Blue and Gold Illustrated

June July 2018

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 18 of 63 JUNE/JULY 2018 19 ent players from the class saw action during their freshman campaign. The sophomores class should have at least three starters in the lineup this fall, and the offensive and defen- sive two-deep is filled with players from this group. LOADED UP FRONT Notre Dame's 2017 offensive line haul was one of the best of the Brian Kelly era and was the strength of the class. Three of the four signees were ranked by all three recruiting ser- vices. Robert Hainsey was ranked between No. 31 (ESPN) and No. 135 ( 2 4 7 S p o r t s ) n a t i o n a l l y, J o s h u a Lugg was assessed between No. 84 (247Sports) and No. 236 (Rivals), and Aaron Banks was listed between No. 121 (Rivals) and No. 278 (ESPN). Hainsey enrolled early last winter, and by the time the fall had rolled around he had forced himself into the lineup. During the first nine games, he rotated every other series with starting sophomore right tackle Tommy Kraemer. However, Hainsey earned the starting nod in the final four games. The Pittsburgh native played well as a freshman and is expected to become a vital component of a re- vamped line in 2018. An advanced technician, Hainsey showed off im- proved strength this spring, and he will enter the fall as the unquestioned starter at right tackle. Lugg played both tackle spots and left guard this spring, while the coaching staff worked to find where he was most comfortable. Like Hain- sey, Lugg is a Western Pennsylvania native and has performed at a level that is making the Irish coaches work hard to find a way to get him on the field in some capacity. Lugg lacks the technical prowess of Hainsey, but he's massive (6-7, 308 pounds), powerful and surprisingly nimble for a player with his length and girth. Getting work inside and outside during the spring has him in position to potentially be the first man off the bench at four different spots. Banks has spent the last year re- shaping his body. He was leaner this spring, and with that came im- proved quickness and agility. The 6-6, 320-pounder played both left and right tackle, and he has battled with Lugg for the role of first tackle off the bench. Banks must continue improving his technique, but he's strong and athletic for his size, and there is ex- citement at Notre Dame about his future. Dillan Gibbons is the fourth mem- ber of the 2017 offensive line class, and he finished the spring as the backup right guard to Kraemer, who downshifted from right tackle. He is a bit behind his classmates in terms of pure talent and strength, but get- ting reps with the second unit this spring provided an opportunity for growth. FRONT FOUR IMPACT In today's era of college football, it is quite difficult to play champion- ship football without being strong up the middle. A pair of sophomores are going to play pivotal rotational roles along the interior of the Irish line in 2018. Defensive tackles Myron Tago- vailoa-Amosa and Kurt Hinish be- gan the 2017 season as rotation play- ers, and finished third and fourth in snaps at defensive tackle. The pair combined for 21 tackles and 2.5 stops for loss, but expectations are that Sophomore Class Review Players Signed: 21 Players Available In 2018: 19 (Four-star running back C.J. Holmes was suspended following a De- cember arrest and then dismissed from the team; and three-star defensive end Jonathon MacCollister transferred to Central Florida following the 2017 season) 2017 Recruiting Rankings: 247Sports (No. 10), Rivals (No. 13), Scout (No. 14) and ESPNU (No. 16) Name Pos. Ht. Wt. David Adams* LB 6-1 222 Shoulder injuries have kept him from working his way up the depth chart. Jafar Armstrong* RB/WR 6-1 213 The staff is trying to find ways to get this dynamic athlete on the field. Aaron Banks* OL 6-6 320 Has reshaped his body and is pushing for a role at tackle next season. Avery Davis* QB/RB 5-11 203 Expect to see him play some running back and wide receiver in order to get touches. Jonathan Doerer K/P 6-3 200 Pushing for the top kickoff job, and serves as the backup kicker and punter. Darnell Ewell* DT 6-3 324 Still working to get in shape and move up the depth chart at nose tackle. Jordan Genmark Heath LB 6-1 211 Moved from safety to Buck linebacker in the latter part of spring. Dillan Gibbons* OL 6-4 307 After redshirting as a freshman, earned the backup right guard spot. Robert Hainsey OL 6-5 291 Was a regular in the 2017 rotation and now has the right tackle spot all to himself. Kurt Hinish DT 6-2 292 Passed up several veterans to earn the top backup job inside as a rookie. Cole Kmet TE 6-5½ 255 Had a strong spring and is poised for major playing time as a sophomore. Joshua Lugg* OL 6-7 308 Spent time at tackle and guard in hopes of forcing his way onto the field. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah* ROV 6-1½ 210 Arguably the best athlete in the class, he is pushing for time on special teams and at rover. Isaiah Robertson ROV 6-1½ 207 Was moved to rover this spring in hopes of finding a role for him in the defense. Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa DT 6-2½ 285 Cracked the interior rotation as a freshman, and a breakout season is expected in 2018. Kofi Wardlow* DE 6-2 240 The edge rusher is still probably a year away from major playing time. Drew White* LB 6-1 225 A leg injury caused him to miss almost the entire spring. Brock Wright TE 6-4½ 250 Will play a primary role as a blocker in 2018. Michael Young WR 5-10 192 Expected to become a top playmaker for the Irish offense this season. * Eligible for a fifth season in 2021

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - June July 2018