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December 15, 2011

Irish score Stanley

On Thursday in an announcement at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nev., four-star offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley committed to Notre Dame over finalists Arkansas and Nebraska. The pledge is the first for the Irish since Sept. 30 when running back Will Mahone came aboard.

Notre Dame offensive line coach Ed Warinner is expected to do an in-home visit today with the 6-foot-7, 285-pound athlete who also held offers from USC, Oregon, Florida and Florida State.

Stanley is the third offensive lineman to come aboard in Notre Dame's class, joining tackles Taylor Decker and Mark Harrell, although the North Carolina product is expected to shift to center in South Bend.

The Stanley pledge won't close Notre Dame's recruiting on the line but it moves the Irish closer to that end. Josh Garnett remains the prospect most in play, the Under Armour All-American having just completed his own official visit to Notre Dame. Garnett and Stanley appear to have connected on the trip as the pair interacted over Twitter all week, including Garnett's prediction that whomever landed Stanley was "gaining a first round draft pick today!"

The commitment may give Notre Dame a toehold into Bishop Gorman, which has been one of the Pac-12 region's most consistent in producing BCS conference talent. In the past five cycles the high school has developed signees for USC, Washington, Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Stanford, Oregon and Miami.

That group doesn't include a couple elite prospects last decade in four-star running back DeMarco Murray and five-star linebacker Ryan Reynolds. Both signed with Oklahoma.

Gorman has had at least one four-star prospect in four straight recruiting cycles with Stanley the latest elite talent to emerge from the Las Vegas program. But he's the first to commit to Notre Dame.


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