2011 Freshmen Numbers Assigned

This year’s freshmen have received their numbers that they will start their Notre Dame careers with.  Here’s a quick look at who will be wearing what numbers and a little background on the numbers themselves.

Ishaq Williams and the other early enrollees received their numbers in the spring. The rest of the freshman class received theirs this week. (Photo – Icon SMI)
  • George Atkinson #4 (RB/WR) – Number 4 is also worn by starting cornerback Gary Gray (reminder, players can wear the same numbers but cannot be on the field at the same time if they do).  At running back, Ryan Grant and Lee Becton recently wore #4.  Grant started his career off with #25 but later switched to #4.
  • Josh Atkinson #43 (CB) – Rashon Powers-Neal started his career with #43 recently, but the most famous #43 at Notre Dame was All American linebacker Bob Crable.
  • Kyle Brindza #27 (P/K) – Recent standout safety David Bruton wore #27 throughout his career, a number that has been worn by three All Americans in Notre Dame history – most recently defensive back Mike Townsend in 1973.
  • Jalen Brown #21 (CB) – Maurice Stovall sported #21 at wide receiver for his entire career, but the only All American to wear #21 for the Irish was former cornerback Bobby Taylor.  Hopefully Brown is able to recapture some of the magic Taylor had at corner.
  • Brad Carrico #56 (OG) – Kerry Neal wore #56 the last four years and classmate Anthony Rabasa will wear it a well.  Carrico has history on his side with two former All Americans along the offensive line having worn #56 – Larry Dinardo (1969-70) and Dave Huffman (1978)
  • Ben Councell #30 (OLB) – The #30 has been worn at a wide range of positions for Notre Dame.  Of the four All Americans to wear #30, all were at different positions – Frank Stams (DE ’88), George Melinkovich (FB ’32), Tom Conley (E ’30), and Paul Castner (HB ’30).  More recently, Mike Richardson wore #30 at cornerback and former fullback great Marc Edwards started his career with #30 before switching to #44.
  • Davaris Daniels #16 (WR) – Powers-Neal ended his career wearing #16 and Notre Dame has had one All American wear the number – halfback Don Miller (one of the 4 Horsemen) in 1930.
  • Matthias Farley #41 (WR) – If #41 looks odd for a wide receiver, it is because it is odd.  Farley picked #41 in honor of one of his old coaches, former NFL safety Eugene Robinson.
  • Everett Golson #5 (QB) – The number 5 has been a popular number on the offensive side of the ball lately for Notre Dame with Rhema McKnight and Armando Allen wearing it the last nine seasons.  Historically, quarterbacks have good success wearing #5 at Notre Dame as evidenced by Terry Hanrattay and Paul Hornung. #5 is also currently worn by All American candidate Manti Te’o.
  • Jarrett Grace #59 (MLB) – Chris Stewart wore #59 for the Irish the past five season.  Notre Dame has never had an All American at linebacker wear #59, but two offensive linemen earned All American honors with it – Dick Swatland (1968) and Jim McGoldrick (1938).  Ironically, #59 was worn by Florida State assistant Greg Hudson while he was at Notre Dame.  Hudson was one of the primary recruiters of Aaron Lynch for the Seminoles.
  • Conor Hanratty #65 (OG) – Hanrattay will wear a number that has been held by three different All American offensive linemen – Lindsay Knapp (1992), Eric Hughes (1977), and Bob Lehmann (1963)
  • Eilar Hardy #34 (S) – #34 is a traditional number for running backs such as Ray Zellars, but it has also been worn by a number of defensive players over the years including Vontez Duff, Ronnie Nicks, and Wes Pritchett.
  • Matt Hegarty #77 (OL) – In recent years, Michael Turkovich wore #77 along the offensive line and Greg Pauly wore in along the defensive side of the ball.  Two All Americans have previously worn the number – Dusty Zeigler (1995) and Mike McCoy (1969)
  • Chase Hounshell #50 (DL) – A few offensive linemen such as Dan Santucci have worn the number recently and two former linebacker were All Americans wearing #50 – Greg Collins (1974) and George Pergine (1967).  The most famous Irish player to wear #50, however, is former standout nose guard Chris Zorich.
  • Ben Koyack #18 (TE) – Koyack gets a bit of an odd number for a tight end with #18.  In fact, I couldn’t find any other tight ends in Notre Dame history to ever wear #18.  The number was worn recently by Chinedum N’dukwe and not so recently was worn by fan favorite Joey Getherall.  Jim Crowley, another member of the 4 Horsemen, also wore #18.
  • Aaron Lynch #19 (DL) – The #19 has not been a common number for Notre Dame players in the past, but it was worn recently by Glen Earl – one of the most underrated players to pass through Notre Dame over the last 20 years.
  • Nick Martin #72 (OL) – Many an offensive lineman has worn #72 for Notre Dame over the years, three of which have earned All American status – Gerry Dinardo (1972), Bill Fischer (1947-48), and John Lautar (1936).
  • Cam McDaniel #33 (RB) – Robert Hughes wore #33 for Notre Dame the last four years and has been traditionally been worn more by big backs and full backs like Hughes and Jamie Spencer.  Former All American linebacker Courtney Watson, a converted high school running back, also wore #33.
  • Troy Niklas #58 (OL/DL) – Linebacker Brian Smith wore #58 the last four seasons for the Fighting Irish.  Offensive linemen have primarily worn the number over the years though perhaps indicating that Niklas may start on that side of the ball.
  • Anthony Rabasa #56 (OLB) – See the comments for Brad Carrico who is also wearing #56.
  • Tony Springmann #69 (OL/DL) – Another number worn almost exclusively by offensive linemen such as Mike Gandy.  Like Niklas this could be an indication that Springmann ends up on the offensive line.
  • Stephon Tuitt #7 (DE) – Tuitt gets an odd number for a defensive end similarly to how Ethan Johnson started his career with #9 before switching over to #90 this past season.  Sophomore receiver TJ Jones also wears #7 – a number normally reserved for quarterbacks such as Jimmy Clausen, Joe Theismann, and John Huarte.  Jones’s father, the late Andre Jones, also wore #7 along the defensive line for the Irish.
  • Ishaq Williams #1 (OLB) – Notre Dame has had some very good players wear #1 like Derrick Mayes and Todd Lyght.  Senior wide receiver Deion Walker also currently wears #1.
Notre Dame's Josh Adams Running Towards Head of Heisman Pack

