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Jonathan Bonner

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

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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What Does Mike Elko Have to Work With on Notre Dame DL?

Notre Dame DE Daelin Hayes (

New Notre Dame defensive coordinator Mike Elko has his work cut out for him with the Irish defense but nowhere is that more apparent than the defensive line.  Despite featuring two veteran, potential star linemen in 2016, the Notre Dame defensive line was a flop.  Heading into 2017, Elko won’t even have those two – Isaac Rochell and Jarron Jones – to build around.  What will he have? Elko will have a lot of bodies to sift through once he starts working with the Notre Dame defensive line this spring.  Notre Dame has recruited in quantity along the defensive line ...

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Silver Lining Playbook: Fiesta Bowl Edition

Nick Watkins - Notre Dame CB

Notre Dame lost a New Year’s Day bowl game by 16 points to a talented Ohio State team and lost its final chance for a statement making moment for the 2015 season.  The Irish now head into the off-season with a lot of questions to answer – most notably how to fix the Irish defense – but all was not lost in the Fiesta Bowl and if you are looking to read about how poor the Irish played or how this loss is the end of the world, this column is most likely not for you. Despite the disappointing outcome ...

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Notre Dame Fall Camp ’14 – An Up Close Look at the DL

Sheldon Day - Notre Dame DE

Notre Dame was back on the practice field Thursday for another round of two-a-days.  Today we get an up close look at all of the youngsters along the defensive line that Brian Kelly was raving about after practice on Wednesday. Check out the latest practice video posted by WatchND below along with some notes and observations. Elston singled out Sheldon Day as standing out so far, calling the junior DT the leader of the group. Daniel Cage looks HUGE.  If he becomes best friends with Paul Longo, Notre Dame could have the making of a great DT.  There’s no guarantee ...

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Andrew Trumbetti Earns Starting Spot for Notre Dame

Andrew Trumbetti - Notre Dame DE

While the news of Everett Golson earning the starting quarterback position surprised no one on Wednesday, the news of true freshman Andrew Trumbetti leap frogging junior Romeo Okwara raised some eyebrows across the Notre Dame fan base. “He’s a starter for us right now,” Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said on Wednesday of the true freshman early enrollee .  “He’s the other starting defensive end for us, so he’ll start as a true freshman for us.  He’s just that kind of player,” he added. The “other starting defensive end” position Kelly was referring to is the weak-side defensive end ...

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4 Under the Radar & Late Addition Recruits Making Early Impression

When Brian Kelly was asked about which defensive freshmen can help Notre Dame this fall, he didn’t mention his 5-star linebacker – Nyles Morgan (5 star by Scout) or  his highest rated defensive lineman – Jay Hayes.  Instead, Kelly mentioned four recruits who were either late additions or under the radar recruits – Jhonny Williams, Kolin Hill, Jonathan Bonner, and Daniel Cage. “I can tell you the guys that will help us,” Brian Kelly said when asked about which freshmen in the front seven can help the Irish early.  “Jhonny WIlliams will help us.  (Jonathan) Bonner will help us.  (Daniel) ...

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Duranko’s Digest: 10 frosh likely to play for Notre Dame in 2014

Nyles Morgan - Notre Dame ILB

Brian Kelly plays freshmen. Last year 10 frosh saw significant minutes and some were key contributors-on both sides of the ball. the 10 were Elmer, Folston, Fuller, Robinson, Onwualu, Rochell, Redfield, Luke, Butler.and some guy named Jaylon Smith. Here are ten frosh likely to play in 2014: Tyler Newsome – Okay, so punting doesn’t excite you.  But letting Newsome punt as a frosh would free up the undervalued but lion-hearted Kyle Brindza to focus on kickoffs and placekicking. Different muscle groups, skills, rhythms and techniques are used for punting and placekicking, and reducing and focusing Brindza’s role could strengthen both areas. Special teams, ...

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Jonathan Bonner Commits to Notre Dame

Notre Dame Recruiting - Jonatahn Bonner Commits!

Notre Dame received its 13th commitment for the recruiting class of 2014 on Wednesday when OLB/DE Jonathan Bonner committed to Notre Dame after an impressive performance this past weekend at Notre Dame’s future stars camp. Notre Dame hosted several elite recruits over the weekend for their future stars camp, but Bonner’s name did not pop up in many of the reports heading into the weekend.  Bonner’s performance over the weekend, however, raised some eyebrows nd was enough to earn the St. Louis area native a scholarship from the Notre Dame coaching staff Bonner told St. Louis today. “We’ve been talking ...

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