Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 10, 2022*

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

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18 SEPT. 10, 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY PATRICK ENGEL B eing Notre Dame's best inte- rior disruptor isn't enough for Jayson Ademilola. The graduate student defensive tackle sees himself as a tone-setter. A leader. A mo- tivator. An energy provider. That's not a switch Ademilola needs to turn on. Intensity is his resting dis- position on the field and on the side- lines. Even in interviews, where every word feels like it's delivered with the same force he uses to smash into block- ers. He's a 285-pound emotion-filled battering ram with a motor that doesn't shut off. Not even in practice. And in his fifth and final college sea- son, he wants to ensure that mindset doesn't leave Notre Dame's defensive line room when he does. "I always tell the guys, 'Listen, prac- tice bringing out that dog mentality,'" Ademilola said. "Bring it out in practice so it comes out during the game. We talk about bringing out that energy in your body that's bigger than you that makes you go numb." Of course, there are other reasons be- hind his rise to becoming one of college football's most statically impressive interior havoc-creators in 2021. That doesn't happen without technical pro- ficiency, strength, a quick first step and athleticism. Ademilola has those. What sets him apart is the motor and the mindset. "You push play, and that dude is all over the field," Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman said. No interior lineman finishes fifth on his own team in tackles (49) without giv- ing maximum effort on every play. That mark also ranked fifth among Football Bowl Subdivision interior defenders. Ademilola was one of the most productive interior defensive linemen in college football in 2021, notching 49 tackles and 43 quarterback pressures. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER 'DOG MENTALITY' Defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola is Notre Dame's defensive line tone-setter

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