Blue and Gold Illustrated

Preseason 2023

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

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM PRESEASON 2023 45 GAME PREVIEW: NAVY Notre Dame has more talented players across the board, so they should be fine on special teams against a foe like Navy, even without Mason calling the shots. Advantage: Notre Dame COACHING This is a battle between a first-year head coach in Navy's Newberry and a second-year head coach in Notre Dame's Freeman. Advantage: Freeman. He's seen and done so much more than Newberry as a head coach. Freeman's first game as the man in charge was the Fiesta Bowl against a top-10 Oklahoma State team. Then he took Notre Dame into the Horse- shoe in Columbus, the stadium he used to call home in front of the fans that used to root for him, for a consensus top-five, season-opening matchup against Ohio State. Sure, he lost both of those games — and then the following one at home against Marshall — but everywhere Freeman has gone and everything he has done in a year and a half as the Notre Dame head coach has prepared him for games like this. Notre Dame and Navy are kicking the entire 2023 college football season off on NBC in Dublin, Ire- land. That's even a little more intense than taking the team to Las Vegas to play BYU in a midseason Shamrock Series game. By the way, Freeman's team pulled that one out. Newberry studied what it takes to be the head coach at a unique place like Navy under former Midshipmen leader Ken Niumatalolo for four sea- sons, so he is not unprepared, but Freeman has had a microscope over him from the minute he was named Brian Kelly's successor in December 2021. Freeman is also 9-2 in his last 11 games. He's got the edge here. Advantage: Notre Dame INTANGIBLES Notre Dame reported in May that the university expects this game to be the most traveled to single international sporting event ever. Approximately 40,000 Americans are expected to flock to Dublin for this epic season opener. Obviously, that raises the stakes of the game. And there is nothing either side can do about it. They still have to strap up the helmets and settle the score between the white lines just like they would if the game was played in South Bend or anywhere else. Notre Dame having a sixth-year graduate stu- dent starting quarterback is invaluable in games in which players' hearts might beat a little faster. He's acclimated to the Notre Dame culture nicely, and he has a voice players on both sides of the ball will listen to. Notre Dame often playing in unique environ- ments will aid them in settling down in a foreign atmosphere, too. The lights in Vegas were prob- ably a little brighter, even if more people end up watching this game against Navy than watched that one against BYU. The bottom line is this is what Notre Dame does. It's not Navy playing Cincinnati or Memphis in Dub- lin. It's Navy playing Notre Dame in Dublin. And the last time that happened, the Fighting Irish walked off with a 50-10 dismantling of their friendly foes from the service academy. Notre Dame was built to win ballgames like this. Advantage: Notre Dame OFFENSE Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. X-WR 89 Camari Williams 6-2 210 Sr. 87 Jayden Umbarger 6-0 196 Sr. LT 59 Connor McMahon 6-3 279 Jr. 66 Trey Cummings 6-1 262 Jr. LG 62 Javan Bouton 6-3 285 Jr. 74 Mike Petrof 6-2 269 Sr. C 68 Lirion Murtezi 6-3 315 Sr. 65 Brent Self 6-2 267 Jr. RG 71 Joshua Pena 6-2 278 Sr. 64 Ben Purvis 6-3 293 So. RT 75 Sam Glover 6-3 270 Sr. 72 Greyson Crawford 6-3 272 So. TE 94 Thomas Scully 6-2 236 Jr. 97 D.J. Donovan 6-2 240 Jr. Z-WR 0 Kroy Myers 5-11 184 Jr. 82 Nathan Kent 6-3 175 So. SB 25 Fabian France 5-9 176 So. 24 Brandon Chatman 5-9 167 So. QB 10 Tedros Gleaton 6-1 214 So. 11 Blake Horvath 6-2 195 So. 7 Xavier Arline 5-9 176 Sr. or 1 Tai Lavatai 6-2 221 Sr. SB 28 Amin Hassan 5-7 176 Jr. 34 Anton Hall Jr. 5-8 198 Jr. FB 45 Daba Fofana 5-8 205 Jr. 46 Alex Tecza 6-0 195 So. DEFENSE Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. LE 95 Jacob Busic 6-4 256 Sr. 94 Justin Reed 6-3 256 Jr. NG 0 Donald Berniard Jr. 6-0 256 Sr. 96 Landon Robinson 6-0 278 So. DT 97 Clay Cromwell 6-3 292 Sr. 99 Tyler Narayan 6-1 250 So. Raider 33 Jordan Sanders 6-5 227 Jr. 41 James Perkins 6-2 225 So. Striker 31 Xavier McDonald 5-11 207 Sr. 32 Turner Stepp 6-2 211 Jr. Mike 54 Will Harbour 6-1 230 Sr. 52 Jianni Woodson-Brooks 6-0 234 Jr. Will 44 Colin Ramos 5-11 205 Jr. 43 Kyle Jacob 6-0 228 Jr. FC 7 Mbiti Williams Jr. 5-9 180 Jr. 3 Elias Larry 6-0 197 Jr. FS 18 Rayuan Lane III 5-11 197 Jr. 2 Marcus Moore 6-0 191 Sr. Bandit 11 Eavan Gibbons 5-10 199 Sr. 16 Joe Hutson 6-1 187 Jr. BC 13 Andrew Duhart 5-10 185 So. 20 Dashaun Peele 5-11 197 Jr. SPECIAL TEAMS Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PK 6 Evan Warren 5-10 178 Sr. 39 Nathan Kirkwood 6-2 174 So. KO 6 Evan Warren 5-10 178 Sr. 39 Nathan Kirkwood 6-2 174 So. P 90 Riley Riethman 5-10 191 Jr. 15 Kellen Grave de Peralta 6-1 191 Jr. LS 50 Cole Willliams 6-0 195 Sr. H 15 Kellen Grave de Peralta 6-1 191 Jr. 90 Riley Riethman 5-10 191 Jr. PR 28 Amin Hassan 5-7 176 Jr. 21 Kai Puailoa-Rojas 6-0 195 Sr. KR 29 Daniel Jones 5-9 187 Sr. 28 Amin Hassan 5-7 176 Jr. Navy Midshipmen Two-Deep Depth Chart Junior cornerback Elias Larry led the Midshipmen with 2 interceptions in 2022. PHOTO COURTESY NAVY ATHLETICS

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