Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct 9, 2021

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 16 of 55 OCT. 9, 2021 17 each other more than I did, more than their coaches did or parents did." SENIOR-YEAR SURGES Maybe it was the strip-sack versus Wis- consin where he kept churning his legs, walked back a guard and shed him before bear-hugging Badgers quarterback Gra- ham Mertz to jar the ball loose. Or maybe it was the tackle for loss against Toledo where he slipped past his man then swiped away a pulling guard to make the stop. Whatever the highlight, Jayson Ademi- lola is no longer under the radar for Notre Dame fans thanks to his frequent havoc plays this year. He's no longer a secret. He is, though, hard to miss even when he's not in the backfield. He has made tackles on receivers and tight ends out- side the numbers. He has brought down running backs 10 yards past the line of scrimmage. That's how an interior line- man averages nearly five tackles per game. "I want to make every play," Jayson said. "I'm a hungry player. When the ball is in my area or across the field, I'm hunting it down." A starting-caliber rotation player in 2019 and 2020, Jayson posted 4.0 tackles for loss as a sophomore. He ended last season with arguably the two best games of his career in losses to Clemson and Alabama, with six total pressures and 1.5 sacks. Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa's pres- ence at three-technique, though, kept him as the No. 2 option throughout. He was involved, but not the starter. Then Notre Dame moved Tagovailoa- Amosa to strong-side end this season, paving a clear road for Jayson to start. In his first year as a starter, he's averaging 50.5 snaps per game, a larger workload than prior Notre Dame starting three- techniques, but a deserved one given his impact. Tagovailoa-Amosa's move hurt Justin's case to start at strong-side end, but he has made himself valuable as a vyper with his coverage improvements and pass-rush acumen. He is averaging 28.5 snaps per game, by far the highest mark of his career. Notre Dame needed a dependable second vyper with sophomore Jordan Botelho unavailable the first two games for undisclosed reasons. Justin met the moment — and has kept the role. As a result, the twins are on the field together more than any point in their Notre Dame tenures. "It's a lot of fun," Jayson said. "We've had different careers here up until this point. There wasn't one time in my head where I thought my brother wasn't an elite player. We both grew up hard- nosed wrestlers. That's where I get my mindset, where he gets his mindset." The answer to an innocuous question to a youth league teammate is still paying off. And by extension, flustering offenses. "When I look to the left and see we're both together," Jayson said, "that whole side of the field is shut down." ✦ Notre Dame senior defensive linemen and twins Jayson (No. 57) and Justin (No. 9) Ademilola have emerged as linchpins for Notre Dame this season. Jayson is the start- ing three-technique defensive tackle and Justin is the No. 2 vyper. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - Oct 9, 2021