BREAK | 2023 OL Sam Pendleton commits to Notre-Dame

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Sam Pendleton‍ knew he wanted to hear from Notre Dame and after just one trip to South Bend, the 2023 North Carolina offensive lineman knew he wanted to play for the Irish.

Pendleton has just announced his commitment to Notre Dame, choosing the Irish over NC State, Michigan and Florida among several others.

“I feel like they have everything I look for in a college, especially with the return of a legendary coach in Coach (Harry) Hiestand,” Pendleton told ISD earlier this month- this.

“With Coach Freeman as the head coach of the program, I think they have a lot to look forward to.”

The 6-foot-5, 295-pounder is the first offensive line commitment for the Irish in the class of 2023 and gives Notre Dame 10 commitments in the class.

The four-star prospect could probably play next-level guard or tackle.

On Feb. 1, the Reagan High School standout announced a Top 5 from Michigan, NC State, Clemson, Penn State and Virginia Tech and looked set to pick from the set shortly after.

But just a month ago during a photo shoot with Tom Lemming, Pendleton was asked if there were any other schools he would still like to hear about.

Pendleton listed Notre Dame.

When Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand was informed, he quickly made contact with Pendleton. A few days later, an offer was extended and an unofficial visit was set up.

Pendleton took this trip two weeks ago and was clearly blown away by the experience.

“I really liked it there,” he said. “It felt like home.”

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The football box was basically checked even before the visit – “Football is great, it’s Notre Dame Football. It will always be the best level”, but the academic presentation really had a huge impact on Pendleton, who plans to major in engineering.

He learned that former Irish players like Sam Mustipher majored in engineering while becoming an NFL player and that there were other players on the current roster who were working to do the same.

“It’s really unheard of,” Pendleton said. “Wherever I’ve been, I haven’t met anyone who is really an engineer other than at Notre-Dame.

“The Dean really showed me that it’s possible, that people have done it and succeeded and got really good jobs outside of engineering football.”

With Pendleton on board, the Irish will continue to chase other offensive linemen, including Sullivan Abcher‍, Monroe Freelingand Austin Siereveld‍, who were all on campus for last weekend’s spring game, as well as Charles Jagusahand Samson Okunlola‍.

ISD editor Mike Frank recently named Pendleton one of his favorite targets for the Irish this cycle.

“I immediately thought this guy was what I call ‘Country Strong’,” Frank said. “He seems like the kind of kid who grew up on a farm and just has that ‘Country Strong’ about him. Sure enough, he’s from a town of about 2,000 people.

“But, on film, he went up against bigger guys and just threw them away like rag dolls. As a run blocker, it’s a finisher. He is going to move real estate. As a pass blocker, there are actually some good clips of him in pass pro. He was fast in his passing game and had a solid punch and then he moved his feet very well.

“I don’t think he played against a lot of elite athletes, but he dominated everyone he faced. He can shoot, move and play in space. I see him as a guard at Notre Dame, but he could easily play tackle for a lot of places… He’s an underrated prospect for sure.

Movie Don’t Lie | Sam Pendleton

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