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Asmar Bilal

8 Notre Dame Defenders to Watch in Mike Elko’s Defense

Notre Dame LB Asmar Bilal (Photo: © Matt Cashore // USA TODAY Sports)

Mike Elko is still settling in as the new defensive coordinator at Notre Dame, but it’s not too soon to start thinking about players who will benefit the most from Elko’s defense.  Former defensive coordinator Brian Vangorder’s complex defense stopped working after about five games in 2014 leaving Notre Dame fans longing for a simple defense that produced results.  Elko’s defenses at Wake Forest did just that. Like Vangorder, Elko’s defense features a four man front, but where the two differ is in what Elko ran in 2016 at Wake Forest at the next level.  Elko’s utilized a 4-2-5 in ...

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Speculating on Impending Notre Dame Personnel Changes

Dexter Williams - Notre Dame RB

Following Notre Dame’s loss to Duke this past weekend Brian Kelly made it very clear that personnel changes were coming to Notre Dame.  He backed that up with immediate staff changes on Sunday by firing Brian VanGorder and reiterating that personnel changes will be coming in the very near future.  While Kelly may give a glimpse of some of them tomorrow at his weekly presser, it’s likely that we won’t know any of them until kick-off on Saturday. So let’s speculate on some players who might see more playing time, some who may see a reduced role, and some who ...

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8 Super Sophs for Notre Dame Football in 2016

Jerry Tillery - Notre Dame DT

With all of the talent Notre Dame lost from its 2015 Fiesta Bowl squad and with an upper class decimated by early departures, transfers, and retirements; Notre Dame will need big contributions from its sophomore class in 2016 if the Irish are to post back to back 10 win seasons for the first time in 23 years. Notre Dame’s sophomore class signed in 2015 without much fanfare.  247Sports ranked the class outside the top 10 and only one other full class (2012) under Brian Kelly has been ranked lower.  Note, however, that the class of 2012 still included Sheldon Day, Elijah ...

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14 Potential Breakout Players for Notre Dame in 2016

Dexter Williams - Notre Dame RB

Every year there are players every fan feels their team can’t live without that they barely knew in August.  Deshone Kizer and Josh Adams come to mind last year.  Sometimes injuries thrust players into new roles.  Sometimes players just force themselves on the field.  Regardless of the way they got there, by the time the season ends they are a huge reason for the ultimate success of the team. In 2016, Notre Dame has an over abundance of such potential players given all of the players they are replacing and all of the depth the Irish have built.  Here’s a ...

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2016 Notre Dame Football Number Changes

Malik Zaire - Notre Dame QB

Blue & Gold’s Lou Somogyi reported on some Notre Dame football jersey number changes for 2016 earlier on Tuesday with Notre Dame’s senior quarterback, Malik Zaire, highlighting the number changes.  While Zaire is competing with Deshone Kizer for the starting quarterback position in fall camp, he’ll be doing so with a new jersey number.  Here is a quick rundown of all of the jersey changes coming to the Notre Dame roster this fall. Malik Zaire #9 – Previously #8 No.9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Under Armour Replica Football Jersey As Zaire prepares for a potentially make or break fall camp for ...

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How Notre Dame Will Replace Jaylon Smith

Replacing Jaylon Smith

Earlier this week Jaylon Smith surprised few when he declared for the NFL Draft.  Had the 2015 Butkus Award winner not injured himself in the Fiesta Bowl, his declaration likely would have occurred much sooner.  While his departure is no surprise, the task of replacing him in the Notre Dame defense will be one of the most daunting tasks facing Brian Kelly and his staff this off-season. Since Smith isn’t the only linebacker Notre Dame has to replace in 2016 – Joe Schmidt has played his final snap for the Irish as well – it’s possible that replacing Smith won’t be ...

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Recapping Notre Dame’s 2015 Team Awards

Notre Dame Football

On Friday night Notre Dame celebrated Team 127 with the annual Echoes event – aka the old Notre Dame football banquet.  The yearly celebration is highlighted, of course, by handing out a myriad of awards.  Here’s a full recap of who took home what honors this evening. Rockne Student-Athlete Award: Jarrett Grace This award is handed out for outstanding performance in the classroom & on the field.  Grace, a 5th year senior, battled back from a gruesome leg injury that cost him about a season and a half.  While he didn’t fit his way back into the starting lineup, the ...

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Owning Indiana Shaped Notre Dame’s ’15 Recruiting Class

Future Notre Dame teammates Josh Barajas (left) and Asmar Bilal (right) pose together at the US Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photographer: John Albright/Icon Sportswire)

Historically, the state of Indiana has not been a hot bed of Division 1 talent which has always been a challenge for Notre Dame on the recruiting trail.  This year, however, the Hoosier State was the home of several highly touted recruits and Notre Dame’s dominance in it’s own backyard helped shaped the class that Notre Dame signed on Wednesday. Notre Dame added four players from the state of Indiana to its roster today – linebacker Josh Barajas , safety Mykelti Williams, linebacker Asmar Bilal, and defensive lineman Brandon Tiassum.  According to Rivals.com, those four players were all in the ...

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Meet Notre Dame’s 2015 Defensive Recruits

U.S. Army All-American Bowl West Team linebacker Josh Barajas (44) during a practice by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl East Team at St. Mary's Hall High School Stadium in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo: John Albright/Icon Sportswire)

Notre Dame set out to build depth with the class of 2015 and they did just that.  A class consisting of five defensive linemen, a truly elite trio of linebackers, and a defensive backfield featuring five recruits that could swell to six all helped Brian Kelly and his staff in putting together a class that filled out the depth chart while adding several potential big time playmakers for Brian VanGorder to continue to build the Notre Dame defense around. As Signing Day kicks off, Notre Dame is still looking to add another safety with Arrington Farrar and Nathan Meadors the only ...

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