Right guard Steve Elmer, who logged more snaps than any other Notre Dame football player in 2015, announced today that he will forgo his final year of eligibility to take a job in Washington, D.C. Elmer, an economics major, is on track to graduate in May after enrolling during the 2013 spring semester.
ELMER BIG KEY TO IRISH DEPTH
Elmer joins center Nick Martin (exhausted eligibility) and left tackle Ronnie Stanley (NFL Draft) as the third starter to depart from last year’s starting offensive line. In total, they accounted for 57.5 percent of the team’s snaps in 2015.
Elmer was given the starting nod for the first time as a freshman, when he replaced the injured Christian Lombard at right guard. The 6-foot-6 inch, 315 pound lineman then proved versatile in his three seasons with the Irish, having opened the 2014 season by playing three games at right tackle.
Elmer’s backup at right guard – at least according to the depth chart – is rising senior John Montelus, who only had 10 snaps last year. Montelus, who was born in Haiti, has two years of eligibility remaining after redshirting the 2013 season.
Rising junior Sam Mustipher and redshirt freshman Tristen Hoge are expected to compete for the vacated center spot. Both are unproven commodities. Mustipher logged just 40 snaps last year; Hoge took a redshirt this year.
Rising senior Hunter Bivin and rising junior Alex Bars will fight for the right to replace Stanley. Bivin played sparingly – just 45 snaps – while Bars saw more time (135 snaps) at left tackle in pinch-hit duty for the injured Quenton Nelson. However, Bars broke his ankle during the USC game. Bivin has two years of eligibility remaining, while Bars has three.
Mike McGlinchey, whose 837 snaps was second only to Elmer’s 842 snaps, is expected to start again at right tackle. Expect Nelson (724 snaps) to be tapped as starting left guard.
Elmer did a month-long internship with Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, in Washington, D.C. Elmer’s primary responsibility included attending committee meetings, hearings and composing reports, according to a UND.com profile.
“I didn’t really know what to expect. It ended up being really, really great, and blew away my expectations,” he told Curt Rallo.
The Michigan resident told Rallo he was intrigued by a life in public service, but was unsure about becoming a politician.
In his statement today, Elmer said: “While playing football for Notre Dame has been nothing short of an honor, I have been presented with an incredible opportunity to pursue a career doing something in which I have great interest, and at a great company to boot. The experience of balancing Notre Dame’s academic rigors with my football commitments has given me a great foundation for my next endeavor.”
Elmer did not specify which company or individual he would be working for.
He added: “The question that inevitably comes up is: why don’t you just wait until next year? My answer is pretty simple; the excitement I feel about the professional opportunity in front of me has helped me to realize that I’m just ready to be done with football. I’ve been playing this game for many years, and quite honestly my heart is no longer in it. I realize that this may be considered sacrilege to some, but it’s truth.”
Elmer, whose mother was a Michigan State alumna and his father rooted for Michigan, was four-star recruit out of Midland (MI) High School. The talented lineman held offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford, Wisconsin, Mississippi State and Syracuse. The life-long Notre Dame fan was the first commit in the Class of 2013 and one of five early enrollees, along with then-WR James Onwualu, QB Malik Zaire, WR Corey Robinson (now student body president!) and TE Mike Heuerman (who has since left the program due to medical issues).
Here’s Steve talking to Notre Dame Fighting Irish Media’s Jack Nolan about his recruitment – including his rejection of his home-state school – and his obsession with “Seinfeld.”
Statement from Brian Kelly:
Notre Dame OL Steve Elmer will forgo final year of athletic eligibility. Irish head coach Brian Kelly confirms… pic.twitter.com/zRfqTXyjeM
— Michael Bertsch (@NDsidBertschy) February 16, 2016