Notre Dame's recent run of verbal commitments continued Wednesday night when Red Bank Catholic (Red Bank, N.J.) offensive lineman Quenton Nelson became the ninth member of the Fighting Irish's 2014 recruiting class.
Nelson announced his commitment via Twitter, choosing Notre Dame over Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers, among others.
Quenton Nelson (@BigQ56) May 2, 2013
A consensus 4-star prospect, Nelson is rated as the No. 135 player in the nation according to the 247Composite rankings, a formula which combines rankings from multiple national recruiting reporting outlets. Rivals.com ranks Nelson slightly higher, currently No. 66 nationally.
After signing five offensive linemen this year, Notre Dame is targeting four in the 2014 class. With over nine months until National Signing Day, the Irish already have three of them on board—Nelson, Jimmy Byrne (Cleveland, Ohio) and Sam Mustipher (Olney, Md.).
At 6'5" and 282 pounds Nelson plays offensive tackle at Red Bank Catholic, but has enough flexibility to move inside. With Byrne and Mustipher projecting as guards or centers at the collegiate level, Nelson is likely to start his Irish career at tackle.
Nelson shined at last month's Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour stop in Piscataway, N.J., earning the award for the top offensive lineman at the camp. Mustipher also attended the camp, which showcased many of the Mid-Atlantic's best players.
Red Bank Catholic runs a ground-heavy offense, so naturally, run-blocking is Nelson's biggest strength (see highlights here). His level of competition is below that of many other top prospects, but his performance at various camps has shown he can do battle with some of the best defensive linemen in the country.
With the spring evaluation period underway, expect plenty of recruiting news, both offers and commitments, to continue over the coming weeks. Assistant coaches are in the middle of a six-week window where they can be on the road for any four of those weeks visiting with recruits.