Blue and Gold Illustrated

April 2014 Issue

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

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Page 117 of 119

THE FIFTH QUARTER LOU SOMOGYI W hen I look back on Notre Dame's 2011 recruiting class, I think of Woody Allen's statement: "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans." It was in Febru- ary 2011 that Notre Dame finally broke through with its long-awaited and best defensive line haul since 1990, the year of the quartet of Bryant Young, Jim Flanigan, Oli- ver Gibson and Brian Hamilton, who would help lead Notre Dame to a 17-game win- ning streak during their junior and se- nior years in 1992- 93. Three five-star prospects along the de- fensive front headlined Notre Dame's 2011 recruiting harvest. Then there were three other complementary play- ers added to the bonanza defensive line haul — and potentially a seventh star power prospect there who could play either offense or defense. "Just wait until these guys enter their se- nior seasons at Notre Dame in 2014. Some- thing special will be in the works." Well, here we are in the spring of 2014 … and suddenly the Fighting Irish with new defensive coordinator Brian Van- Gorder are in a reconstruction phase, at least on paper. The trio of five-star players signed along the 2011 de- fensive front were Aaron Lynch, Ste- phon Tuitt and Ishaq Williams. Ly n c h t r a n s - ferred to South Florida after his freshman year and turned pro after only two years of actually playing college football. Tuitt won't be around in 2014 ei- ther after turning pro this winter. Wi l l i a m s h a s started one college game and is wait- ing for his breakout campaign. What about the three complementary players along the line? A foot injury to Brad Carrico ended his football playing days prior to his sophomore season. Chase Hounshell has been sidelined each of the past two years with a torn labrum, but has been practicing with the team again since late last fall. Tony Springmann tore his ACL last August and will be shelved from major work this spring, too. Best-Laid Plans For 2014 Take Detours Ishaq Williams will be expected to have a strong senior year at end for the rebuilding defense. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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