For those of you keeping track at home, Notre Dame now has 7 numbers occupied by multiple players.

  • #1 – Ishaq Williams and Deion Walker
  • #4 – George Atkinson and Gary Gray
  • #5 – Everett Golson and Manti Te’o
  • #7 – Stephon Tuitt and TJ Jones
  • #9 – Louis Nix and Roby Toma
  • #12 – Andrew Hendrix and Robert Blanton
  • #56 – Brad Carrio and Anthony Rabasa

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  1. Bob Thomas 6 years ago

    My apologies for this slightly off-topic question: I came across a Notre Dame shirt from the late 70s/early 80s. It had jerseys with #19 and #84 prominently featured on the front. Does anyone who these players may have been?

    Thank you, and GO IRISH!

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  2. joey d 6 years ago

    How many scholarships are available for this class?

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  3. jack 6 years ago

    Joey d I agree. They need all the help than can get upfront

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  4. SteelFanRob 6 years ago

    joey d —


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  5. joey d 6 years ago

    I hope the article I just read isn’t true about Tommy Schutt. Did ND really pull the offer from him? You mean to tell me that Kelly kind find a place for him on the roster next year? The kid is an f’n stud! Hopefully this gets cleared up and he ends up in South Bend.

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  6. East Texas Irish 6 years ago

    August 26 high school football kicks off here in Texas then the following Saturday Notre Dame football kicks off. Jesus Christ I’m super siked.

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  7. C-Dog 6 years ago

    I wouldn’t worry too much about it. The players better have been doing their own thing anyway. Kelly makes such good use of limited time, that a few days won’t matter. This team will be sharp enough to get through the first three games, then look for a peak in November. I can’t wait to see a dominant performance against Michigan and USC by our defense. I think they will be ready to swarm. Look for better coverage reads by the linebackers freeing them up to fire out. Teo will have a break out year.
    Calabrese will establish himself as a great run stopper and pass rusher. The D-Line will start to intimidate.
    We lost to Michigan, Michigan St., Navy, and Tulsa last year because the defense hadn’t turned the corner. I see the defense not being a problem this year.
    This team has enough veterans to think about how to win, instead of how to hang on. In fact I would say, “think about….” I would say knowing and willing themselves to winning.

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    1. Shazamrock 6 years ago


      Remember Jimmy Clausen predicting 4 National Championships?
      Or Charlie Weis and all his talk about being nasty?

      I like this team. I have a good feeling about them.
      They don’t say much.
      They let their play do their talking.
      Kind of old school.
      I like that!

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    2. IrishChan 6 years ago

      I can’t believe that I’m excited to watch ND DEFENSE. I can’t think of a time when I have said that since Lou was still on campus….

      Not ready for summer to be over yet but I’m damn sure ready to watch Monti & Co unleash some pain!!!!!!

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  8. Shazamrock 6 years ago

    August 3rd. Defending national champion Auburn.
    July 31 – Aug.5th Big 12.
    Aug. 4th. SoCal,LSU.

    These are the starting dates for fall football practice for some of the college football teams accross the country.

    ND… Aug.6th.

    Why are we always a day late and a dollar short?

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  9. dan 6 years ago

    The names were put on the jerseys because the players get to keep their jerseys from the bowl game.

