Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2017 Issue

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

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Page 34 of 63 MAY 2017 35 The overall improvement in physi- cality created more disruptive plays (18 tackles for loss in the final spring scrimmage). "That's where your run disruption comes from — your D-line recreating the line of scrimmage," Elko said. "If at the beginning of spring it was clearly getting created on our side, it's gotten more even as spring has gone on. … There's been a noticeable improvement in terms of this starting to look like the defense we want it to look like as spring has gone on." The progress at linebacker — which has far more downhill running in Elko's system, especially from top tackler and senior captain Nyles Morgan — and safety was also uplift- ing because that's where absorbing scheme is a little more challenging. "Speed" on defense is not neces- sarily about 40 times. It's about ex- ecuting fundamentals in a quick and proper manner without overthinking. "As they get comfortable in it, they play faster," said Elko, who empha- sized there is still a long way to travel as a unit. "That speed at which they play allows them to be disruptive and productive. That's where in the begin- ning it was hard to even judge, because they're still trying to figure out where to go, what to do and how to do it. As spring has gone on and they've gotten more comfortable with those questions, it's been easier for them to play faster." Here were at least three other themes from the spring: ON THE RISE Sophomore drop end Daelin Hayes is beginning to flash his five-star po- tential, but Elko refused to single out any individual players. "All of our guys benefit from play- ing against this group," Elko said. "Our offensive line is very talented, they're very physical. Every day we go out there and play against those guys, you feel like you have to do it right or you're going to struggle." X-FACTOR Junior Shaun Crawford remains an X-factor in the secondary. Sidelined all of 2015 with a torn ACL and all but one full game in 2016 with an Achilles tear, he was withheld from action in the Blue-Gold Game as a precaution, but practiced most of the spring adeptly. He made enough of an impression to possibly be the nickel back in the fall, or even help at rover in certain situations. Senior Nick Watkins was a standout at one corner while sopho- more Julian Love was ensconced at the other after starting most of last season. SAFETY CONCERNS Safety might rival defensive line for top overall question mark on the team, at least on paper. With Tranquill shifted to rover, where he shined throughout the spring and especially in the Blue- Gold Game, the top safeties at the end of spring were junior Nick Coleman and sophomore Jalen Elliott. Coleman was moved from corner- back, where he fell to the third unit last fall, but has excelled with the position switch under Elko. Elliott played 117 defensive snaps last year compared to classmate/starter Devin Studstill's 582, but he made an im- pression this spring. ✦ DEFENSE Strongside End No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 93 Jay Hayes 6-4 281 Sr./2 98 Andrew Trumbetti 6-4 252 Sr./1 53 Khalid Kareem 6-4 267 So./4 Note: Trumbetti's 467 snaps last year trail only Jerry Tillery (627) among returning linemen, but Hayes (155) came out with the first group late in the spring. Three-Technique Tackle No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 55 Jonathan Bonner 6-4 284 Sr./2 97 M. Dew-Treadway 6-4 299 Jr./3 77 Brandon Tiassum 6-4 304 Jr./3 58 Elijah Taylor 6-3 280 Jr./3 Notes: Taylor, who played in four games last year, suffered a Lisfranc injury in the second practice and missed the rest of spring … Tiassum, who has yet to play, began coming on strong in the closing week. Nose Tackle No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 99 Jerry Tillery 6-7 308 Jr./2 75 Daniel Cage 6-1 329 Sr./1 96 Pete Mokwuah 6-3½ 326 Sr./2 Drop End No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 9 Daelin Hayes 6-4 255 So./3 42 Julian Okwara 6-4½ 235 So./3 91 Ade Ogundeji 6-4 251 So./4 Walk-ons: Lincoln Feist (54) and Ryan Kilander (64) Mike Linebacker No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 5 Nyles Morgan 6-1 238 Sr./1 45 Jonathan Jones 5-11½ 227 So./4 44 Jamir Jones 6-3 243 So./3 Buck Linebacker No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 48 Greer Martini 6-4 240 Sr./1 4 Te'von Coney 6-1 235 Jr./2 30 Josh Barajas 6-2 239 Jr./3 Rover No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 23 Drue Tranquill 6-2 230 Sr./2 22 Asmar Bilal 6-2 229 Jr./3 Walk-ons: Brandon Hutson (49), Kier Murphy (40), Robert Regan (37), Devyn Spruell (51) and Jimmy Thompson (41) Notes: Sophomore Spencer Perry, who had been working at rover, left the team during spring prac- tice and will transfer at the end of the spring semester … Regan became the third option. Field Cornerback No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 27 Julian Love 5-11 190 So./3 18 Troy Pride Jr. 5-11½ 183 So./3 20 Shaun Crawford 5-9 175 Jr./3 Boundary Cornerback No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 7 Nick Watkins 6-1 203 Sr./2 35 Donte Vaughn 6-3 209 So./3 Walk-ons: Temitope Agoro (41) Strong Safety No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 24 Nick Coleman 6-0 187 Jr./2 14 Devin Studstill 6-0¼ 198 So./3 28 Nicco Fertitta 5-9 179 Jr./2 26 Ashton White 5-10¼ 197 Jr./3 Free Safety No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 21 Jalen Elliott 6-0½ 208 So./3 17 Isaiah Robertson 6-1½ 208 Fr./4 32 D.J. Morgan 6-2 208 So./4 Walk-ons: Christopher Schilling (38) Note: Early enrollee Robertson had a strong spring debut while cracking the two-deep. SPECIAL TEAMS Kicker No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 19 Justin Yoon 5-10 190 Jr./2 Walk-on: Sam Kohler (29) Note: Yoon sat out the spring because of a tired leg, but Kohler had a good spring in his place, including converting his two field goal attempts in the Blue-Gold Game from 42 and 46 yards. Punter No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 85 Tyler Newsome 6-2½ 210 Sr./2 Walk-On: Jeff Riney (42) Long Snapper No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 54 John Shannon 6-2 220 So./4 BGI 2017 Spring Scholarship Depth Chart Updated heights and weights are from the Notre Dame media relations office. The number next to the class year represents years of eligibility remaining.

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