Notre Dame received an early Christmas present with the commitment of 4-star center Tristen Hoge. The 2015 recruit was highly recruited by some of the nation's top schools, but it appears Notre Dame was in the driver's seat the whole time, per Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports:
When I stepped on the campus the first time I knew that’s where I wanted to be, Hoge said. The first couple days I was there it was surreal, the experience was everything I hoped for and more. The coaches are top-notch. It’s the best coaching staff I’ve ever met.
Hoge visited South Bend three times before making his decision, and he took his official visit this weekend. He was also checking out Florida, LSU and Penn State.
But in the end, Notre Dame was just too good to pass up. And for good reason. The Irish have established an identity as a physical team over the years under head coach Brian Kelly. The offensive line is getting bigger and more dominant, and players are quickly drawing attention from NFL scouts.
This season, offensive linemen Chris Watt and Zack Martin are appearing on more and more draft boards.
As for Hoge, he has that type of potential. He has terrific size for a high school kid at 6'5", 287 pounds. He's also surprisingly quick for his frame and has a bit of a mean streak to his game. He finishes blocks well, can get to the second level in a hurry and is impressive in the run-blocking department. Overall, the Irish are getting a solid offensive lineman who could contribute sooner than later once he steps on campus.