2014 Notre Dame Freshman Numbers

Justin Brent - Notre Dame WR
(Photo: Robin Alam/Icon SMI)

With fall camp just around the corner, the annual rite of passage of freshman numbers being assigned has taken place.  Irish Illustrated had the original scope earlier this week, but we did a little more digging into the history behind each of the numbers including looking at which Notre Dame All-Americans wore the numbers this year’s crop of freshmen have chosen.

[Related: Can Notre Dame return to elite status in 2014 and make a playoff run?]

A lot of the 2014 freshmen have picked some unique numbers without much history behind them, but you will notice that a few of them have picked some historically significant numbers that are now bound to lead to comparisons throughout their collegiate careers.  If some of them can live up to the history behind the numbers they are wearing, this year’s class will have a lasting impact on Notre Dame before their careers are over.

    • #2 – Cody Riggs (CB) – Although not a freshman, Riggs is a new player on the Irish roster after transferring for his 5th year.  At corner, #2 should be pretty familiar for Notre Dame fans after Bennett Jackson wore it the last three seasons as a corner for the Irish.  Tom Clements wore #2 at QB for Notre Dame to All-American status in 1974.
Manti Te'o wore #5 all the way to a 2nd place finish in the Heisman Trophy race in 2012.  (Photo - Icon SMI)
Manti Te’o wore #5 all the way to a 2nd place finish in the Heisman Trophy race in 2012. (Photo – Icon SMI)
  • #5 – Nyles Morgan (LB) – Currently worn by QB Everett Golson on the offensive side of the ball.  Manti Te’o made #5 legendary on the defensive side of the ball by winning almost every award possible other than the Heisman Trophy in 2012.   Terry Hanratty, father of current OL Conor Hanratty earned All-American honors wearing #5  in 1968.  The most famous #5 for Notre Dame is still the Golden Boy Paul Hornung.
  • #11 – Justin Brent (WR) – No Notre Dame player wearing #11 has ever earned 1st or 2nd Team All-American status – a trend Notre Dame hope Brent changes.  David Grimes, current assistant strength and conditioning coach, wore #11 as a WR for Notre Dame a few years ago.
  • #13 – Tyler Luatua (TE) – Most recently worn by Danny Spond – and on senior day 2013 by Jaylon Smith – the #13 jersey doesn’t have too much history behind it at Notre Dame.
  • #14 -DeShone Kizer (QB) – There isn’t much quarterback history with the #14 jersey for Notre Dame.  Gary Godsey wore it as he split time between QB and TE.  John Lattner wore #14 to Heisman glory in 1953.
  • #15 – Corey Holmes (WR) – Last season then freshman Will Fuller (WR) wore #15 before switching to the #7 that TJ Jones wore over the last four seasons.  Allen Rossum, one of the greatest returnmen in Notre Dame history, also wore #15 in the late 90’s.
  • #19 – Nick Watkins (CB) – Watkins is taking over the #19 jersey that sophomore linebacker Doug Randolph switched from in the off-season when he took Carlo Calabrese’s #44.  John Krimm wore #19 at the cornerback position in 1981.
  • #23 – Drue Tranquill (S/LB) – Tranquill’s #23 has not been worn very often by defensive players but Golden Tate and Autry Denson both were All-Americans wearing #23 on the offensive side of the ball.
  • #33 – Jhonny Williams (DE/OLB) – Williams made an interesting choice by selecting #33 as a defensive end/outside linebacker.  Courtney Watson was the most recent standout to done #33 earning All-American honors in 2002.
  • #43 – Kolin Hill (LB) – Hill didn’t pick a number with a lot of recent history for Notre Dame, but as far as Notre Dame greats at linebacker go, he picked a good one.  Bob Crable was an All-American in back to back seasons in 1980 and 1981 before being a 1st round draft pick by the New York Jets.  For Hill’s sake we won’t wish a future with the Jets on him, but back to back All-American seasons sure does sound nice.
  • #48 – Greer Martini (LB) – Worn most recently by Dan Fox, the #48 jersey at Notre Dame was mad famous by Heisman Trophy winner Angelo Bertelli.
  • #53 – Sam Mustipher (OL) – Mustipher will be sharing the #53 jersey with reserve defensive end Justin Utupo this season.
  • #55 – Jonathan Bonner (DE) – Both Bob Golic (LB) and Mike Heldt (C) both earned All-American honors wearing #55 for Notre Dame.  The number was most recently worn by Prince Shembo making Bonner’s selection pretty fitting since he could fill a similar role in Notre Dame’s new defense.
  • #56 – Quenton Nelson (OL) – Two Notre Dame offensive linemen wore #56 to All-American status for Notre Dame in the past – Larry Dinardo and Dave Huffman.  Given Nelson’s talent and potential, it would not be a surprise if he became the third Golden Domer to be an All-American wearing #56.
  • #67 – Jimmy Byrne (OL)Louis Nix was the most notable recent player to wear #67 when he wore it as a freshman in 2010 before switching to #9 and then #1 for his final season.  John Dampeer was an All-American at OT in 1972 for Notre Dame.
  • #71 – Alex Bars (OL) – No Notre Dame player has worn the #71 for a little while but two former Golden Domers at T were All-Americans for Notre Dame – Paul Seiler (1966) and Jim White (1943).
  • #75 – Daniel Cage (DT) – Backup center Mark Harrell is currently wearing #75 over on the offensive side of the ball and the number has a pretty rich history for Notre Dame with seven different former All-Americans wearing it during their Notre Dame careers.  Aaron Taylor (OG), Tim Grunhard (OG), and Larry Williams (OG) most recently.
  • #82 – Nic Weishar (TE) – Alex Welch most recently wore #82 at the tight end position for Notre Dame before transferring to Miami of Ohio for his 5th year.  The most famous #82 at tight end for Notre Dame of course though was Mark Bavaro.  With Weishar’s skill, he could be the next All-American TE to wear #82 for the Irish.
  • #85 – Tyler Newsome (P/K) – An odd choice for a kicker/punter.  #85 was most recently worn by Troy Niklas before he left early for the NFL this off-season.
  • #92 – Grant Blankenship (DE/OLB) – Most recently worn by career reserve Tyler Stockton, Blankenship’s #92 suggests a future along the defensive line is more in the future than OLB which was a possibility for Blankenship.
  • #93 – Jay Hayes (DE) – There isn’t much history at Notre Dame with the #93 jersey – there hasn’t been a single All-American in Notre Dame history to wear #93.  Can Hayes be the first?
  • #96 – Daniel Mokwuah (DT) – Kona Schwenke wore #96 over the last four years for Notre Dame and there has been one DT to wear #86 to All-American status in Notre Dame History – Wally Kleine in Lou Holtz’s first season on the Notre Dame sideline.
  • #98 – Andrew Trumbetti (DE) – Trumbetti got his #98 in the spring when he enrolled early.  Anthony Weaver wore #98 for the Irish in the early 2000’s and while he wasn’t an All-American, he was a 2nd round NFL Draft pick who had a productive NFL career and has already transitioned to being a position coach for the Cleveland Browns.
Former Notre Dame WR Jeff Samardzija Made Right Choice

