Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 15, 2014 Issue

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

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Page 25 of 107

"I'm just being a more vocal leader and being that guy everybody looks to," Day said of his role on the line, a responsibility which in part led to him being named one of four team cap- tains. "It's not too much of a change, but it's definitely a nice change." Without Nix and Tuitt, another change was to be expected. The fo- cus of opposing defenses has turned to Day, rather than Jones or Okwara (each with one career start before this season), or sophomore Isaac Rochell, or freshmen Daniel Cage, Grant Blan- RAISING THE CLIFF Sheldon Day leads a thin defensive line, while working to build up his own snap count BY DOUGLAS FARMER F or two years Louis Nix and Stephon Tuitt overshadowed Sheldon Day. For two years, Nix and Tuitt would be lauded as preseason All-Americans and future high NFL Draft picks. Day was overlooked when Nix held the point of attack against Stanford at the goal line during the dramatic 2012 overtime finish, and no one mentioned Day's potential as many debated if Tuitt would set Notre Dame's career sack record. With Nix and Tuitt now gone to the NFL, joining the Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively, Day is the only de- fensive lineman with more than one start entering this season. No disrespect to juniors Jarron Jones and Romeo Okwara, but they will not be drawing much attention away from Day this season. This is his defensive line, finally, and he knows it.

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