet and coordination in pass blocking.
Uhtred of Bebbanburg
Although Carroll’s name and hair seem to indicate that he is of Irish heritage, he is also the lone scholarship player from Minnesota on the roster, which means he gets the Viking treatment. Given the status of Netflix’s The Last Kingdom as the official TV show of the OFD podcast, I’m staying #onbrand and saying there is no better Viking hero to pair him with than Uhtred of Bebbanburg. A reluctant hero who finds himself at the center of medieval England’s battle for liberation from Viking occupation, Uhtred ultimately decides to turn his back on the Viking world in which he was raised and fight in the service of King Alfred the Great.
Like his medieval counterpart, Carroll is a highly skilled warrior hoping to lend his skills to the recovery of a lost kingdom by bringing Notre Dame back to the top of the college football world. Here’s hoping he can hold the line just as well.
Robert Hainsey is rock-solid as the starter at right tackle, but look for Carroll to compete for and win the number-two slot on the offensive line. How many of those number-two reps Carroll will get may depend on the availability of utility man Josh Lugg to step in in the case of an injury to Hainsey on the line, as he did last year. But when it comes to garbage-time minutes, expect to see Carroll as the staff looks to get him some in-game experience. Come 2021, he will likely get a look for the starting job.