Notre Dame’s 2007 freshman class have been assigned their numbers according to Irish Illustrated. This year’s early enrollers were already assigned their numbers before Spring – Jimmy Clausen #7, Armando Allen #5, and Gary Gray #4 – but the remaining 15 incoming frosh were just assigned there’s and here’s a quick look at them and as well some history behind each number.
At running back, Robert Hughes will wear #33, the same number he wore in high school. Some recent running backs to sport 33 were Jamie Spencer (technically a fullback) and more recently Justin Hoskins. Spencer had a fairly productive career, but underachieved while Hoskins barely saw the field before transferring. Let’s hope Hughes’ future is a bit brighter. The most notable player to wear 33 recently was former linebacker Courtney Watson – who started his career at running back for the Irish.
Duval Kamara was given #18 which was worn last season by current Cincinnati Bengal safety Chinedum N’Dukwe. The last two wide receivers to wear 18 were Joey Getherall and Ronnie Rodamer. Physically Kamara resembles Rodamer more than the pint sized Getherall, but will hopefully have better luck with injuries than Rodamer experienced. Fellow receiver Golden Tate will wear his high school number of 23. Chase Anastacio held the 23 jersey for the past few years and before Anastacio, running backs Chrs Yura and Autry Dension held the number down.
Notre Dame’s only tight end in this class, Mike Ragone, will wear the #83 jersey which was available after the departure of All American Jeff Samardzija. The last tight end to wear 83 was Matt Root who transfered to Florida State and never finished his Notre Dame career.
Rounding out the offense along the line are Taylor Dever with #75, Matt Romine with #70, and Andrew Nuss with #76. Nuss’s #76 should be a clue that he will start off his career on the offensive side of the ball as opposed to the defensive side of the ball where Weis said he would get a look. The 76 jersey has been worn recently by offensive linemen such as Bob Morton, John Teasdale, and Jeremy Akers. Romine’s #70 was worn most recently by Chauncey Incarnato (another kid who didn’t finish his career with Notre Dame). Dever gets the honor of sporting the same #75 that Aaron Taylor wore while he was on his way to becoming an All American and NFL lineman.
Emeka Nwankwo, like Nuss, was recruited as an offensive lineman with the chance of seeing time at defensive line. Being assigned #91 could signal that Nwankwo will start off on defense beings as it is a traditional number for a defensive lineman. Ian Williams, Notre Dame’s line “true” defensive lineman in last year’s class, was assigned Victor Abiamiri’s #95.
In the linebacking corps, Brian Smith got #58, Kerry Neal #56, Aaron Nagel #47, and Steve Paskorz #50. Paskorz’s #50 has some recent history with past wearers such as Cedric Hilliard, Chris Zorich, and Dan Santucci. Nagel’s #47 was worn most recently by Mitchell Thomas who did not come back for a 5th year this season.
In the secondary, Harrison Smith will wear the #30 jersey made available due to the graduation of Mike Richardson. Brandon Walker’s #14 jersey was most recently worn by quarterback David Wolke and kicker Bobby Renkes.
Based on all of the players who will be wearing the same numbers as a lot of the recent defections from the team, let’s hope this year’s class has a much higher retention rate.