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Credibility of Notre Dame lends heft to commitment from three-star Kansas offensive lineman

Sometimes schools should be trusted more than star rankings. In Notre Dame’s growing class of 2023, the first 13 commitments were all at least four-star prospects. Enter consensus three-star offensive lineman Joe Otting (Hayden Catholic High School; Topeka, Kan.) and his pledge on Tuesday afternoon.

Otting may be considered a three-star recruit by every rating service, but the Irish standard of offensive line talent evaluation and development warrants more faith than those rankings do. This is not to carry Notre Dame’s water; some prospects have not panned out as hoped. This offseason has seen a former top-100 overall player and consensus four-star lineman transfer to Minnesota while another former Irish lineman simply wrapped up his reserve career.

Not all projects become stars, but Notre Dame’s hit rate along the offensive line deserves some leeway compared to the likes of Rivals, 247Sports and On3. The Irish have churned out five NFL draft picks in the last five drafts, including two first-rounders and two second-rounders, with another three linemen quickly signed as undrafted free agents. Reach back another four drafts and you can add four more linemen as draft picks, including two more first-rounders and another second-rounder.

Already Notre Dame looks to have likely have at least three more NFL picks starting on its line in Jarrett Patterson (in the 2023 draft) and sophomore tackles Joe Alt and Blake Fisher.

So if a three-star rating makes Otting a lesser recruit, being chased by the Irish should counteract that.

Otting shows quick feet when pulling around the edge to lead the way on a run, and he is fast enough to get to the second level of the defense to spring a bigger gain. He makes a habit of squaring up and then standing up his defender.

The 6-foot-4, 270-pound probable future guard does not have much pass blocking in his highlight reel, logical in that it is a less glamorous role for an offensive lineman but also telling in that the Wildcats do not turn to pass much against their level of competition.

Otting announced his commitment to Notre Dame and offensive line coach Harry Hiestand just days after partaking in “Irish Invasion,” the biggest on-campus camp Notre Dame will hold this summer. Otting also visited Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, Nebraska and Missouri over the last year.

The 14th commitment in the class, he is the third offensive lineman, joining four-stars Sam Pendleton (Ronald Reagan H.S.; Pfafftown, N.C.) and Sullivan Absher (South Point; Belmont, N.C.).

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