Tony Springmann’s Injury Will Impact Notre Dame Defense

Tony Springmann - Notre Dame DL
Wake Forest Demon Deacons quarterback Tanner Price (10) throws under pressure from Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive end Tony Springmann (69) in the first quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 38-0. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame suffered another key injury last week when Brian Kelly told the media on Thursday that key reserve defensive lineman Tony Springmann would be lost for the season due to a knee injury that will require season ending surgery.

After “redshirting” as a freshman in 2011, Springmann played in all 13 games a true sophomore in 2012 as one of the key reserves for the Notre Dame defense.  Springmann ended up collecting 11 tackles, 2 for loss, and a sack a season ago and was going to be tasked with providing breathers for all three of Notre Dame’s starting defensive linemen.

Springmann’s versatility will be a big loss for the Notre Dame defense this fall and will force freshman Isaac Rochell into earlier playing time than previously expected.  Rochell’s been impressive in camp so far for a freshman defensive linemen, but it’s never good to have to count on a freshman on either the offensive or defensive lines.

With Srpingmann lost for the season, Notre Dame will look to 5th year senior Tyler Stockton and senior Kona Schwenke to backup Louis Nix while Rochell will need to fill in on the ends along with Jaron Jones and Justin Utupo.

Brian Kelly had already said that Ishaq Williams would be playing primarily as a defensive end with his hand on the ground rushing the passer before the loss of Springmann.  Now it won’t be a surprise if Williams is asked to play an even larger role than previously expected.

Springmann’s loss is the second key defensive player lost for the season for Notre Dame already this year and the season hasn’t even kicked off yet.  Senior linebacker Danny Spond was also lost for the season when complications from migraines forced the talented DOG linebacker to prematurely end his football playing career last week.

Freshman inside linebacker Doug Randolph was also lost for the season although he was not expected to play a major role outside of special teams.


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  1. Springman is a great Kid, quality individual. He will be a real asset by staying on. The first time I met his parents they were at the Notre Dame “after-game” tailgate making steak sandwiches for anyone who wanted them, including my wife & I. They did this kind of thing several times the past years.
    Later I found out that his Dad was an accountant , his Mom a District Judge and his brother played football for the University of Chicago. Truly good people and parents.

  2. Tony Springmann would be a starter on most teams. The Irish allowed only 10 points per game during the season because backups like Springmann didn’t give the game away and kept the starters fresh into the fourth quarter.

    Kona will now be the only seasoned backup. As Jarron Jones and Isaac Rochell get deeper into the season, they will develop. But the schedule is front-loaded. A lot will depend on Kona.

  3. Sorry, people/Domers, but I need to ask for mercy. Please forgive me for not being able to keep-track of the very thoughtful, different opinions/views expressed on the 456 different ND-sites I read. I’m actually smiling at myself right now, mentioning my fanaticism and acknowledging that it is (somehow) wrong! (silly me!) It is really amusing, however, to step-back and realize how many darn people LOVE our Irish. So I guess “Sorry” isn’t the right word to begin this entry. “Beautiful” could work better. GO IRISH!

  4. Another tough loss for the D side. Very familiar as to what happened in the db ‘s last year. In adversity, sometimes you have unknowns step up and be a surprise.

    Go Irish

  5. Speaking of Ishaq…. How is this kid progressing? I hadn’t heard they were goning to be using him as a d-end. Is this on passing downs? Certain defensive formations? Will he still be playing outside backer? I was really expecting this young man to eventually be an elite outside linebacker.

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