5 Most Impressive Notre Dame Football Players So Far in 2016

Deshone Kizer - Notre Dame QB
Photo: Kevin Jairaj // USA TODAY Sports

Two games into the season I take a look at the 5 most impressive Notre Dame football players.  You will notice a theme unfortunately.

1. Deshone Kizer, QB1 – Kizer has won the starting job and the hearts of coed fans.  The redshirt sophomore has seen his stock skyrocket so high the first two games to where some mock NFL drafts have him going #1 overall.  Completing over 70% helps while only have one turnover and accounting for 9 touchdowns overall.  Kizer is the best QB in the Brian Kelly era and frankly it’s not even close.  Kizer has been so good vs Texas and Nevada it’s easier to remember his incompletions because there have been so few vs his great play overall.

Related: Four Horsemen of the Week – Nevada

2. Mike McGlinchey, OT – “Big Mike” has made the transition from right tackle to blind side protector flawlessly.  With big shoes to fill with the graduation of Ronnie Stanley (6th overall to Baltimore) McGlinchey has stepped in and dominated both Texas and Nevada while keeping Kizer’s jersey clean.

3. CJ Sanders, WR/KR – “Little Ray” has been doing it all so far for Notre Dame this season.  Sanders ranks 4th in the nation in punt returns, averaging 25 yards per return.  With the loss of ND’s 3 starting wideouts Sanders has stepped in and caught 2 big touchdowns including one in OT vs Texas.  While he may be small in stature Sanders has a very quick first step and has shown the ability to replace a guy of Will Fuller’s big playmaking ability rather seamlessly.

4. Equanimeous St. Brown, WR – While his name appears to be straight out of a “Key and Peele” skit there is no laughing matter when it comes to this sophomore WR.  St. Brown leads all receivers in catches (11) and yards (160) while also catching 2 touchdown passes including this acrobatic flip vs Texas…

5. Josh Adams, RB – Nursing a bad hammy has not held back Adams from leading the team in rushing yards (160) despite only getting a combined 21 carries the first two games.  If Notre Dame is going to be able to run the ball with consistency starting this week vs Sparty they need to get Adams more carries.  He’s clearly the better back over “co” starter Tarean Folston.

Matt Fairchild grew up a fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Falcons.  In other words he has a sports team problem on top of his drinking problem.  Displaying a loyal, never-ending-love for his teams despite their consistent struggles to return to their “glory days” only shows the insane ramblings that permeate his controversial sport writings.  Fairchild started SportsCrack.com in 2005 where you can find great t-shirts and sports merchandise.  Follow Matt on Twitter @sportscrack

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  1. Will Fuller made big play after big play for ND and had 1258 yards and 14 TDS his last year, averaging over 20 yards per catch. CJ Sanders has had 2 plays (excellent plays, mind you) where he runs across the field looking for space, the longest being 25 yards. What a ridiculous comparison.

    Re: other posts – Golden Tate is one of the best receivers in Notre Dame history, so that’s a farce. Watch Golden Tate highlights again at ND and then look at Sanders. Riddick is a closer comparison, but Riddick weighed 15-20 pounds more. I’d like to see Sanders bulk up to close to 200 lbs while in college.

    Right now he’s what Amir Carlisle should have been, with a Theo Riddick ceiling.

  2. Ryan,
    I agree regarding Sanders being like Tate: small, quick with great playmaking ability when he touches the ball. Riddick is strong and able to get tough short yards as well as catch the ball. 2 different players. There’s more talent on the offense now than in many years

  3. Agree on the 5.

    However, to say Sanders is “replacing Will Fuller’s big playmaking ability seamlessly” is a real stretch. Sure, it appears that Sanders is quick in space and can make some miss, but I don’t see him getting behind defenses when running his routes. I’d be curious to see what Sanders’s top end speed is. Quickness and top end speed are much different. Sanders reminds me exactly of Theo Riddick, almost identical really. Very quick, shifty, small in stature, but doesn’t possess top end speed.

    Will Fuller was one of a kind because he had both and you can already see these skills in his transitioning to the NFL and already being successful there. Unfortunately, Notre Dame coaches did not fully utilize Fuller. Imagine if he was returning punts AND kicks…and with his vision…that would have been something special. Maybe they were scared of him being injured if he did it all? We’ll never know I guess. I just think if you have an athlete like that, e.g. Rocket, Tim Brown, etc., why wouldn’t you utilize them for every aspect of the game?

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