Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 17, 2022

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

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Page 50 of 55 SEPT. 17, 2022 51 IRISH IN THE PROS GETTING THINGS DONE Love appeared in 17 games and made five starts for the Giants last season. Even playing primarily as a reserve, Love still finished seventh on the team with 66 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 2 quarterback hits. Love also added 7 passes defended — which was fifth on the Giants — 1 fumble recovery and 1 interception. And while undersized and usually playing in space, Love is a surprisingly physical player who's unafraid to mix it up in the trenches. "I enjoy tackling. I embrace being closer to the action," Love said. "Have to bring your big boy pads playing in the box, but I love that." During his three seasons (2016-18) and 38 career games at Notre Dame, the Irish coaches played Love similarly to how the Giants are doing — all over the field. And the 2018 consensus All- American delivered for Notre Dame, recording 176 tackles, 5 interceptions, 4 fumble recoveries and 3 touchdowns. After setting the Fighting Irish sin- gle-season (20) and career (39) records for passes broken up, Love was believed to be a sure top-three round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Those projections didn't hold up — in part because of his alarming 4.54 time in the 40-yard dash at the 2019 NFL Combine — and he fell to the Giants in the fourth round with the No. 108 over- all pick. But never short on confidence, Love let the Giants coaches know on draft night what they were getting with their third-day selection. "I'm a smart player, and I make plays," he said. "That's what I've done my whole life, and I'm excited to do that going forward. I'm just going to con- tinue to be a playmaker." And now a team captain as well. ✦ High Praise Indeed Reigning Super Bowl champion head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams passed some kind words onto Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rees and former star Irish running back Kyren Williams late in August. Williams was plucked by McVay and the Rams in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. And judging by McVay's high marks, landing Williams with the No. 164 overall pick was a steal. "He's not afraid. He has great contact balance and a low center of gravity to get through people," the sixth-year Rams skipper said of his rookie running back. "He has good technique." McVay also singled out Rees for the Irish coach's part in getting Williams NFL ready. "You could see the things that Tommy Rees and those guys at Notre Dame were asking of [Williams] are very translatable to the NFL," McVay added. "It makes it an easier eval, and that's one of the things we saw with Kyren. We'll find out when it gets live, but he's shown he's capable." Williams impressed the Rams coaches so quickly that he didn't need to play in any of the preseason games to make the 53-man roster. When the Rams opened their 2022 season against Buffalo Sept. 8, Williams suffered a high ankle sprain on special teams during the first quarter. He reportedly could miss up to six weeks of action. — Todd D. Burlage Kyren Williams opened the season as the defending Super Bowl champion Rams' No. 3 running back. PHOTO COURTESY LOS ANGELES RAMS ACCOMMODATIONS Call 877-630-8768 to advertise in Blue & Gold Illustrated! MEMORABILIA NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL GAMES on VHS or DVD for sale, from 1928 to present. Contact Peter Rahas at 7700 Golden Filly St., Las Vegas, NV 89131 or call 1-702-395-2974 Notre Dame Game Football Weekend Available 2 nights ON Campus! Price Includes: Game Ticket, Parking for the weekend, Bed at Sacred Heart Parish Hall on campus, Stanford – $525 each October 14, 15, 16, 2022 Proceeds benefit the Student Scholarship Fund, South Jersey Notre Dame Club E-mail Or call Bill Burns 609-368-1962 The "Rockne" B&B Newly renovated rental home available for all events in the Notre Dame/South Bend area. Often called "The Rockne House," it is located on Rockne Drive, just 1.1 miles from ND stadium. The home features a Notre Dame museum-like atmosphere, from vintage Rockne to present day items. Three bedrooms, sleeps 10-12 with two full baths. CONTACT AUGIE'S LOCKER ROOM 574-277-NDND (6363) M A R K E T P L A C E

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