2018 Notre Dame Football Post-Camp Stock Report

Notre Dame RB Jafar Armstrong

The Notre Dame football team wrapped up fall camp over the weekend, with classes starting today for the student body. The media was allowed to observe four full practices, and we learned a lot from the reports of those in attendance, however it can be difficult to keep up with every update with the football team, the status of players, etc.

I run a weekly Stock Report following each game week and thought it’d be a good idea to run one with camp ending. A bit of a where does the team stand as preparations begin in earnest for the opening contest against Michigan.

Trending Up

Nick Coleman, Safety

Coleman has come up a lot in the last week or so with Brian Kelly and beat reporters following his performance in practices. It’s been a long journey for him: starting nickel in 2016 against Texas, relegated to the bench early that season, moved to safety in 2013 and start all 13 games, fall to third team in the spring of 2018, play his way back into the starting lineup during 2018 fall camp. What a ride for the senior from Ohio, who played mainly running back in high school.

Expect to see him starting next to Alohi Gilman in week one and split time with freshman Houston Griffith.

Kevin Austin, Receiver

The true freshman receiver has exploded in the last week of camp and has worked his way into the receiver rotation, who will likely come in for either Chase Claypool and Mikes Boykin at times. His physicality lends itself to early time, and his explosiveness has helped him separate from defenders. I’ve been bullish on him since he signed, he was basically a five star talent in my mind, and if you think of him that way it’s no surprise he has been impressive in fall camp.

He’ll see the field a lot, hopefully the passing game is good enough for Austin to get a legit opportunity to showcase his talents. The sky is the limit for him.

Asmar Bilal, Rover

I’ve been down on Bilal pretty much all off-season, so to see him show up as a positive in the latter stages of camp has been a big plus. Remember, Bilal doesn’t have to be spectacular. The front seven has a number of high impact playmakers, having someone who knows their assignment, and makes the plays available to them, is very useful. I think of Bilal being able to put up a Danny Spond circa 2012 type of season. Spond wasn’t making plays all over the place, but he was dependable and did what the defense needed of him. It looks like Bilal is evolving into that type of player, solidifying the defense even more.

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Jafar Armstrong, Running Back

Thank goodness for this, because Notre Dame is going to need a high quality version of him in the opener. Brian Kelly compared him favorably to former running back Theo Riddick, which would obviously be a huge boost to the offense with the all but certain unavailability of senior Dexter Williams in the early weeks.

We’ve only seen Armstrong run through really big holes going back to the spring game, and the Michigan front seven is an entirely different animal. But, Armstrong’s versatility would be useful with Williams available or not, and it’s hard not to get excited about what a player with his skillset can bring to the offense.

Chris Finke, Receiver

Dating back to 2016, Finke is constantly referenced as being unguardable in practice, and this season is no exception. He seems to be pretty firmly set as the third receiver, beating out Michael Young who dealt with some injuries throughout camp. He has developed a nice rapport with Wimbush out of the slot, and his senior quarterback seems to trust him. It certainly appears the former walk-on will have a pretty big role on the 2018 team.

Trending Down

Jalen Elliot, Safety

It was all right there in front of Elliott at safety heading into the fall, and it might be slipping away. He appears to have followed Nick Coleman’s spring trajectory, falling behind both Coleman and Houston Griffith on the depth chart, and it may be difficult for him to crack the rotation if everyone remains healthy. Haven’t given up on him as a player at all, but his hill just got a little bit steeper.

Tony Jones Jr., running back

It’s not that Jones Jr. was bad in camp or anything, but he was certainly unremarkable. It’s in stark contrast to the way reporters talked about him in the spring of 2017, when he flashed on big runs regularly, and it was close to the conventional wisdom that he was at times Notre Dame’s best back, and this was with Josh Adams on the team. Now there just isn’t a lot being said about the redshirt sophomore. There is a lot of consternation about the running back position this year, and it largely stems from the unknown of what Jones Jr. can deliver this season.

Michael Young, receiver

Not really a result of his own doing, he just incurred an injury that required him to miss some time. However, that allowed Finke to cement himself in the lineup and for Kevin Austin to emerge ahead of him. Still expect to see Young on the field a lot, even in week one, but he might not be featured as much as expected coming out of the spring. He’ll have plenty of opportunity to play his way into a more prominent role, however.

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7 comments

  1. David Knight 12 months ago

    Stfu about Urban Meyer. Were you on the panel? Does he coach at Notre Dame? You cant even spell right in the correct manner. It doesn’t have a w. Chris Finke is a good ball player. He wouldn’t be starting, otherwise. You two go back to sleep. You’re giving me ED.

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    1. Bruce G Curme 12 months ago

      David K,
      I think he meant “WRITE” – not “RIGHT”

      BGC ’77 ’82

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    2. ndcrazymike 12 months ago

      Did you read the report, read the truth that they delayed releasing till after the press conference!!! TILL then STFU !! I don’t care where he coaches!! Sad its acceptable to you! Go see a DR for your ED!

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  2. ndcrazymike 12 months ago

    nice to see another big 10 team cover up a lying scumbag coach who wins games at the cost of domestic violence!! Meyer got up there and read a statement you could tell he didn’t w right or believe!! First penn state coach paterno KNOWINGLY keeps around for years a coach he knows molested kids!!! then MSU after years of a gymnastics doctor sexually abuses girls FINALLY fires him! BIG 10 must b really proud!! And LOUISVILLE fires PITINO FOR PAYING RECRUITS!! MOLEST KIDS BEAT UP WOMEN BUT DAMMIT DONT GIVE THE KIDS ANY MONEY!!!

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  3. John 12 months ago

    Easy call on Jones Jr. he was unproductive all last season.

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  4. James 12 months ago

    Fink sure seems easy to cover when the games start

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    1. Li 12 months ago

      the entire receiving core is gonna be an easy cover 🙁

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