Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 75 Sullivan Absher, incoming freshman offensive lineman
Listed measurements: 6-foot-7, 305 pounds
2023-24 year, eligibility: An incoming freshman, Absher has all four seasons of eligibility remaining.Depth Chart: Despite his frame suggesting a future at tackle, the Notre Dame coaching staff will need some time watching Absher on the practice field to figure out where to pencil him onto the depth chart.
Recruiting: Absher committed to the Irish in May of 2022, seven months before the consensus four-star prospect could sign his National Letter of Intent. The No. 29 tackle in the class, per rivals.com, he spurned Clemson and North Carolina State as his finalists, notable for a North Carolina native.
WHAT WAS SAID WHEN ABSHER SIGNED IN DECEMBER
“Absher should be a tackle in the future if for no other reason than it is hard to fathom a 6-foot-7 frame folding itself up along the interior presnap. …
“Absher’s quickness belies his weight. Even if that 285-pound listing is inflated, he moves better than should be expected from such a big man. That quickness combined with his flexibility and length may make Absher an ideal offensive tackle.”
NAME, IMAGE, LIKENESS
Absher’s disposition would be best described as walking enthusiasm, particularly when he sees a camera.
Looking at Absher, next to classmate Sam Pendleton on the left, in that above photo underscores some comments from former Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rees when the pair, along with three other offensive linemen, signed with Notre Dame in December.
“You look at the mental makeup of these five and what they’re about, and they fall right in line with what we’re trying to build as a culture in that room,” Rees said.
Absher’s high school team focused on the option. Significant pass protection development lies ahead of him. That will be his 2023 priority, and how it progresses will determine whether Absher ends up at tackle or at guard.
There is no rush to figure that out, but the Irish coaching staff will have an idea of Absher’s best fit based on his pass pro, an idea that will be first seen on the field in 2024 spring practices.
DOWN THE ROAD
Whether at tackle or at guard, Absher has time to develop. The most likely pair of starting tackles next season will be Tosh Baker and Blake Fisher, though the latter could conceivably play his way into an NFL draft decision this season. At guard, current sophomore Billy Schrauth should be a second-year starter in 2024, and if fifth-year Andrew Kristofic does not use his sixth season of eligibility, then current junior Rocco Spindler may finally have his chance at a starting gig.
Two years of development will serve Absher well. Look at his size, now imagine it being molded for a bit by a collegiate strength and conditioning program. There is plenty to work with, even if it takes a bit to see the field on a Saturday.
Editor’s Note: In laying out the summer’s content calendar, incoming freshmen needed to be slotted into the ongoing 99-to-0 series without knowing their numbers. Some educated speculation is applied, but mostly it is viewed as penciling in guesses with no harm incurred if wrong. The guess for Absher was No. 67, but on Wednesday, Notre Dame updated its roster and revealed Absher will wear No. 75, hence his appearing now out of sequence.
NOTRE DAME 99-TO-0
The summer countdown begins anew, Rylie Mills to Deion Colzie
No. 99 Rylie Mills, senior defensive tackle, moving back inside from end
No. 98 Devan Houstan, early-enrolled four-star defensive tackle
No. 97 Gabriel Rubio, junior defensive tackle, one of three Irish DTs with notable experience
No. 95 Tyson Ford, sophomore defensive tackle, up 30 pounds from a year ago
No. 93 Armel Mukam, incoming freshman defensive end, former Stanford commit
No. 92 Aidan Keanaaina, a senior defensive tackle now ‘fully healthy’ after a 2022 torn ACL
No. 91 Aiden Gobaira, sophomore defensive end, former four-star recruit
No. 88 Mitchell Evans, the next starter at ‘TE U’
No. 87 Cooper Flanagan, incoming freshman tight end, four-star recruit
No. 84 Kevin Bauman, senior tight end coming off a torn ACL
No. 83 Jayden Thomas, junior receiver, probable No. 1 target in 2023
No. 79 Tosh Baker, senior tackle, again a backup but next year ...
No. 78 Pat Coogan, junior interior offensive lineman
No. 77 Ty Chan, sophomore offensive tackle, former four-star recruit
No. 76 Joe Alt, first-team All-American left tackle
No. 74 Billy Schrauth, sophomore left guard, likely starter
No. 73 Andrew Kristofic, fifth-year right guard, likely starter
No. 72 Sam Pendelton, early-enrolled freshman offensive lineman
No. 70 Ashton Craig, sophomore interior offensive lineman
No. 68 Michael Carmody, senior offensive lineman
No. 56 Charles Jagusah, incoming freshman offensive lineman, four-star recruit
No. 55 Chris Terek, incoming freshman offensive lineman, four-star recruit
No. 51 Boubacar Traore, incoming freshman defensive end, four-star recruit
No. 17 Brenan Vernon, incoming freshman defensive end, four-star recruit
No. 13 Holden Staes, sophomore tight end, up 20 pounds in a year
No. 12 Penn State RB transfer Devyn Ford gives Notre Dame newly-needed backfield depth, experience
No. 4 Rhode Island transfer safety Antonio Carter gives Notre Dame desperately needed backline depth