Print and Go Back ESPN.com: On The Trail: Midwest Region [Print without images]

Friday, May 17, 2013
Bars following father, not brothers, to ND

By Jared Shanker



With brothers at both Michigan and Penn State, offensive tackle Alex Bars (Nashville, Tenn./Montgomery Bell Academy) was facing a tough decision. Join Blake at Michigan or Brad at Penn State?

Alex went an entirely different route and followed in the footsteps of his father. The four-star lineman and the No. 55 player in the ESPN 150 committed to Notre Dame on Friday.

Joe Bars was a linebacker at Notre Dame.

“It was pretty great,” Bars said of telling his father the news. “I really appreciated him not pressuring me to go to his alma mater. I think he's pretty happy, though. He's excited for me.

“… I've been thinking hard about it these past couple months. I realized a couple weeks ago where I wanted to go, but my parents made me wait a week. Notre Dame was the best place for me.”

Bars is the fourth offensive lineman in the Irish’s class, which is quickly making a case as the best offensive line haul, at least as of May. Bars is joined by four-star guards Sam Mustipher (No. 11 among guards) and Quenton Nelson (No. 19) and three-star tackle Jimmy Byrne (No. 28). Bars is No. 7 among tackles nationally.

Notre Dame is putting a major emphasis on the offensive line for a second consecutive recruiting class. In 2013, the Irish signed two top-10 tackles and two more players in the top 30 at the position. They also signed No. 27 guard John Montelus.

Forced to nationally recruit, the Irish are doing just that in the 2014 class. Of the Irish’s 10 commitments, nine hail from different states.

Bars is the second highest-ranked commitment in the Irish’s class, which ranked No. 8 nationally before Bars’ pledge.

Michigan, where brother Blake Bars plays, and Notre Dame are scheduled to meet for the last time in 2014, which would be Alex Bars’ freshman season in South Bend. The back and forth between the brothers has not started just yet, though.

“They were disappointed I didn't go to their school, but they're happy for me,” Bars said. “Blake thinks Michigan is the best school in the country, but there hasn't been any trash-talking yet. I'm sure there will be during this season.”

WolverineNation reporter Tom VanHaaren contributed to this report.