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Monroe Freeling Is A Must-Get For Notre Dame In The 2023 Class

Landing Monroe Freeling is vitally important for Notre Dame if it wants to land a top offensive line class in 2023

When you talk about Notre Dame's offensive recruiting for the 2023 class, there’s one name that remains at the top of the board, and that is Detroit (Mich.) Martin Luther King Jr. quarterback Dante Moore. If Notre Dame is going to land a truly gap closing class, however, the Irish need even more on the offensive side of the ball.

Not only that, landing other talented, top-ranked players on offense could ultimately help convince Moore to jump in the class. Landing an elite offensive line class would certainly be a big step towards making that happen.

Notre Dame already has a pair of four-star offensive linemen in the class (Sullivan Absher, Sam Pendleton), and the Irish are also in very good position with Illinois standout Charles Jagusah, who is one of the best blockers in the entire country.

But if Notre Dame is going to land a truly elite offensive line class in 2023 it needs to close out on Mount Pleasant (S.C.) Oceanside Academy offensive tackle Monroe Freeling. Of course, Freeling being a highly ranked recruit is part of that equation, but this is more about landing an elite talent, and landing a top player at a premium position.

The 6-7, 285-pound offensive tackle is an incredibly gifted football player, sitting as arguably the best pure blindside protector in the 2023 class. While Freeling isn’t the only talented offensive lineman on the board for Notre Dame, he is the only player who is an easy projection to the left tackle position. 

With how the roster is currently formatted, the Irish will be set for the next couple of seasons at offensive tackle with rising sophomores Joe Alt and Blake Fisher managing the edges. The issue is this 2023 class will not be arriving in South Bend until prior to the junior campaigns for Alt and Fisher. With how good that duo projects to be, it’s not inconceivable to believe they could be out of the door to the NFL after that 2023 season. At the very least they'll be gone after 2024, which would only be the sophomore season for the 2023 class. 

That begs the question of who is next up after the duo takes their talents to the next level. While there is certainly talent already on the roster, left tackle is a spot that has some question marks. 

The most talented offensive tackle who will be on the roster is probably Aamil Wagner, who has yet to arrive on campus. The upside is massive but the floor is the question. Wagner is an outstanding athlete, with plenty of length to get excited about, but there are plenty of questions over his frame. 

Sitting at right around 260 pounds, Wagner possesses a very thin lower half. There are some concerns about just how much weight he can carry on the frame without compromising the athleticism that he brings to the table. If he is able to develop then this may be a moot point - but regardless, the team will need some insurance just in case. 

That’s what makes Freeling so pivotal. Could Absher be an offensive tackle long-term? Yes, it is possible but he is more than likely a right tackle if he does stick. 

If Notre Dame is able to land Jagusah he could be another option at tackle, projecting as a potential impact player at right tackle or guard. The same is true for Absher.  

Aside from that trio, Phoenix (Ariz.) Pinnacle star Elijah Paige does have a chance to stick at left tackle with his combination of length, foot quickness, and technique in pass protection. Still, he is a projection while he needs to continue to develop his power profile. 

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There is a legitimate argument that Freeling could have the highest upside of anyone on the offensive board not named Dante Moore, who has serious interest. Freeling could be the next in the line of fantastic left tackles at Notre Dame. He is beyond important for the Irish to be able to close on, both for the present of the class percentage, and more importantly for the future. 

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