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Does Miami Have Notre Dame Beat in Chase for 6'6", 5-Star OT K.C. McDermott?

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports
Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIMarch 18, 2013

K.C. McDermott is one of the more notable recruits in the 2014 class, so naturally his top two has come down to very notable programs Notre Dame and Miami.

The Fighting Irish boast the program that's much higher atop the college football world right now, but there's no doubting that both schools feature historic and marquee programs. Brian Kelly has Notre Dame among the conversation of legitimate national championship contenders. While Al Golden and the Hurricanes still have a long rebuild ahead of them, many feel that he is the right guy for the job.

McDermott talks about his top two, via Derek Tyson of ESPN.com:

"I like Miami and Notre Dame," McDermott said. "Notre Dame is a great school, Coach [Brian] Kelly has turned that whole program around. Notre Dame was my grandfather's favorite school. He bled gold and blue." 

Off pure prestige, national championship aspirations and potential, Notre Dame may seem like the best choice here. There's also the fact that K.C.'s brother, Tyler McDermott, is a new graduate assistant at Notre Dame, per Tyson. Tyler is a former Colorado State offensive lineman.

It would seem as if that would really tilt the field in the Fighting Irish's direction, but here's what McDermott had to say about Miami, per Tyson's report:

Like Notre Dame, McDermott also has family ties to Miami, but the Watch List prospect said his relationship with the Miami coaches will influence him more than his family could. 

"Miami, it's Miami," he said. "It's my family's school, but I like it a lot. I like what Coach [Al] Golden and the coaching staff are doing down there." 

If anything, this certainly will end up being one of the more intriguing recruiting races of the 2014 cycle. McDermott is going to be a marquee pickup for one of these two programs.

He's 6'6'', 285 pounds, so he possesses elite size for an offensive tackle heading into his senior season, and he's ranked as the No. 3 offensive tackle in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. 

Notre Dame has a nice edge considering its prestige and the fact that McDermott's brother will be a graduate assistant, but let's not count out Miami.

First off, he appears to have a good relationship with Al Golden and his staff, and that's huge. For all the struggles the Hurricanes have faced the past few years, many (including myself) foresee a much brighter future under the Golden regime. 

There's also the fact that it's his "family's school", and there's a lot that can be taken away from that statement. Affinity and nostalgia are two very powerful emotions, and college football seems to bring out the best of both of those emotions.

On the recruiting trail, something as simple as that can be huge. In the case of McDermott, I expect it will play a role.

Finally, there's the logistics of each program. McDermott is from West Palm Beach, Fla., which is only about an hour-and-a-half away from Coral Gables via car. Notre Dame on the other hand is about a 19-hour drive.

There's also the fact that the Fighting Irish went out and signed four offensive tackles in 2013, while Miami signed only two. The Hurricanes also have a commitment from 2014 4-star offensive tackle Trevor Darling. But, overall, Miami presents McDermott with a much more friendly depth chart. 

He'll be talented enough to compete at either school, but he could stay near home, play for a "family favorite" program, and have a ton of opportunity at Miami. He could also play a huge role in the revival of Miami football, both on the recruiting trail and on the football field.

Does Miami have Notre Dame beat? 

It's hard to truly ever know in recruiting, but the Hurricanes are certainly in great position to pull off a mini "upset" over the Fighting Irish.

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