Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 12, 2022

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

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8 NOV. 12, 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED UNDER THE DOME Dilly, Dilly? No; Billy, Billy By Tyler Horka I'll be the one to get this out of the way: quarterback Steve Angeli techni- cally made his debut with handoff snaps vs. UNLV and Syracuse. So, we took this a different direction. I took it an entirely different direction. Nobody thinks about offensive linemen as splashy, flashy freshmen making career debuts. But I am of the belief Notre Dame has something special in Billy Schr- auth. And with two graduate student guards, Josh Lugg and Jarrett Patterson, departing the program at the end of the season, the Irish are going to need to find the future in understudies who are already on the roster. Notre Dame looked to Marshall graduate transfer and former All-American Cain Madden for help at right guard prior to the 2021 season. He did not live up to the lofty standard he set for himself with a stel- lar 2020 season with the Thundering Herd. Notre Dame's successors to Lugg and Patterson are likely already wearing blue-and-gold uniforms. They could be senior Andrew Kristofic and sopho- more Rocco Spindler, but they have both been in South Bend long enough for warranted suspicion to arrive whether they can be week-in and week-out starters. Kristofic was one in 2021, but he got phased out. And now he's got younger competition to contend with. Like Joe Alt and Blake Fisher grabbing hold of starting spots early in their careers, Schrauth might be the player nobody is talking about who could do it himself. Sneed Will Be Fun To Watch By Todd D. Burlage When it comes to the anticipation of seeing a freshman make their career debut, I'm not sure my mind has ever drifted to an offensive lineman, as my colleague Tyler Horka's did. That's not to diminish the value of the big guys up front, but it's to suggest that seeing a player who's capable of making a greater im- pact in the game is more appealing. And that brings us to Irish freshman linebacker Jaylen Sneed, the top-ranked recruit in Notre Dame's 2022 recruiting class. Most believed that Sneed would've already made his season and career debut at Notre Dame. But with a deep well of talented and veteran linebackers ahead of him, Sneed has been able to study and bide his time, so far. Expect that to change with consecutive games against Navy (3-5) and Boston College (2-6) up next. The No. 1 recruit from his home state of South Carolina, the No. 3 linebacker in the country and the No. 34 player overall, per the consensus rankings, Sneed was the lone five-star Irish recruit in the 2022 class. Sneed came to Notre Dame with expectations and projections to follow in the footsteps of another Notre Dame Jaylon — Jaylon Smith, who was rated as the No. 1 linebacker in the class of 2013. With comparisons like that, it's impossible not to get overly excited about seeing Sneed finally make his Notre Dame debut, presumably sometime before the end of this season. Point ✦ Counterpoint: WHICH TRUE FRESHMAN WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO SEE MAKE HIS DEBUT? Notre Dame sophomore linebacker Prince Kollie couldn't decide after an Irish blocked punt in the first quarter against UNLV what to be more con- cerned about. That his left lower leg was throbbing after cracking it on the Rebels punter's helmet, or that his teammate, senior defensive end Isaiah Foskey, was going to get credit for the blocked kick. "He was more concerned with saying he blocked the punt, not Foskey," Irish head coach Marcus Freeman joked about Kollie's reaction. Foskey was credited with the block, while Kollie was blessed with a negative X-ray as his role on the team grows. Kollie (6-0½, 222 pounds) suffered no lasting effects from the collision and will continue his ascent as an important part of the linebacker rotation. After recording only 10 defensive snaps through the first five games this season, Kollie played 51 snaps in the three games against Stanford, UNLV and Syracuse. Kollie, a top-100 recruit in the 2021 class out of David Crockett High School in Jonesborough, Tenn., headed into the Clemson game with 6 tackles, 2 stops for loss and 1 sack this season. BGI: How would you describe this strong group of Irish veteran linebackers ahead of you? Kollie: "Their work ethic is unmatched, unmatched. I've never seen any- thing like it. They're so disciplined and detailed in every area of their life. "That's what I really love about this group. That's what I try to extract from them is their discipline." BGI: Is there anything that defensive players can do to protect themselves from taking targeting penalties? Kollie: "Personally, I don't think so. You just have to play football. You can't worry about that call. We can probably try to teach it. "When you get to the point of contact to get your head out of it. But still, we fly around to the ball. It's tough." BGI: What have been the biggest lessons you've taken with increased playing time? Kollie: "You have to make the most of every snap. What I try to tell myself is don't let it be too late. That's what I try to tell myself on every play." BGI: Do you get a sense that punt block is a weapon for you guys? Kollie: "Absolutely, we all know that we have a chance to block one in ev- ery game. We're excited about it. We know we have a chance to impact the game. That's what we try to do." BGI: Were you able to get your special teams coach Brian Mason to give you that block? Kollie: "Coach 'Mase' says that I blocked it, but in the stats, no. It's all right, though … it's all good, Fosk deserves it." — Todd D. Burlage Five Questions With … SOPHOMORE LINEBACKER PRINCE KOLLIE Kollie has seen his playing time increase as the season has worn on. PHOTO BY DAVID BECKER BILLY SCHRAUTH JAYLEN SNEED

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