Notre Dame O-Line Culture Wows Peter Jones

The circumstances were ideal for the pair of hulking offensive linemen who visited Notre Dame over the weekend.

Along with 2023 guard Austin Siereveldin South Bend on Saturday was Peter Jones.

Jones picked up an offer from the Irish during the recent 2024-class scholarship blitz on St. Patrick’s Day. He’s from a particularly good profile school for Notre Dame in Malvern Prep, a Catholic college prep school located less than an hour East of Philadelphia.

Like his older brother Kevin Jones who plays tackle at the University of Maine, the rising junior is pegged to be a bookend in college, already six-foot-five and 290 pounds. So far, he’s reeled in nearly 20 offers, including Boston College , Duke, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Virginia, West Virginia, and others.

Notre Dame is known for its offensive linemen. And on Saturday at practice, Jones saw the current Irish O-Line working away with two alumni on site who helped build that reputation.

“I was really lucky with Quenton Nelson and Sam Mustipher coming back (to campus),” Jones said. “They were up there on Saturday. That was really exciting to meet both of them. They were the first guys who I spoke to during the practice, and they (had) endless words, talking about so many great things about Hiestand. And that was one thing that I found that was great, not one person had anything negative to say. There were so many good things, only good words talked about him.

“Me and (Sieveld), we both came out and (Mustipher) walks right over to us. He was really nice too.”

As a budding tackle, there was certainly a starstruck element to seeing the former Irish linemen who currently play in the NFL.

“I wanted to seem as casual as I could. I had my coaches with me. My coach walked right up to him and asked him for a picture, but I wasn’t going to do that,” Jones said. “But it was really cool. Both of them, both (Nelson) and Mustipher, they’re the nicest guys, hands down.

“It was really cool to see them both. Nelson was with the guards. Mustipher was with the centers. They were coming back, and they were coaching as well. So, everyone’s helping everyone. That was really cool. Really cool.”

(Photo: 247Sports)

* Above photo: Jones on the far left sitting next to Siereveld at a table with Nelson, Mustipher, and the Irish O-Line.

Of course, Notre Dame offensive line coach Harry Hiestand carries a serious reputation too. And Jones learned why on Saturday at practice and while spending time with the O-Line afterward.

“The guys (Hiestand has developed) I think definitely speak for themselves,” Jones said. “So, I had that little impression going in beforehand, and then sitting down and meeting with him, and watching his O-Line meeting, you can see why the guys love him. And that was an interesting thing, too, I was asking some of the players what they think about him. And he has such a deep relationship with every one of the guys. But yeah, he’s a great, great dude.”

Aside from practice, the strength of the offensive line, the flashy alumni, and coach Hiestand, there were several additional details that caught his eye.

“I’d definitely say the campus was great,” Jones said. “Our meeting with Marcus Freeman went great. I mean, you can clearly tell why all the guys love him and why they were so excited last year when he was announced that he was going to be the (head) coach.

“And the indoor practice facility, that was really impressive. I think they mentioned that’s around two years old…So, that’s relatively brand new. I’d say overall the campus feel was really nice too.”

Moving forward, it’s fair to say Notre Dame is a school of interest to Jones.

“I definitely think their reputation of being able to produce linemen, and then just kind of (the reputation of) the school itself stands out,” Jones said. “That’s kind of how both coach Freeman and their director of recruiting Chad Bowden were phrasing it.

“They really stress the next 10-plus years after college. They really stress that setting guys up for the future and giving them the best opportunities they can have. So, that was definitely a very important thing as well.”

Notre Dame has yet to add an offensive lineman to its 2023 class, but there is good momentum with tackle Charles Jagusah and others. Meanwhile, the coaching staff is building its 2024 board, and Jones could be a key component to that group.

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