Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2020

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

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Page 26 of 55 AUGUST 2020 27 wideouts who played for the Fight- ing Irish in 2019 (former Northwest- ern captain Ben Skowronek, with 110 in his career, is a graduate transfer). DEPTH PERCEPTION Virtually every class, even the worst, will have at least five to eight players that will start on offense or defense for two years or more. What separates the special groups are high-end NFL picks combined with quality depth, which could ei- ther mean eventually at least 10 to 12 such starters, or regulars in the lineup rotation with minimal drop-off. From a depth perspective in this class, running backs Jahmir Smith and C'Bo Flemister both displayed flashes last year, but not enough to be classified as sure-fire regulars in 2020. Linebacker Bo Bauer was superb on special teams — but can he push senior starter Drew White enough at Mike linebacker to where White could take reps at Buck linebacker while Bauer rotates in at Mike? Oghoufo and Justin Ademilola are both progressing well at defensive end, but can they provide at this point the type of excellent depth that seniors Jamir Jones and Ade Ogundeji did last year after Daelin Hayes and Julian Ok- wara incurred season-ending injuries? By the third season, such answers begin to crystallize better. ✦ Junior Class Review Players Signed: 27 Players Available In 2020: 23 (four have transferred: safety Derrik Allen to Georgia Tech, cornerback Noah Boykin to Massachusetts, center Luke Jones to Arkansas and quarterback Phil Jurkovec to Boston College) 2018 Recruiting Rankings: No. 9 by ESPN, No. 10 by 247Sports and No. 11 by Rivals Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Jayson Ademilola DT 6-3 279 Despite no career starts, his 44 career tackles are the third most among 2020 Irish linemen. Justin Ademilola* DE 6-2 248 Competing for action behind fifth-year senior Ade Ogundeji at strong-side end. Kevin Austin Jr.* WR 6-2 210 Projected to be the next top Irish wideout after sitting out 2019 because of suspension. Bo Bauer LB 6-3 225 The No. 2 Mike linebacker had 28 tackles last year and was feted as Notre Dame's Special Teams Player of the Year. TaRiq Bracy CB 5-10 180 Started only twice in 2019, but quietly led team with seven passes broken up. DJ Brown* S 6-0 194 The former cornerback was needed to provide depth at safety. John Dirksen* OG 6-5 306 The No. 2 right guard is getting groomed behind veteran Tommy Kraemer. C'Bo Flemister* RB 5-11 195 His five rushing touchdowns last season were second only to the graduated Tony Jones' Jr.'s six. Ja'Mion Franklin* NT 6-1 310 The run plugger provides quality depth behind Kurt Hinish and Jacob Lacey. Houston Griffith S 6-0 194 The top-ranked Irish recruit in 2018 will compete for action with Ohio State graduate transfer Isaiah Pryor. Micah Jones* WR 6-4½ 210 The tallest wideout on team played briefly in four games last year. Lawrence Keys III* WR 5-10 173 The graduation of Chris Finke makes him top candidate at slot, where he caught 13 passes for 134 yards last year. Jack Lamb* LB 6-4 228 Found his niche in the dime package last year, but has been slowed by injury setbacks. Braden Lenzy* WR 5-11 181 The game-breaking speedster averaged 23.1 yards on 11 catches and 15.4 yards on 13 carries while totaling four touchdowns last year. Cole Mabry* OT 6-5 279 Attempting to move to No. 2 left tackle behind third-year starter Liam Eichenberg. Paul Moala LB 5-11½ 220 The backup rover to Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is also a special teams mainstay. Ovie Oghoufo* DE 6-3 232 The reserve vyper saw first action last season, recording 12 stops (with a sack) in nine appearances. Jarrett Patterson* C 6-4½ 300 Was the top 2019 surprise on offense, answering the bell for all 13 starts at center after shifting from tackle. Shayne Simon LB 6-3 228 Must overcome major surgery on patella to vie for vacated Buck linebacker spot. Jahmir Smith* RB 5-11 207 The top returning rusher at running back from last year when he had 180 yards and two scores. George Takacs* TE 6-6 245 The former four-star recruit could start at a lot of schools and is vying for a two-deep role with the Irish. Tommy Tremble* TE 6-3 233 Had a strong 2019 debut as a receiver (16 catches with four touchdowns) and blocker while comple- menting second-round pick Cole Kmet. Joe Wilkins Jr.* WR 6-1½ 194 Has been on two deep and played 81 snaps last year while looking for first career catch. * Eligible for a fifth season in 2022 Jayson Ademilola, a former top-50 recruit per 247Sports, will be an important part of Notre Dame's rotation at defensive tackle. PHOTO BY MIKE MILLER

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