And with all of that… football simply cannot get here fast enough this year.

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  1. Michael the Archangel 3 years ago

    I just read ND is down to 81 scholarship players with Mahone and Sykes
    no longer on the team. I also read where ND has 5 preferred walk-ons,
    one being Coach Van Gorder’s son who plays QB.

    Are they already included in the 81?

    Will four of those walk-ons get those scholarships available this year?

    If not, why not?

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  2. duranko 3 years ago

    Jerry, I’d like to invite myself into your “we”. We have so often subjugated Michigan and Stanford, that those are automatic W’s. Right. And I am Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite! One game at a time. Kelly is smart enough to keep his team focused. The fans are beyond help.

    As for Shaz, we ought rename him Gilette, as he has a razor-sharp mind. He loves to quote Vince Lombard, who I’m pretty sure was the fry cook for Fat Shirley. But as a known Leahy enthusiast I’m sure da Shaz knows
    that Vince Lombardi learned offensive line play at Fordham under Sleepy Jim Crowley’s line coach, some guy named Frank Leahy.

    As for Bruce “I’m invisible as bj” Johnson, he is about to retire the trophy for irrelevant non-sequitur. Now I wouldn’t be so devious, so underhanded to actually look up the special team stats for the FSU Auburn game, but if I were to guess I’d guesstimate that Auburn didn’t get more than 17.5 yards per kickoff return, and further guess that FSU returned about, oh, say 4 for 172 and a TD. And I’d guess that Auburn only had about 36 yards in punt return yardage. But I wouldn’t want to tangle with invisible bj. On no! Brer Rabbit! Don’t thrown me in that briar patch.

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    1. Shazamrock 3 years ago

      There’s no “i” in “team” either.

      The Zen philosopher, Basho, once wrote:
      “A flute with no holes, is not a flute.
      A donut with no hole, is a Danish.”

      “He was a funny guy”

      -Ty Webb-

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  3. Rafferman 3 years ago

    What passes for journalism today. It’s rite of passage, unless you’re dealing with maritime law.

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  4. Jerry Seppanen 3 years ago

    We have enough challenges before Florida State

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  5. bruce johnson 3 years ago

    how to beat florida state:
    special teams!
    for example last year this was auburn’s hope
    “7. Special teams
    The Auburn Tigers excel in nearly every facet of special teams. Senior punter Steven Clark averages 42.5 yards per punt, including eight of more than 50 yards and 21 inside opponents’ 20-yard line. Only five of his 50 punts have been returned this season. Auburn kicker Cody Parkey leads FBS players with 67 touchbacks and he’s 14-for-19 on field goals. The Tigers were one of 17 FBS teams to return both a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns this season, and Chris Davis averages 20.1 yards for every punt return.”

    we need to pin them back with great kicking, break a couple of punts or kickoffs, otherwise we wont likely get there.

