Notre Dame Football: Sam Mustipher

Irish kick camp off at Culver

August, 4, 2014
8/04/14
7:46
PM ET
CULVER, Ind. -- Brian Kelly spending the day with the wide receivers was probably the biggest oddity emerging from Day 1 of Notre Dame fall camp. Everett Golson returned to run the first-team offense Monday, the defense's "D-Boys" chant went on without coordinator Bob Diaco and the punt returners could probably do a better job of fielding undefended kicks, first day of practice or not.

Oh, and a pair of horses looked on at the new artificial turf fields here at Culver Military Academy, where the Irish will practice the rest of the week before returning to campus Saturday.

[+] EnlargeNotre Dame's Everett Golson
AP Photo/Joe RaymondEverett Golson was running the first-team offense on Monday.
"It was good, it was fun for me," Kelly said after the two-hour padless session, the entirety of which was open to reporters. "Obviously you're in this business because you want to teach and being able to get in here and just give them a good base and foundation and some of the fundamentals, I think we've got really top notch athletes at that position. Just really spending a little more time with fundamentals on releases, transition, some of the things I think can really help them develop a solid foundation, they've got a great skill set."

Kelly said that his time with the receivers has not affected his ability to evaluate the quarterbacks, as the fifth-year Irish head coach subs in for offensive coordinator/outside receivers coach Mike Denbrock, who is out for the first several weeks of camp following an undisclosed operation.

Kelly said the program is happy to accommodate Denbrock however it can, as the staff is relaying video to him on an iPad. The date of Denbrock's return remains up in the air.

As for what else went down on Day 1 at Culver:
Brian Kelly spoke with reporters on national signing day for more than an hour. Here's a quick look at his thoughts on each of the 23 additions to the Irish roster:

Justin Brent (Speedway, Ind./Speedway): "When I got a chance to see him work out this morning, the first thing that stood out to me is that he does not look like a freshman. He had his shirt off this morning and he was running around, and he looks like a senior."

[+] EnlargeNotre Dame defensive end commit Andrew Trumbetti, the No. 2-ranked prospect in the state of New Jersey, shows off his Under Armour gear.
Courtesy of IntersportDE Andrew Trumbetti's athleticism -- he returned kicks in high school -- is just one of the things that impressed the Irish.
Andrew Trumbetti (Demarest, N.J./Northern Valley Region): "The thing that really put him over the top for us is when we were watching his film, he was returning kickoffs in high school, and not many times do you see a defensive lineman returning kickoffs."

Alex Bars (Nashville/Montgomery Bell Academy): "Dad played here, it's an easy leap; not so much. Sometimes you've got to work harder to get that young man to come to Notre Dame because he wants to go off on his own sometimes."

Grant Blankenship (The Colony, Texas/The Colony): "We got three players from Texas, all of them offered by the University of Texas. I don't know if that happens very often."

Jonathan Bonner (Chesterfield, Mo./Parkway Central): "When you talk about the right fit to Notre Dame, Jonathan possessed all of the right characteristics, academics, socially, and then as a football player."

Jimmy Byrne (Cleveland/Saint Ignatius): "Physical, moves his feet well, and again, I think what you'll see with all of our offensive linemen, they all can get out and move their feet. They all have the ability to run block, pass pro."

Daniel Cage (Cincinnati/Winton Woods):
"This guy is a ferocious player. He's an inside player, and we love the way he got off the ball. His strength, lower body strength, he's a guy that's going to play the shade, he can play the nose."

Jay Hayes (Brooklyn, N.Y./Poly Prep Country Day): "One of his quotes when I was with him was, ‘Coach, some of these guys don't get it. They don't really understand why you would come to Notre Dame.’ And he's such a thoughtful kid at his age that he understands why he would come to Notre Dame for all the right reasons, getting a degree and opening up doors for him for the rest of his life."

Kolin Hill (Schertz, Texas/Samuel Clemens): "A right fit for Notre Dame, character, high energy, yes, sir, no, sir, had all those things that we really liked. He was engaging. Really impressed our admissions people."

