Everyone is already interested in what freshmen will play every year and what role they will fill. Saturday we got a glimpse of how Notre Dame intends to use it’s freshmen with 10 seeing the field in week one. Here is a recap of all of the freshmen who already have gotten involved in the action.
- Jaylon Smith (OLB) – Started at OLB with Danny Spond lost for the season. He looked like a freshman at times but also didn’t look lost. Smith will get better each week and was praised by Temple head coach Mark Ruhle. Smith was credited with just 1 tackle in the game.
- Cole Luke (CB) – Played a lot in coverage and looked solid. Definitely looks like he needs to add some weight but held his own in coverage. Played a lot in place of Bennett Jackson in the 2nd half to give Jackson a breather. Luke was officially credited with 1 tackle.
- Isaac Rochell (DE) – Saw meaningful minutes on defense in the first half and looks like he is firmly in the rotation along the defensive line. Rochell is going to be needed in a big way next year so any experience he gets will pay off down the road. Rochell ended up with 3 tackles in week 1.
- Corey Robinson (WR) – Saw a little bit of action – mainly in the 4th quarter – but did get on the field earlier as well. Robinson looked open in the end zone on a play where Rees went underneath to Niklas. Will be shocked if we don’t see some plays called for him next weekend.
- James Onwualu (WR) – Played primarily on special teams and looked really good in the process. Mayock made a comment that he made some good hits and joked that he would move him to defense next year. Given the depth at receiver, that might not be a joke by season’s end. Onwualu had 1 special teams tackle.
- Will Fuller (WR) – Was targeted in the end-zone by Hendrix on the final drive and couldn’t come down with the ball. Looks really, really fast but also really thin.
- Greg Bryant (RB) – Only got two carries but looked like the best inside runner for Notre Dame out there in the limited action. Bryant is already really physically imposing and the only thing holding him back has to be picking up the entire offense. It is only a matter of time until he’s getting more carries. Bryant ran the ball 2 times for 12 yards.
- Tarean Folston (RB) – The only thing that might keep Bryant from ascending to the top spot at RB could be Folston. He looked great on the perimeter and could give Notre Dame one hell of a Thunder/Lightning combination at running back with Bryant. Folston had 5 carries for 14 yards and caught 1 pass for 9 yards.
- Devin Butler (CB) – Butler saw a lot of action in coverage over Jalen Brown and Lo Wood. Butler looked pretty good in coverage in the process. Butler had 1 tackle in the game.
- Max Redfield (S) – Redfield saw action primarily on special teams for Notre Dame. Based on the play of the safeties, there could be a chance for Redfield to work his way onto the field on defense in the coming weeks. Officially had 1 tackle.
It’s really hard not to be excited about this freshman class already. Jaylon Smith is already a starter and it looks like Luke and Rochell at least will be regulars in the defense. Offensively, Bryant and Folston look too good to not see more playing time as the season progresses. Corey Robinson’s role should only continue to grow as well.