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    Notre Dame football depth chart: Looking ahead to 2018

    Brandon Wimbush was benched during the Irish

    SOUTH BEND – It’s never too early for a depth chart, especially in the summer when everyone is counting down to college football season. Notre Dame football is back on campus, the freshman class has officially arrived in South Bend, and strength coach Matt Balis is in the thick of conducting his second summer conditioning program.

    There are 10 Saturdays left until Notre Dame relives its rivalry with Michigan in the season opener. when you think about it, that’s not a long time for players to earn their spots. With that, here’s a projection of who will be playing where in 2018.

    Reading: Notre dame football depth chart 2018

    insider information:nd’s 2018 schedule review, from the least dangerous games to the most dangerous

    more:notre dame on a recruiting hot streak

    offense

    Brandon Wimbush needs to find consistency to hold off Ian Book and others.

    Quarterback

    • brandon wimbush, ian book, avery davis, phil jurkovec

    it was pretty clear after the spring game, wimbush had regained control of the starting role after splitting replays with the book all spring. Book replaced Wimbush early in the Citrus Bowl and led Notre Dame to a thrilling 21-17 victory over LSU. wimbush is working hard on his delivery, accuracy and mechanics, areas that affected him in the passing game last season, to improve this fall. The intriguing part of this position is freshman Jurkovec, who has just entered campus. brian kelly said on signing day that he wants the four-star prospect to push wimbush. Even if he’s the third team this year, Jurkovec could be an example of Notre Dame using the NCAA’s new red shirt rule.

    more:draw pyne, notre dame’s future qb, only has eyes to fight the irish

    offensive line

    • lt: liam eichenberg, aaron banks, jarrett patterson
    • lg: alex bars, josh lugg, trevor ruhland
    • c: sam mustipher, trevor ruhland, colin grunhard
    • rg: tommy kraemer, dillan gibbons
    • rt: robert hainsey, tommy kraemer, cole mabry

    Last year, Notre Dame’s offensive line was recognized as the best in the country, helping the running game amass more than 269 yards per game and ranking seventh among the best in the country. In 2018, the Irish lost the core of their five forwards with left tackle Mike McGlinchey and left guard Quenton Nelson becoming the first two Notre Dame offensive linemen to be drafted in the top 10 of the NFL Draft. Notre Dame also saw veteran offensive line coach Harry Hiesand move to the Chicago Bears. But new trainer Jeff Quinn has a surplus of talent, strength and depth to work with, even though this group only has 65 starts combined.

    Notre Dame running back Dexter Williams has big shoes to fill.

    Running back

    • dexter williams, tony jones jr., jafar armstrong, jahmir smith

    See also: College Football Rankings: 2022 CFN Preseason Ranking Of All 131 Teams

    williams and jones jr. He is expected to lead the RB Ward this year as Josh Adams decided to leave school with one year of eligibility remaining. However, Williams could reportedly miss a couple of games early in the season due to undisclosed disciplinary reasons. This would be a huge hit to start the season as Jones is the only other running back with experience since Deon McIntosh and C.J. Holmes was fired from the show at the end of last season. Other guys to watch out for are Armstrong and Avery Davis, who are training on the job, and Smith, a freshman.

    Notre Dame wide receiver Miles Boykin (81) makes a one handed catch for a 55-yard game winning touchdown during the second half of the Citrus Bowl, Jan. 1, 2018.

    Wide receiver

    • outside receiver: miles boykin, javon mckinley, micah jones
    • space: chris finke, jafar armstrong
    • outside receiver: chase claypool, michael young, kevin austin

    Boykin has been at the top of the depth chart since he scored a dazzling one-handed game-winning touchdown at Notre Dame bowling. he showed consistent hands during spring ball and brian kelly is looking for him to move up this season. Claypool, who missed the Citrus Bowl with a shoulder injury, Finke, Young and McKinley will push each other this summer and at fall camp.

    more:miles boykin no. 1 at receiver

    closed end

    • alize mack, cole kmet, nic weishar, brock wright

    mack is still fresh off a citrus bowl suspension and an unproductive end to the 2017 season, but brian kelly and offensive coordinator chip long are optimistic about the senior. However, in order to get playing time, he will have to fend off the young Kmet and Wright. Kmet, a dual-sport athlete Kelly spent time talking to the media about this spring, could realistically be in line for more playing time.

    defense

    Will a new scheme unleash Jerry Tillery?

