CLASS IMPACT: OL Rocco Spindler To Notre Dame
Notre Dame picked up a big time commitment with consensus Top 100 offensive lineman Rocco Spindler picking the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame's staff invested years in Spindler's recruitment, and it paid off as he is now in the 2021 class.
Notre Dame beat finalists Michigan, LSU, Ohio State and Penn State to land Spindler's pledge. The talented blocker also had offers from Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Michigan State, West Virginia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Northwestern and Syracuse.
Let's take a look at how Spindler's commitment impacts the Notre Dame class and depth chart.
Spindler gives Notre Dame 17 committed players in the 2021 class, and he is the ninth offensive pledge. Notre Dame now has four offensive linemen in the class, with Spindler joining fellow Top 100 recruit Blake Fisher, Minnesota blocker Joe Alt and Illinois guard Pat Coogan.
Barring Notre Dame somehow coming from behind and landing tackle Nolan Rucci or flipping a stud like Wyatt Milum, the 2021 offensive line haul won't be as good as it should have been. But if you look at the class for what it is, not what it was supposed to be, landing Spindler is huge.
Spindler is Notre Dame's highest ranked offensive lineman on the composite list, and at No. 48 nationally he's the second highest ranked player in the class, behind only quarterback Tyler Buchner, who ranks No. 41. Landing two Top 100 linemen (Spindler, Fisher) gives Notre Dame a pair of upper-level talents in the class.
Notre Dame now has five Top 100 recruits in the Rivals100, with Spindler - their No. 56 player - joining Fisher (#22), wide receiver Lorenzo Styles Jr. (#39), Buchner (#45) and defensive tackle Gabriel Rubio (#99).
Spindler is also a high ceiling player, and barring injury it's hard to see him not being at least a quality player in a Notre Dame uniform. His upside, of course, is that of an All-American caliber player. That kind of floor-ceiling combination is a great way to add to an offensive line class.
Landing Spindler also means Notre Dame gets to its minimum numbers requirement for blockers in the class.
NOTRE DAME FIT
Spindler is an intriguing prospect in that while he plays guard and projects best to the interior, he's athletic and long enough to move outside if the need arose. That kind of versatility is the first thing that stands out when look at his addition to the class.
When you pop on the film the first thing you notice about Spindler is his physicality. Also a standout high school wrestler, Spindler plays with good pad level and he has strong hands. He bullies opponents at the line of scrimmage, and Spindler plays with the kind of edge and aggressiveness you want in a big-time blocker.
Another trait you want in a top blocker is the ability to finish, and Spindler grades out well with this part of his game. Finishing at the prep level just requires size and strength, but to be a strong finisher in college you must also play with good technique, know how to play angles, have strong hands and stay locked onto defenders.
Spindler shows the ability to not only throw his weight around, but he stays locked on, keeps his pads in good position and uses his technique to be an effective finisher. As he improves his knee bend you'll see him become even more dominant with this part of his game.
The Clarkston standout shows the athleticism needed to be a dominant college player. His initial burst is outstanding, he fires off the line, he is quick getting around on pulls/traps and he's comfortable working in space. Those traits make him arguably the nation's best interior blocker, but they are also the traits that make me think he could even play tackle if the need arose.
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