Corey Holmes (Fort Lauderdale, Fl./Saint Thomas Aquinas): "He has a lot of the same feelings in terms of where TJ Jones developed, but he's 6-2. This kid is longer. He's a bigger kid than TJ. But he's got a lot of those mannerisms and characteristics. "

DeShone Kizer (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic): "He's going to be able to do the multidimensional things that we love. Now we've got three quarterbacks on campus that all do the same things."

[+] EnlargeTyler Luatua
Tom Hauck for Student SportsTE Tyler Luatua made an impression on and off the field with Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.
Tyler Luatua (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada): "People said, ‘Well, he didn't talk enough. He wasn't engaging enough. I didn't hear enough from him.’ I said, ‘Well, you just don't know him well enough because when you get to know Tyler Luatua, he's just like Justin Utupo; you can't shut him up.’"

Greer Martini (Woodberry Forest, Va./Woodberry Forest School): "His leadership skills, his ability to recognize and really -- you have to have leaders. He's a really good player, and he's a really good leader, and he'll be a very good linebacker for us here at Notre Dame and will also be a guy that makes others around him better."

Peter Mokwuah (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph-By-The-Sea): "We've had a great Nigerian connection here, Romeo Okwara, Prince Shembo, just to name a few, and then Pete was able to connect Catholic institution, goes to a Catholic school. That profile fit very well for us."

Nyles Morgan (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee): "Every time I'm with him, he just wants to talk about football, and he's a good student, and his mom and dad want him to just talk about academics, and he's a good student and he recognizes the value of getting a degree at Notre Dame."

Sam Mustipher (Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel): "All these guys can be big and strong and physical, but if they can't move their feet, if they can't bend, if they can't get out of their stance and do a good job and moving and bending, then we're moving on, and I think -- I sound like a broken record with the offensive line, but those are the characteristics."

Quenton Nelson (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Catholic): "He's going to come after you play after play after play. And again, his desire to want to be great is what always stood out about Quenton is that he's always pushing himself. Every time we talk to him he's coming back from something."

Tyler Newsome (Carrollton, Ga./Carrollton): "He was such an intriguing young man in all the kids that we saw that when we saw him punting, there was nobody that was even close to with the potential upside that he has. "

Nile Sykes (Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic): "We want people that want to be part of Notre Dame and be part of our family, and to bring Nile and his family in, he's a versatile player. He can play inside, he can play outside."

Drue Tranquill (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll): "People have asked does he play safety, does he play running back? I don't know where he plays, but he's going to play somewhere here at Notre Dame because he's a darned good football player."

Nick Watkins (Dallas/Bishop Dunne): "This is draft day, you're getting a No. 1 draft pick. This kid is an exceptional football player. We think we got one of the best corners around. Long, athletic, can really do a lot of things for us."

Nic Weishar (Chicago, Ill./Marist): "He's the finest pass catching tight end that we saw. You could argue about who it is, but we think he is. We love his ball skills, we love his ability to use his body to control defenders, has a knack of catching the football in the air and taking it away from people. "

Jhonny Williams (Berrien Springs, Mich./Berrien Springs): "There's no ceiling on Jhonny Williams' future. He's an engaging young man. He just recognizes that he's got a great opportunity at Notre Dame, and we're excited to provide him that opportunity."
Brian Kelly spent the first 37 minutes of his national signing day press conference talking about the 23 players who signed with Notre Dame. Whether that will be it for the Irish remains to be seen.

"We're open to going beyond the 23," Kelly said Wednesday.

The answer will likely come at 4 ET, when ESPN four-star athlete John "JuJu" Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly) announces his college decision live on ESPNU.

Notre Dame currently stands at 84 scholarships, as it welcomed back 56 players from last season's team, 23 recruits from the 2014 class and, as Kelly said, five fifth-year players: Austin Collinsworth, Christian Lombard, Kendall Moore, Justin Utupo and Luke Massa, whose return had not been previously reported.

Kelly stressed the education process at Notre Dame more than usual, as he was dealing with three underclassmen who declared for the NFL draft early after the 2013 season.

He said he would have a serious problem recruiting a kid who said that his intentions were to stay for just three years.

"If they want to come here just to hang their hat to play football and go to the NFL, we passed on some pretty good players," he said.

Kelly, who gave an honest assessment of not casting a wide enough net on the defensive line, also made a pretty definitive statement that four-star offensive guard recruit Sam Mustipher (Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) would be staying on the offensive line.

