Blue and Gold Illustrated

BGI April 2019

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 18 of 55 APRIL 2019 19 MOST CAREER CATCHES 1. Chase Claypool, 84 — He was the top returning wideout last year, too, with only 34. But the rising senior more than doubled that output last year with 50 grabs that included four touchdowns. 2. Chris Finke, 65 — Many might have thought the former walk-on would get supplanted by younger talent last season, but his 49 catches totaled 571 yards and two scores, and he was named one of eight SWAT leaders on the team this year. 3. Cole Kmet, 17 — Started seven games in double tight end alignment last year as a sophomore, nabbing 15 passes, and now he is the full- fledged starter. 4. Jafar Armstrong, 14 — Recruited originally as a receiver, the junior running back is quite the weapon when he lines up in the slot or in a two-back formation. 5. Tony Jones Jr., 12 — Caught six passes each of his first two seasons out of the backfield, highlighted by his 51-yard tally at USC last season. 6. Michael Young, 11 — Snared only seven passes last season, but had two of the team's four longest receptions (66 at Wake Forest and a 47-yard touch- down at Northwestern). 7. Kevin Austin, 5 — The fresh- man totaled 90 yards on his catches last season, and his op- portunity for more playing time or impact will come this spring. MOST CAREER RUSHING YARDS 1. Tony Jones Jr., 624 yards The second-leading rusher last year (392 yards) has served as a capable complementary back the past two years behind Josh Adams and Dexter Williams while averaging 4.9 yards per carry, but can he handle a lead role? 2. Ian Book, 487 The nimble-footed quarterback has demonstrated some un- derrated escape skills against the rush and capability to burn a defense on the zone read, rushing for 207 yards as a sopho- more and 280 with four touchdowns as a junior last season. 3. Jafar Armstrong, 383 Converted from wide receiver when he was a freshman that redshirted in 2017, he averaged 5.3 yards per carry and rushed for seven touchdowns last season while "learning on the run." Note: Freshman Jahmir Smith carried six times for 28 yards in 2018. MOST CAREER PASSING YARDS 1. Ian Book, 3,084 2,628 came last year when he started nine of the last 10 games and set a single-season Notre Dame comple- tion percentage of 68.15, just ahead of Jimmy Clausen's 68.00 in 2009. Current freshman Phil Jurkovec did attempt two passes in a mop-up role last season, but did not complete any. MOST CAREER TACKLES 1. Jalen Elliott, 124 Fourth in tackles last year (67), he makes safety one of the team's top strengths in 2019 and will attempt to start every game for the third straight season. Elliott also has the most career interceptions with four, while fifth-year senior cornerback Shaun Crawford and senior Troy Pride Jr. have three apiece, and senior safety Alohi Gilman and senior end Julian Okwara have each picked off two. 2. Asmar Bilal, 97 Ten-game starter at rover last year is expected to downshift to inside linebacker this spring to help replace the productive and graduated combination of Drue Tranquill and Te'von Coney. 3. Alohi Gilman, 95 Elliott's comrade at safety is virtually a lock to be a captain after his impact last season as a transfer from Navy. If one includes his freshman year with the Mid- shipmen, he would have the top overall tackle total with 171. 4. Troy Pride Jr., 81 Had an underrated junior campaign at cornerback op- posite consensus All-American Julian Love, adding 10 passes broken up and two interceptions to his 47 stops. 5. Daelin Hayes, 72 Basically a co-starter with fellow senior Julian Okwara at drop end, Hayes has 11.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. 6. Khalid Kareem, 63 The return of he and senior classmate Okwara at end, along with Hayes, give Notre Dame one of the best bookend tandems and even trios in the country. Kareem has 16 career tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. 7. Julian Okwara, 59 Fierce pass rusher off the edge has 17 career tackles for loss (team-high 12.5 last year) and 10.5 sacks (eight in 2018). He has also recorded two inter- ceptions and was credited with 21 quarterback hurries last year. 8. Donte Vaughn, 41 Senior cornerback will be a prime contender to replace Love, but offseason shoulder surgery likely will limit him this spring. 9. Jordan Genmark Heath, 32 Junior will vie for the Buck linebacker role vacated by Tranquill after converting from safety last spring. He had 16 tackles each of his first two seasons. For the second consecutive year, senior wide receiver Chase Claypool is Notre Dame's top returning pass catcher with 84 career receptions. PHOTO BY ANGELA DRISKELL

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