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    1. Shazamrock 3 years ago

      What’s this “we” stuff?

      Speak for yourself you Wonderful ray of Sunshine!

      “Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit”

      Vince Lombard

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    2. George 3 years ago

      You need to get this recipe for success into BK’s hands ASAP!

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  6. Woody O'Hardy 3 years ago

    Thought Bolcar and Pritchett were excellent, too!


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  7. bruce johnson 3 years ago

    jim lynch, bobo olsen, michael stonebreaker, manti teo?

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    1. Ron Burgundy 3 years ago

      Who are 4 people who have never been in your kitchen.

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  8. Nitz 3 years ago

    #85 Tony Hunter and Jack Snow? Or how about 3-time All American Jim Seymour, who SI and ESPN named the greatest college player of all time to wear #85?

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  9. Woody O'Hardy 3 years ago

    Bob Crable was (IMO) the baddest ass LB evah at ND!!!


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  10. bruce johnson 3 years ago


    tom schoen

    A consensus All-America pick in 1967 . . . earned a letter as backup quarterback in 1965 then started next two seasons at safety . . . led Irish in punt returns and interceptions as junior and senior . . . had seven interceptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns in ’66 national championship season, and led in punt returns with 29 for 252 yards and one TD . . . in ’67 had 52 tackles and 11 passes broken up, had four interceptions for 108 yards, recovered one fumble and returned 42 punts for 447 yards and one TD . . . ranked sixth in final NCAA stats in punt return yards as senior in ’67 . . . holds single-game record for punt return yards with 167 on nine returns vs. Pittsburgh in ’67 . . . played in 1967 East-West Shrine game . . . eighth-round selection of Cleveland in 1968 NFL draft.

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    1. Ron Burgundy 3 years ago

      Awesome. I’ll sleep better tonight now that I’ve read this.

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  11. Michael the Archangel 3 years ago

    re: Kolin Hill, taking Crable’s # 43 . . .
    “For Hill’s sake we won’t wish a future with the Jets on him (like Crable had), but back to back All-American seasons sure does sound nice.”

    Priceless, Frank! lol

    These new guys generate excitement for the future.
    Untested yet, yes.
    Can they make the transition
    to provide major college impact, TBD ?
    But I can’t recall such potential quality depth with them, and others already in place, for many years.

    I guess we’ll know more in three or four years, but I’m feeling optimistic about these newbies.
    My prediction for surprise impact guy sooner than later- #23, Drue Tranquill.

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  12. duranko 3 years ago

    Intriguing that Hayes took 93, more traditionally a DE number. He seems destined for DT.

    Tranquill is already ticketed for linebacker, but therein lies a story. Part of the speedification of the Notre Dame defense is illustrated in the move of former safety John Turner, and former receiver James Onwualu, noted for freakish athleticism as a high schooler to OLB, and they are joined by Tranquill in his #23. You have to ask yourself, do the Irish need to sub for a switch from the 4-3 to a 4-2-5, or is it already on the field with Turner, Onwualu and Tranquill “stacked” at the same position?

    As you look over the list of frosh, it is remarkable what they brought in at DL and LB to populate the 4-3 front. Bonner, Blankenship and Jhonny Williams each have to potential to have the freshly minted Under Armour numbers called a lot for sacks.

    This should be fun to watch.

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    1. NDSean 3 years ago

      I’ve seen 93 as both DE and DT, actually moreso at DT. He may play both, with DE when they go 3 down.

      I think ND will essentially be playing out of the 4-2-5 for a majority of the time, it just depends on whether it’s a Star LB or a nickel. I’d say if they’re going for a more traditional nickel set, then they’d probably trade Turner or J-Wu for Riggs/Luke.

      It’s currently unknown how mentally far along they are in terms of learning the playbook (though, since it’s a new scheme in general, that’s going to be a question for everybody on defense), but in terms of physical traits, they are definitely ready. This is definitely the most physically ready group of DL/LB’s we’ve had in a good long while.

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  13. Frank Buzolits 3 years ago

    The most famous player to wear 82 was Leon Hart. Some people just don’t know their Irish history,

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  14. Toulmin H. Brown 3 years ago

    “Manti Te’o made #5 legendary on the defensive side of the ball by winning almost every award possible other than the Heisman Trophy in 2012.”

    His game sealing interception in Norman, Oklahoma is certainly legend enough for me.

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  15. Toulmin H. Brown 3 years ago

    “Tom Clements wore #2 at QB for Notre Dame to All-American status in 1974.”

    I know who Tom Clements is. I think Alabama knows him also? : )

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