In a recent conversation with Pfafftown (N.C.) Reagan offensive lineman Sam Pendleton, he gave Irish Breakdown insight into his recruitment, recent visit and overall fit with the Notre Dame program.
Pendleton is an incredible insightful, thoughtful and personable young man who epitomizes all the criteria of a Notre Dame student athlete.
Focusing purely on Pendleton as a persona and football player, he gave some insight into what Irish fans should expect when he enrolls next spring. Irish fans are sure to grow to love when he finally arrives on campus.
“As a person, you aren’t going to get anything different,” Pendleton explained. “You are going to get the same guy everyday. I’m going to work as hard as possible and I am banking on my hard work.”
There is a clear chip on his shoulder. Pendleton is one of those players who has worked for everything that he has received so far. He uses that to his advantage as a worker.
“What people think I lack with the height sometimes, I make up for in heart. I’m going to work as hard as possible,” Pendleton continued. “As a ball player, you’re getting a physical guy who likes to hit people. Just expect some pancakes, some good blocks and to listen to coach for what he wants me to do.”
Continuing with the latter, Pendleton currently aligns as the right tackle for Reagan. Positionally, the natural spot looks to align more appropriately inside long term. It’s something that he has been speaking to Harry Hiestand a ton about in preparation.
“Long term, I’ve been talking to Coach Hiestand a lot about it. They really see me as a guard,” he explained. “They compare me a little bit to Zack Martin just based on my film and demeanor. They think I’m going to be one of those guys who is a great interior guy.
“I have pretty good power for drive blocking and that’s what they’re really banking on right now, keep getting stronger and improving footwork,” Pendleton continued. “They think I could play some center if need be and I made it very important for my process to be able to play all five positions, which I can. I think that’s a big bonus for me.”
The offensive line is very dependent on the others around them, profiling as a cog in the machine to a degree. Pendleton understands how much the rest of the unit are to his overall success. The 6-4, 305-pounder has big expectations for how good of a unit they could sign in the 2023 cycle.
“I think at the end of this thing, we’re going to have one of the best offensive line groups in the nation,” said Pendleton. “We might not be rated the highest but we have some really talented guys with a lot of character. You can be a good ball player but if you don’t have good character then it’s not going to take you anywhere. I think we’re going to be a special group.”
As it stands, Notre Dame holds four commitments on the offensive line for the 2023 class, including Pendleton, Sullivan Absher, Joe Otting and Elijah Paige. There are still a couple of talented players left on the board.
“We would also like to have Charles Jagusah and Monroe Freeling and we would love to have one of those guys in the class,” he said.
People fall in love with the recruiting rankings far too often. That drastically undersells the full scope of a recruit. By every metric, Sam Pendleton presents an outstanding fit for the Notre Dame program.
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