Notre Dame earned a commitment Thursday from four-star offensive lineman Owen Strebig, the No. 1 Class of 2025 prospect in the state of Wisconsin, per the 247Sports Composite. The Irish beat out the Badgers, Miami, USC and Florida State.
From Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha, Wisc., Strebig is ranked as the No. 127 prospect overall and No. 13 offensive tackle.
— Owen Strebig (@OwenStrebig) February 8, 2024
What does this mean for Notre Dame?
Strebig is Notre Dame’s second offensive line commitment in a class expected to go to four. Notre Dame already had tackle Will Black in the commitment column and expects to eventually add tackles Jack Lange and Matty Augustine. Strebig, Lange and Black are all four-star prospects in the 247Sports Composite, with Augustine a three-star on the three major recruiting networks.
Landing national prospects wouldn’t be new for Notre Dame, but taking four tackles in a single recruiting cycle is. Strebig is listed at 6 feet 8, with the other three linemen all measured at 6-7. That would represent an incredible influx of size at a position that’s typically blessed with it. For the sake of comparison, Notre Dame signed four offensive linemen last cycle, and while all were listed as tackles by recruiting analysts, none measured taller than 6-6, with one, Anthonie Knapp, arriving at 6-4, 266. That created a need for a tackle-heavy class for offensive line coach Joe Rudolph, which he’s on his way to achieving.
In the 247Sports Composite, Strebig becomes the third-ranked player in Notre Dame’s class behind safety Ivan Taylor and tight end James Flanagan, another Wisconsin product. — Pete Sampson, Notre Dame beat writer
How long can Notre Dame stay at No. 1?
The Irish are on top of the 247Sports Composite team rankings on the strength of quality and quantity, with their 14 commitments five more than No. 2 LSU and three more than No. 3 Clemson. At this time of year, the volume of a recruiting class can unbalance team rankings, which Notre Dame led entering the summer in each of the previous two cycles. The Irish went on to finish 12th in 2023 and ninth in 2024.
It’s too early to predict where Marcus Freeman’s third full class will finish, but sticking in the back half of the top 10 is a reasonable expectation. A year ago, Notre Dame signed five top-75 prospects. It may have a difficult time matching that this cycle outside of safety Ivan Taylor (No. 61) and quarterback Deuce Knight (No. 62).
Receiver Derek Meadows continues to list Notre Dame has a top option despite recent offers from Georgia and Alabama. He’s No. 144 but could make a huge jump this fall, potentially approaching five-star status. Cornerback Mark Zackery is No. 179 and trending toward Notre Dame over Ohio State. Linebacker Nathaniel Owusu-Boateng is No. 55, although he might be difficult to take out of SEC country. Cornerback Dallas Golden is No. 102, and Notre Dame appears in strong shape with the Florida prospect.
The Irish should still sign a strong class this cycle, but it’s not clear if it will have as much top-end talent as last year. It’s also worth remembering that Bryce Young, who finished as a five-star in 247Sports’ rankings, was outside the top 200 much of last cycle before a strong senior season that ended with a dominant showing in the all-star circuit. — Sampson
What does this mean for Wisconsin?
Losing out on the No. 1 player in the state of Wisconsin for a second consecutive class is far from the ideal scenario for Luke Fickell and staff, particularly when considering the Badgers signed the top-ranked player in the state for seven consecutive years, from 2017-23. But Wisconsin faced an uphill climb for Strebig, whose relationship with Notre Dame offensive line coach Joe Rudolph dates to when Strebig was a freshman and Rudolph still was at Wisconsin. Strebig met new Badgers O-line coach AJ Blazek for the first time at a junior day event in January. And, although Strebig had plenty of positive things to say, his comments came just as he was about to visit South Bend as a recruit for a sixth time.
In recent years, the door has opened for other programs to enter Wisconsin and take top talent. Offensive linemen Billy Schrauth (Notre Dame) and Carson Hinzman (Ohio State) and tight end Jerry Cross (Penn State) all went elsewhere in the 2022 class. Offensive lineman Nathan Roy, the No. 1 player in 2024, signed with Minnesota. Three players in that class from the state went to Penn State. All those circumstances are different, but they highlight the challenge Wisconsin faces in the future. Fickell and the staff will keep pushing as they build relationships with coaches and players in Wisconsin. The Badgers signed three in-state players in 2024 and have commitments from two so far in 2025. — Jesse Temple, Wisconsin beat writer
(Photo: Courtesy of Billy Seidel)