Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 9, 2017

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

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Page 50 of 55 OCT. 9, 2017 51 IRISH IN THE PROS BY COREY BODDEN F ollowing a four-year career at Notre Dame where he recorded 192 tackles and eight interceptions, safety Matthias Farley left South Bend with hopes of finding a new home on an NFL roster. The journey started a bit rocky for Farley when he was not selected in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Arizona Car- dinals, however, signed him as an undrafted free agent and gave him an opportunity to make their 53-man roster. But by the time early Septem- ber rolled around in 2016, Farley found himself on waivers after be- ing released by the Cardinals during final roster cuts. He didn't have to wait too long to get back on his feet. The India- napolis Colts claimed Farley the next day, providing him an oppor- tunity to make an impact for their organization. Farley took full advantage of the chance. He played in all 16 games last season for the Colts and com- piled 11 tackles. Most of his action came on special teams while he saw some time on defense. His play in 2016 allowed him to be in position to compete for a starting safety job in 2017 if he had a strong offseason and preseason. Mission accomplished. Through the first three weeks of the 2017 season, Farley started each game for the Colts and racked up 20 total tackles with 15 solo stops. Both totals ranked second on the team. "Well, it's still going," Farley said of his professional journey in mid- August. "It really stems from a lot of great guys who are older in the locker room. "You've got Darius Butler, Clay- ton Geathers, Vontae Davis and you know Mike Adams last year was very influential in my development. "I think just leaning on those guys and trusting the coaches, and just working hard every day [helped po- sition him to make an impact]." His trajectory in the NFL so far is reverse from his college one which saw his starts decline from 11 as a sophomore during Notre Dame's 2012 season to three his fifth and fi- nal year in South Bend in 2015. Now he's turning heads for the Colts and is someone the coaching staff is at ease with on the field. "Matthias certainly fits in," Colts defensive coordinator Ted Mona- chino said in early August. "There are a lot of height, weight, speed guys that have tremendous talent and skill. Matthias has his share of all of that, but there's also the football player. "When you're evaluating him, you say: 'This guy is a football player.' That's Matthias. When he's out there, we can all breathe a little eas- ier because he's going to be where he belongs, he's going to say what he needs to say, he's going to help where he needs to help and he's go- ing to tackle. We're right where we need to be with Matthias and he is, too, on the depth chart." Heading into week four, Farley was tied for 32nd in the NFL with his 20 total tackles. ✦ Matthias Farley Turns Heads In Second Pro Season NOTRE DAME IN THE NFL: Week Three Highlights • TJ Jones (Played at Notre Dame from 2010-13), WR, Detroit Lions: Caught three passes for a team- best and career-high 63 yards in a 30-26 loss to Atlanta. • DeShone Kizer (2014-16), QB, Cleveland Browns: Completed 22 of 47 passes for 242 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in a 31-28 loss at Indianapolis … Also tied for the team lead in rushing yards with 44 and added a touchdown on seven carries. • Golden Tate (2007-09), WR, Detroit Lions: Caught a team-high seven passes for 58 yards and a touchdown in a 30-26 loss to Atlanta. • Harrison Smith (2007-11), S, Minnesota Vikings: Notched a team-high nine tackles in a 34-17 win over Tampa Bay. Farley went undrafted in 2016 but has emerged as a key member of the Colts' secondary this fall, start- ing the first three games while contributing 20 tackles (15 solo) and two passes broken up. PHOTO COURTESY INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

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