Recruiting: So far, so good for Irish

February, 5, 2014
2/05/14
10:50
AM ET
The biggest surprise of the day was an early one, and a considerably positive one for Notre Dame, as Winton Woods (Ohio) High four-star defensive lineman Daniel Cage faxed in his national letter of intent to the Irish. Cage adds to a rather large haul across the defensive line for the Irish, who have announced 22 signatures so far, including nine ESPN 300 prospects (and including both of their January enrollees, Andrew Trumbetti and Justin Brent).

The other verbal commit? Probably not worth getting stressed over, as the biggest recruit of them all, Nyles Morgan, tweeted that he signed.

Coach Brian Kelly meets the media at noon ET, so we will have more then.

(* denotes ESPN 300 prospect)
Still waiting on …
  • Four-star ILB Nyles Morgan (Crete, Ill./Crete Monee)*
Three days of practice are now in the books and overall execution was sharper as the players begin to move into final preparations for the Under Armour All-America Game on Thursday. The productivity of the players picked up as did the speed of the play, and they’re continuing to think less and display their natural ability more. It was a physical day, with the pads popping and some big hits throughout the practice. Here are some of the highlights.

Top performers

Will Martin leaving impact ND commits? 

December, 3, 2013
12/03/13
6:18
PM ET
Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin has been hired as coach at the University of Miami (Ohio), according to ESPN’s Joe Schad. A highly-respected coordinator at a big-time program will typically impact recruiting, but that might not be the case at a school like Notre Dame.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

UA Game jersey tour: Sam Mustipher

November, 16, 2013
11/16/13
3:48
PM ET
Senior offensive guard Sam Mustipher (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) was presented his honorary game jersey Friday at his school during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2014 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game. The event was part of a three-month selection tour.

[+] EnlargeSam Mustipher
Courtesy of IntersportSam Mustipher, a four-star guard, is committed to Notre Dame.
Mustipher, a Notre Dame commitment, is one of 90 players selected to compete in the seventh annual Under Armour All-America Game, a nationally televised game featuring the country’s top high school seniors. The 2014 game is set for 4 p.m. ET Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will be televised on ESPN.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank God because without the talents and blessings he has provide me with ... I would not be here today. Secondly, I would like to thank my family, especially my parents. All the sacrifices they have made for me throughout my life, I could not be more grateful. They have made it possible for me to be up here today standing before all of you. I would also like to thank the faculty and staff here at Good Counsel. They have provided a great platform for me to excel academically and athletically while here. Last but not least, I would like to thank my teammates and coaches … they provided me with everything I need. The brotherhood. I’ve made some great friendships here over the last four years. I love you and y’all have pushed me to be the greatest player I can be.”

Good Counsel coach Bob Milloy says playing in the UA game will be a preview for the next level for his star lineman.

“Getting the chance to play against the best in the country will be a little preview in January because he is going to the University of Notre Dame, so he’ll continue to play the best in the country. Sam will be fine. He is 6-4, 290 -- he’s not afraid to get in the weight room and he’s smart and driven; so I can’t wait to see the game.”

For Mustipher, playing in the UA game is all about competition and learning as he readies for the next level.

"I decided to accept the invitation to the Under Armour All-America Game because I just like to compete. The game provides a measuring stick before I get to Notre Dame as far as competition goes, too. I know the guys that are going to be playing are going to be the best in the country. I love to compete and have fun against different guys, and I can’t wait. I’m most looking forward to getting coaching from the guys down there. They have been where I hope to get in life; they know the ins and outs of life, college, the NFL, and of technique. I can't wait to learn from them."

The 6-foot-3, 294-pound Mustipher is a four-star prospect and the No. 16 ranked guard in the class. He committed to Notre Dame over offers from Ohio State, Oklahoma, Maryland, Miami (Fla.), Northwestern, Penn State and several others.

Two commits highlight big weekend

August, 5, 2013
8/05/13
2:00
PM ET
A quiet two weeks gave way to two busy days this past weekend, as Notre Dame hauled in a pair of four-star defensive prospects from different pockets of the country.

Outside linebacker Richard Yeargin III (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School of Nova South) and defensive tackle Matt Dickerson (San Mateo, Calif./Junipero Serra) committed to the Irish on Friday and Saturday, respectively, giving the program seven defensive pledges in the class of 2014.

