Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2024

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

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Page 25 of 91

26 MARCH 2024 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY TYLER HORKA AND JACK SOBLE L ook at the Associated Press Top 25 in the preseason of any given year. Now look at that year's postseason poll. There are some easy surefire bets at the top, but there are bound to be some disparities as well. The same rules applied to the 2023 Blue & Gold Illustrated Top 25 Most Im- portant Players of 2023 poll. The poll was conducted by a panel of five BGI staff members to highlight in- dividuals who needed to emerge, remain centerpieces or break out for Notre Dame to get back to the College Football Playoff. The ballots were cast keeping in mind which players elevated Notre Dame's potential the most and who would most negatively affect the Irish's season if he did not play up to their individual expectations. The following is a revisiting of all 25 players who made the cut prior to Notre Dame's 10-3 campaign. 25. WR JADEN GREATHOUSE Greathouse was one of Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman's favorite targets through the season's first five games, particularly when the Irish ap- proached the end zone. Playing in the slot, the freshman caught 3 touchdowns in that time span. Greathouse's production slowed down when he injured his hamstring in practice prior to Week 5. When he came back, Notre Dame needed to play him out of position and he struggled to get open on the outside. But he showed why the Irish recruited him so heavily out of Austin (Texas) Westlake. 24. LB MARIST LIUFAU L i u fa u n eve r l o o ke d co m p l e te ly healthy in 2022 coming back from a nasty lower-leg injury that held him out of the entirety of the 2021 season. He came back with a vengeance in 2023, HINDSIGHT'S 20 / 20 BGI nailed most of Notre Dame's top 25 most important players, but the staff missed on some key contributors too Graduate student linebacker Marist Liufau recorded career highs with 6 tackles for loss and 3 sacks in 2023. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

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