Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 18, 2023

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

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM NOV. 18, 2023 51 IRISH IN THE PROS BY TODD D. BURLAGE I n a classic NFL example of "it's noth- ing personal, it's just business," the New York Giants this past offseason faced a decision on whether to re-sign former Irish All-American defensive back Julian Love, or sever ties and let Love become a free agent after four sea- sons with the franchise. The Giants chose the latter, and they might regret that decision with the way Love is playing at his new home with the Seattle Seahawks. Through seven games, Love ranked third on the Seahawks with 50 tackles, to go along with 1 fumble recovery, 5 passes defended and 1 very important interception in a comeback win over Cleveland Oct. 29. Trailing the Browns 20-17 with 2:04 left in the game, Love intercepted a de- flected pass off a teammate's helmet and returned it to the Seattle 43-yard line. With the possession secured, the Sea- hawks' offense went 57 yards, scored a touchdown in the closing seconds, and won the game 24-20 to take sole posses- sion of first place in the NFC West. "I'm backside of the play and you just see a ball in the air and you dream of mo- ments like that," said Love, a 2019 fourth- round draft pick who played for Notre Dame from 2015-18. "Yeah, my first pick as a Seahawk came at a good time." A popular teammate and a versatile player in New York, Love became known as a jack-of-all-trades at his former franchise. At 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, Love is obviously not the biggest de- fensive back in the NFL. And by his own admission, he's not the fastest either. But what Love lacks in natural physi- cal gifts he makes up for with smarts, fearlessness, toughness and versatility. In his four seasons in New York, Love recorded 291 tackles, 5 interceptions, 18 passes defended and 2 fumble recover- ies. But only once while Love was there did the Giants win more than 6 games. "I just learned to be resilient," Love said of his time in New York. "I just learned to put my head down and work. It was a long four years." ✦ Julian Love Adjusting Well In His New Home In Seattle Through seven games, Love (No. 20) ranked third on the Seahawks with 50 tackles, to go along with 1 fumble recovery, 5 passes defended and 1 interception. PHOTO COURTESY SEATTLE SEAHAWKS FIGHTING IRISH HEADLINERS Kyle Hamilton (Played at Notre Dame from 2019-21), S, Baltimore Ravens (NFL) The former Irish All-American continued his breakout season Oct. 29, when he made a season-high 10 tackles (1 for loss) in a 31-24 win over the Cardinals. In pass coverage, he allowed 4 receptions on 7 targets against him for only 21 yards. Through eight games this season, Hamilton ranked fourth on the Ravens with 35 tackles, and had 3 sacks and 1 fumble recovery. Cole Kmet (2017-19), TE, Chicago Bears (NFL) Starting to hit his stride in his fourth season with the Bears, the 2020 second- round draft pick made a career-high 10 receptions on 10 targets for 79 yards in a 30-13 loss to the Chargers Oct. 29. Through eight games this season, Kmet was second on the Bears with 35 recep- tions and 319 yards, and was tied for second on the team with 3 touchdowns. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (2017-20), LB, Cleveland Browns (NFL) In a 24-20 loss to the Seattle Seahawks Oct. 29, the third-year rover linebacker recorded 4 tackles, including 1 for loss. The former second-round draft pick also added a quarterback hurry and allowed only 1 catch on 1 target against him in pass coverage for 4 yards. Through seven games this season, Owusu-Koramoah was second on the Browns with 34 tackles and had 1 sack.

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