Our Jared Shanker has a good breakdown of what these pick-ups mean for the Irish and their national reach, saying that their front-seven in this class could be as good as any in the country and that it is always a big get for Notre Dame when it can scoop up a premier player not far from USC's backyard.

"I just knew it was the school when I walked on campus," Dickerson, who visited Notre Dame on Friday, told Shanker. "I felt it in my heart."

Here's a look at Notre Dame's 17-man recruiting class from the class of 2014, which includes seven ESPN300 prospects (*).

Blankenship is No. 14 for ND

July, 8, 2013
7/08/13
9:00
AM ET
Everett Golson made most of the headlines during another holiday weekend by telling a local television station that he plans on returning to Notre Dame. He could have some company, then, in three-star defensive end Grant Blankenship (The Colony, Texas/The Colony).

Blankenship committed to the Irish on Friday, according to multiple reports, Insider giving the program its 14th recruit from the Class of 2014.

As the South Bend Tribune's Tyler James notes, news of the 6-foot-5, 230-pounder's commitment comes nearly one year to the day of the Irish's first commitment from this class.

Here is a list of all 14 Irish commitments from this class. ESPN150 members are designated with one asterisk (*), while ESPN300 members are designated with two (**).

Irish recruiting roundup

June, 19, 2013
6/19/13
5:00
PM ET
Where were we? Oh, yeah .
Notre Dame continued its building of an even deeper offensive line Wednesday night, as the Irish secured a verbal pledge from four-star offensive guard Quenton Nelson (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Catholic).


Nelson is the Irish's ninth commitment from the Class of 2014, and the fourth offensive lineman among that group, giving the program nine offensive line commitments during the past two recruiting cycles.

The 6-foot-5, 285-pounder is the No. 11 prospect in the state of New Jersey and the 19th-ranked guard in the nation.

Brian Kelly secured the pledge from Nelson during the head coach's one allotted phone call Insider to the prospect during the spring evaluation period, our Jared Shanker writes.

"He's really thrilled," Nelson's mother, Maryellen, said. "We're so happy that he committed to a great school like Notre Dame. He's wearing his Notre Dame hat and shirt right now."

Here is a list of all nine Irish commitments from this class. ESPN150 members are designated with an asterisk (*).

" Four-star RB Elijah Hood (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic)
" Four-star DE Andrew Trumbetti (Demarest, N.J./Demarest)*
" Four-star ILB Greer Martini (Woodberry Forest, Va./Woodberry Forest)
" Four-star OG Sam Mustipher (Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel)
" Four-star WR Justin Brent (Speedway, Ind./Speedway)
" Four-star OT Jay Hayes (Brooklyn, N.Y./Poly Prep)
" Four-star OG Quenton Nelson (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Catholic)
" Three-star TE Nic Weishar (Chicago/Marist)
" Three-star OT Jimmy Byrne (Cleveland/Saint Ignatius)

Irish recruiting roundup

April, 17, 2013
4/17/13
5:00
PM ET
Notre Dame added commitment No. 6 this week . Who else is on the Irish's radar?
Notre Dame added its sixth commitment for the Class of 2014, as ESPN Watch List guard Sam Mustipher (Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) committed Monday to the Irish.

Kevin McFadden, an assistant at Mustipher's high school, told our Jared Shanker that the match is "a perfect fit."

“Sam is a different guy, smart kid and intuitive,” McFadden said. “He really, really did a put in a lot of work into the research. He’s a Notre Dame-type kid. When he leaves here, he’s going to another good college. It’s another tier -- the academic component, the structure, it’s Catholic.”

The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Mustipher is an Under Armour All-American.

Here is a list of all six Irish commitments from this class. All six are ESPN Watch List prospects.

Irish recruiting roundup

March, 13, 2013
3/13/13
5:00
PM ET
The latest as spring ball approaches ...

Irish recruiting roundup

January, 23, 2013
1/23/13
5:00
PM ET
Nothing else has happened since last Wednesday, right? Well, other than this.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Freshman Quarterbacks A Growing Trend?
Ted Miller looks at how freshman quarterbacks have become more common in college football, and how these "rookie" college players could factor in at several College Football Playoff contenders.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video