    Defensive line

    • defensive end: daelin hayes, julian okwara, jamir jones
    • tack: jerry tillery, myron tagovailoa-amosa, jayson ademilola
    • nose: jonathan bonner, kurt hinish , micah dew-treadway, darnell ewell
    • defensive end: khalid kareem, adetokunbo ogundeji, justin ademilola

    one position that could affect this line more, in a positive way, is tillery’s switch from nose tackle to 3 tech. this lineup works for tillery because it gives him more one-on-one matchups and opportunities to be a pass-rusher disturbing. Also, during the spring, first-year defensive coordinator Clark Lea gave some insight into the lineup, saying this group is the “most stable” position he has due to his depth and experience in Year 2 of a new defense. : “they are more physical in the middle, more dynamic at the edges.”

    linebacker

    • middle: te’von coney, jonathan jones, jack lamb
    • weak side: drue tranquill, jordan genmark-heath, d.j. morgan
    • rover: asmar bilal, jeremiah owusu-koramoah, shayne simon, isaiah robertson

    See also: Clemson football has no players opt out for Cheez-It Bowl

    notre dame had to be incredibly grateful to coney and calmly announced that they would stay another year before turning pro. otherwise what would this position look like? Already exhausted with the departures of Nyles Morgan and Greer Martini, so Brian Kelly and Clark Lea quietly moved from Rover to linebacker permanently, and Genmark-Heath and Robertson to defensive back. the mix and match will likely continue through the summer and into fall camp to create more depth.

    more:how changes in spring position are affecting the defense of notre dame

    A healthy Shaun Crawford figures to be a defensive playmaker in 2018 for the Irish.

    Cornerback

    • Left: Julian Love, Donte Vaughn, Noah Boykin
    • Right: Shaun Crawford, Troy Pride Jr., Tariq Bracy

    He may be lost behind Love’s ability to break up passes (20 last season) or return interceptions for touchdowns (two), but Crawford is projected to be better than ever in 2018 after returning from two injuries devastating, this spring marks the first time since high school that the senior has been pain-free. he doesn’t need to show up 90 minutes early to practice loosening up and stretching like he did last year. Even when he did that, Crawford admitted that he never felt 100 percent. he does it now, and the coaches are taking notice. Brian Kelly said this spring that Crawford now has something “sudden” about him, and cornerbacks coach Todd Lyght called him one of Notre Dame’s “smartest defenders.” he be on the lookout for him to be even more of a playmaker.

    security

    • Free Security: Alohi Gilman, Nick Coleman, Houston Griffith
    • Strong Security: Jalen Elliott, Devin Studstill, Derrik Allen

    last season, notre dame safeties mysteriously didn’t record a single interception for the first time since ara parseghian’s first season in 1964. new safety coach terry joseph promised to change that and is working with players on the field and body position. One player who will likely have multiple picks this fall is Navy transfer Gilman. He couldn’t play last year due to NCAA transfer rules, but he’s already atop the depth chart after working on the scouting team in 2017 and finally competing in practices this spring. As a freshman in the Navy in 2016, Gilman recorded 76 tackles (second-most on the team), including 12 in a win over Notre Dame.

    specialists

    Tyler Newsome is Notre Dame

    • K: Justin Yoon, Jonathan Doerer
    • P: Tyler Newsome, Jeff Riney

    Fifth-year newsome was voted captain by his teammates, which basically tells you everything you need to know about the Irish punter. he holds players accountable, leads by example, is active on campus (he was the only football player in the goblin mascot tryouts), and is generally one of everyone’s favorite teammates. last season he had 63 clearances averaging 43.6 yards per punt with the longest being 59 yards. Notre Dame averaged a field position swing of 37.9 yards. When it comes to position kicks, senior yoon is a reliable 42 of 52 in his career in field goal attempts and didn’t miss any extra points last season.

    more:newsome was destined to be the first notre dame gambler named team captain

    Follow laken litman, indystar notre dame pundit, on twitter and instagram: @lakenlitman.

    See also: 2022 Football Schedule – Wayne State University Athletics

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