Notre Dame Football 2014 Freshman 1st Quarter Report

Notre Dame freshman NT Daniel Cage getting held while chasing down Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner. (Matt Cashore / USA TODAY Sports)

As Notre Dame heads into the second quarter of the 2014 season, the Irish are 3-0 in part because of the play of its freshman class.  Though not as heralded as some of their predecessors, this year’s freshman class has still been able to provide immediate impact at positions of need from day one.

After seeing the frosh in practice all summer and through three weeks of the season, the Notre Dame coaching staff has a pretty good idea of what they have to work with this year and who can and can’t help them this year.  Here’s a run down of all the freshmen who’ve had an impact, who’ve played, who might play still, and who likely won’t see the field until 2015 at the earliest.

Regular Roles (4)

Notre Dame is already counting on four true freshmen heavily this year – all on the defensive side of the ball.  Notre Dame has been able to withstand the loss of the academic five in large part because of a couple of the players listed below.

Backup & Special Teams Duty (5)

While not playing regular roles just yet, these five players are playing back up and special teams roles thus far.  Their roles should be seen as fluid considering they are already either int he two deep or have played in some capacity.  How much more they play this season will depend on how much more they develop in practices.  The extra week of practice with the bye week is likely most important for these give players.

Have Seen the Field (2)

Our next group of frosh have seen the field this year, but pretty sparingly to date.  Since they’ve played already it would be a shame if their roles didn’t grow over the rest of the season, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Could still see the field this year (4)

The next four players here haven’t played yet – and might not – but playing time could be in the cards for them at some point this year depending on injuries and the development of some other players currently ahead of them right now.

Redshirt Road (7)

These seven players pretty much always were destined to redshirt this season as they adjust to the college game and put in some time in the weight room.  Things can always change over the next two and a half weeks, but a year on the scout team is in the cards for these players and that’s a good thing.  All of these players will benefit from the year of learning and adjusting before being thrust into playing time.