2023 four-star OL Sullivan Absher commits to Notre Dame
The second stanza of the Harry Hiestand era will have a North Carolina imprint.
On Friday, Belmont (N.C.) South Point High four-star offensive lineman Sullivan Absher announced his commitment to Notre Dame. Absher’s commitment is the second offensive line commit in the class and the second from the Tar Heel State. He chose Notre Dame over fellow finalists Clemson and North Carolina State.
With Absher's commitment, the Irish reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the Rivals team recruiting rankings.
“Notre Dame has a safety net,” Absher told Inside ND Sports earlier this week. “As far as NFL dreams go and as far as after football dreams go, you've got Harry Hiestand. He's the best offensive line coach in the game right now and one of the best to do it. And then, of course, you've got the Notre Dame degree with which you can go anywhere in the world.”
Absher’s pledge comes 19 days after Pfafftown (N.C) Ronald Reagan High four-star offensive lineman Sam Pendleton announced his Irish commitment. With Pendleton and Absher now in the class, it makes the first time Notre Dame has landed two four-star offensive linemen from the same state since 2016 (Liam Eichenberg and Tommy Kraemer in Ohio).
BEYOND THE DECISION: SULLIVAN SHARES WHY HE CHOSE NOTRE DAME
COMMITMENT BREAKDOWN: WHAT ABSHER MEANS FOR NOTRE DAME'S CLASS
The No. 7 player from North Carolina visited Notre Dame for the first time on Jan. 29, a visit that Absher later revealed set the standard for other recruiting trips. After Absher returned for the Blue-Gold Game on April 23, he was all Irish.
Absher also visited NC State (April 2) and Clemson (April 9). NC State finished as the runner-up in his recruitment. The Irish made sure to keep a strong impression during the May contact period, as Hiestand and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees visited his high school.
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“One of the biggest things about the football side is just getting coached by coach Hiestand,” he said. “Right now, I'm in the triple-option offense, and we block low. I've been to camps where I've been in the pro-style stances and blocking, but I'm just excited to get on campus, get on the field and get coached by him.”
While Rivals categorizes the 6-foot-7, 285-pound junior standout as an offensive tackle, Absher brings versatility to Notre Dame. He played both tackle and guard at South Point, depending on the defensive front the team played. Among his competition was 2022 class three-star defensive end and Wake Forest commit Eli Hall from Shelby (N.C) Crest High.
Absher brings various outstanding traits to Notre Dame, but there is one that stands out from the rest, according to his high school head coach.
"He's a good finisher,” South Point’s Adam Hodge told Inside ND Sports in April. “I think being a good OL, you have to finish well. He's a good finisher. He finishes his blocks and the play. To be a good finisher, you have to give a good effort, and he certainly does that.
"Many players will make good initial contact and get the guy going. The really good players are guys that can finish the blocks, and he does that well."
CBS Sports recruiting analyst Tom Lemming shared high praise for Notre Dame's most recent commit.
"He’s got the build of a left tackle," Lemming said, "He’s very athletic, moves his feet well, and is a natural knee-bender. He’s definitely a right tackle for sure, but he can play left. He’s the kind of guy Harry Hiestand likes. Very athletic and can move well laterally. Really technically sound. He’s a kid who puts a lot of time and effort into his play.
"He’s a big catch. He’s a four-star plus guy with the potential to be a five-star and the potential to be a first-round draft pick in four years."
Absher’s commitment marks the sixth overall (2022-24 classes) the Irish have secured within the last month. ND is up to 13 in the 2023 class. Now that the No. 24 offensive tackle is in the class, Hiestand turns his focus to top targets Monroe Freeling, Charles Jagusah, Elijah Paige and Joe Otting.
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