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  10. Justin 6 years ago

    Hey Joe,

    my opinion is that I like the setup of the past couple years. I enjoy not having the names on the jerseys. To me its tradition at notre dame (and “old school” college in general), but I have LOVED seeing them on the jerseys for the bowl games. Not only is it a cool bonus for the kids for making it to a bowl game, but it makes that specific years jersey that much more special. I kind of think if I was putting on a special bowl jersey with my name on it for that one game of the season, I’d play a little harder too… Just my thoughts

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  11. jack 6 years ago

    Joe sad to say I am against it. I like traditions and no name is fine by me. If you are having trouble most websites will give you a depth chart or roster to is the players.

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  12. Joe Fairleigh 6 years ago

    Has there been any ‘for or against’ comments made
    concerning the sharing by Joe Fairleigh on July 22nd/11 ?

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  13. Joe Fairleigh 6 years ago

    Hi Frank,

    I have been a Notre Dame fan since I was 12 years of age. I am now 84!
    I love college football, and I am interested in one team only, the Fighting Irish. I have only one complaint which I would like to share
    with you and your readers. Why don’t we allow the name of the player
    to be on the back of his team jersey!

    Over the years we have heard the rightious, compulsive, knee jerk remark,
    “We’re a team, not an individual!”

    When we played in the Sun Bowl last season, the team was asked to have their family name on the back of their team jersey. I rejoiced to be able
    to identify the individual player who made that great tackle, or savage
    block on an opponent! Having their name on the jersey along with the
    number simply makes it a bit easier to identify a player. Watching our
    team playing with such enthusiasm and oneness made it a special experience!

    The fans at the game or in their living rooms across the world were not
    having to spend their time looking up who #86 is or #7. Yes, I know who #5 is and #10 but many fans are not able to quickly identify the other 60 or
    70 players as they constantly are being sent into the game or being taken out.

    Speaking for myself, I often find it very difficult to know who was in on that last tackle, who made the interception, who got hurt etc.

    Is there anything you can do to see what your readers have to say about

    Thanks Frank!

    Joe Fairleigh

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  14. Lee 6 years ago

    “For those of you keeping track at home, Notre Dame now has 6 numbers occupied by multiple players.”

    #1 – Ishaq Williams and Deion Walker
    #4 – George Atkinson and Gary Gray
    #5 – Everett Golson and Manti Te’o
    #7 – Stephon Tuitt and TJ Jones
    #9 – Louis Nix and Roby Toma
    #12 – Andrew Hendrix and Robert Blanton

    So, tell me who is really keeping track, at home or otherwise?
    What about number #56?

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    1. Frank Vitovitch 6 years ago

      Thanks for pointing that out. It’s been fixed. Appreciate the feedback.

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  15. John Tellson 6 years ago

    I never heard what number the LB recruit from CA (Can’t remember his name, from Jimmy Clausen’s HS) who signed late last Feburary? Can some give his name and assigned number?

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    1. Frank Vitovitch 6 years ago

      I don’t believe he has been given his number yet since he is a preferred walk-on.

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  16. Hugo 6 years ago

    Are we seriously complaining about the jersery numbers? After 12 seasons of unequivocal suffering, mediocre (terrible) and inconsistent coaches, up (always with dissappointing endings) and down seasons, we have far more important things to be concerned about. Although I have a very strong feeling this ND team is finally on the right track with the right man leading it. This buzz truly feels it’s based on the right fundamentals and foundation for success. I’m focusing on USF right now, and I want my beloved Irish to come out of the gate and hit’em in the mouth for 4Qrs, beat a sound team handily by at least 3 scores, and prove to us this will finally be that breakthrough season we have been waiting for so long. GO IRISH!

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    1. Frank Vitovitch 6 years ago

      Agreed. The multiple numbers doesn’t bother me one bit and if a recruit really wants a certain number, I have no problem with Kelly and staff obliging them – especially if the player backs it up on the field. Look at the list of duplicate numbers and they are almost all big time playmakers so let them wear whatever number they want as far as I’m concerned.

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  17. Joe 6 years ago

    What positon will George Atkinson be playing?

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    1. Frank Vitovitch 6 years ago

      It’s still not 100% clear. He’ll get a look at RB because of the lack of depth but could still see time at WR in the slot.

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  18. ted 6 years ago

    i tend to agree with ohio. i would want to be the only number 5 if i was manti or vice versa for golson. it also feels amateurish to have multiple players with the same numbers, it’s like we are playing pop-warner football or something.

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  19. ohiofan 6 years ago

    Why do they duplicate numbers when there seems to be some that aren’t being used? And why the funky numbers with regards to positions like single digits on DL’s or #18 for a TE.

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    1. Frank Vitovitch 6 years ago

      The players like the odd numbers and if it’s something they ask about as recruits, I can’t image the staff tells them they can’t wear a specific number if it’s available. Same for duplicate numbers, as long as players aren’t expected to be on the field at the same time, there’s no harm in duplicating the numbers.

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