Blue and Gold Illustrated

June July 2018

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

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Page 26 of 63 JUNE/JULY 2018 27 snowing.' … I definitely knew that it was going to be a cold year, but I guess when you're actually playing in it, it's a whole different thing." Following final exams May 7‑11, Tagovailoa‑Amosa returned to the warmth of his native state for about a month, but it will remain business as usual to him. "You can't stop training," Tago‑ vailoa‑Amosa stated. "If you want to be the best, you've got to do what the average people don't do. "You go home, it's not vacation … you've still got to work. After last year seeing how far we went, of course we want to go further." In two different games his explo‑ sion off the ball resulted in crucial, momentum‑swinging plays. The first came with the Irish leading 14‑10 at Boston College and the Eagles go‑ ing for it on fourth‑and‑one at Notre Dame's 30‑yard line early in the sec‑ ond half. Tagovailoa‑Amosa's pene‑ tration and tackle stopped them short, and the Irish romped from there. The second saw Notre Dame cling‑ ing to a 28‑14 second‑half lead ver‑ sus North Carolina State, and the Wolfpack facing fourth‑and‑one at Notre Dame's 6‑yard line. Again, Ta‑ govailoa‑Amosa knifed through to record a one‑yard loss in the victory. Listed at 6‑2½, 285 pounds this spring, he has shed eight pounds from his freshman season and will back up Tillery, Notre Dame's top lineman, at the three‑technique. That's where Tagovailoa‑Amosa worked this spring to provide one of the better one‑two punches at any position on the team. "It's a fun position," he said of hav‑ ing more one‑on‑one matchups. Physically, Tagovailoa‑Amosa said the adjustment to the college game was a little smoother than he expected, but recognized more this spring that if his snap count is to ex‑ pand, he won't be able to rely merely on his quickness and instincts. "In the weight room my numbers are pretty low, I feel like I've got to get that up, as well as be an in‑game technician," Tagovailoa‑Amosa ad‑ mitted. "You can do all that in prac‑ tice, but as far as taking that into the game, that's what I have to work on as well." Where he had to grow the most is becoming more of a student of the game. "If you love the game you really have to study your film," he said. "That was the biggest thing I learned. Last year, I didn't really put my time and effort into watching the film. I would just depend on what my coaching was telling me to do instead of watching the film myself. "I would come on the field and I would see the different formations that the coaches had out, but at the same time I was kind of lost in my head. Playmakers do big‑time things when they study their opponent, study their every little move, tech‑ nique and what they do on certain blocks, certain techniques." After coming in cold as a freshman, Tagovailoa‑Amosa is truly just now starting to warm up, even in north‑ ern Indiana. ✦ Tagovailoa-Amosa served as the top backup at the three-technique tackle spot in 2017 and recorded 12 stops (1.5 for loss) while playing 329 snaps. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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