Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2019

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

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26 JUNE/JULY 2019 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY BRYAN DRISKELL G etting through the spring al- lowed us to get a better feel for how the 2019 roster is shaping up. With that in mind, here is how we rank the position groups — in order from strength to concern — heading into the summer. The rankings are based on talent and experience of the starting unit, and the rest of the depth chart. 1. Defensive Line It was clear heading into spring practice that the defensive line was the No. 1 unit on the football team despite the graduation of tackle Jerry Tillery to the NFL. The offensive line narrowed the gap, but the outstand- ing performance by the defensive front in the Blue-Gold Game and the proven success at end makes this side of the ball the top choice. Led by seniors Julian Okwara, Khalid Kareem, Daelin Hayes and Ade Ogundeji, Notre Dame is in the conversation for the best defensive end roster in the nation based on what they did a season ago. There is length, athleticism and pass-rushing prowess, but what separates the unit from most is that all four grade out as strong run defenders. Pivotal to this unit becoming one of the nation's best will be the play of the returning defensive tackles, who are being tasked with replacing Til- lery's All-America production. That means sophomore Jayson Ademilola and freshman Jacob Lacey will have to play beyond their years while backing up juniors Kurt Hinish and Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa. 2. Offensive Line A strong case could be made that this group outplayed the defensive front much of the spring, especially up the middle. Four starters returned TRENCHES LEAD THE WAY Notre Dame's 2019 depth chart is led by strong line play Notre Dame's defensive line — led by senior end Khalid Kareem — is the strength of the 2019 roster. PHOTO BY ANGELA DRISKELL

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