11 Players to Watch in the 2024 Notre Dame Blue – Gold Game

Notre Dame hits the field for the final spring practice for 2024 in the annual Blue and Gold game. While the Irish will be missing some headliners like Benjamin Morrison and Riley Leonard, there will still be plenty of rising players to look out for. Here are some players in particular to look out for who have either made some noise this spring or players that Notre Dame needs to step up this fall.

Note: I left off the quarterback because it seemed too obvious to list them all with Riley out.

Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa, LB, GOLD

No player may have generated as much hype this spring as the freshman early enrollee linebacker from California. At this point, there’s been so much positive buzz around him that it would be an upset if he didn’t have some sort of rotational role, at least as a true freshman this fall. At a minimum, look for KVA to be a special teams maven this fall. On Saturday, KVA should get a lot of run with just four linebackers on the Gold Squad.

Adon Shuler, S, GOLD

Early on in the spring, Shuler was the early favorite to be the player with the most buzz, with a strong start to the spring before KVA started to blow up midway through camp. Shuler didn’t play much as a true freshman last year, but the New Jersey native looks poised to grab a starting spot in the Irish secondary opposite All-American Xavier Watts at safety. Shuler and Watts both landed on the Gold team, which could give us a glimpse of what the backend of the secondary will look like at the start of the season.

Micah Gilbert, WR, GOLD

Another freshman who has generated some buzz this spring is wide receiver Micah Gilbert. Many thought 5-star Cam Williams would be the one to make an immediate impact this spring, but it was the less heralded but still 4-star Gilbert who drew rave reviews early on in camp. Gilbert will be catching passes from CJ Carr and Kenny Minchey on Saturday.

Charles Jagusah, OT, GOLD

The biggest question mark for the entire team heading into the 2024 season is offensive tackle, with Joe Alt and Blake Fisher headed to the NFL. While there is still a question of who will start at right tackle, it is widely assumed that Jagusah essentially has the left tackle position locked up. That doesn’t mean there won’t be growing pains for a first-time starter, so it’ll be interesting to see how he holds up in his first extended action.

Tosh Baker, OT, GOLD

On the right side of the line, Tosh Baker is the leader in the clubhouse, though this battle will likely wage well into fall camp. Baker will try to stake his claim on the position with strong performance, but it’s hard to imagine any scenario in which this position settles itself on Saturday.

Christian Gray, CB, GOLD

With Benjamin Morrison out after shoulder surgery earlier this spring, Gray has an opportunity to shine on Saturday. Even with Morrison figuring to be back for fall camp, Gray is going to play a lot this fall. Gray and Jaden Mickey came into the spring battling it out for the right to start opposite Morrison this fall.

Boubacar Traore, DE, BLUE

You can never have enough pass rushers in today’s game. Is Boubacar Traore ready to be a regular in the Notre Dame pass rush this fall? We’ll get a glimpse of that in the Blue-Gold Game. We saw brief glimpses of his pass-rushing skills last fall, but the consistency wasn’t there as a true freshman. We know Al Golden can manufacture pressure, but it would be even better to have a potential pass rusher who can generate their own pressure. Traore could potentially be that kind of pass rusher.

Bryce Young, DE, BLUE

While still likely only a situational player at best as a true freshman, early enrollee Bryce Young showed up on campus looking the part. It will be interesting to see how he plays and if he shows enough to suggest that he could be a part-time player this fall. The future is very bright for Young, the only question is if the future can be now.


Notre Dame has a lot of production to replace after Javontae Jean Baptiste played about as well as Notre Dame could have hoped for after he transferred from Ohio State last year. Duke transfer RJ Oben will be looked on to replace much of that production on the strong side. How well he’s picked up Al Golden’s defense will be worth watching tomorrow.

Jaylen Sneed, LB, BLUE

Notre Dame needs Jaylen Sneed to play to his potential in 2024 for the defense to reach the heights it needs for the Irish to be a playoff contender. Reports have been that Sneed is starting to do just that. We’ve seen flashes from Sneed for two years now. It’s worth watching to see if there is more consistency from the uber-athletic linebacker.

Kris Mitchell, WR, BLUE

Notre Dame had trouble getting the ball vertical last year. While he might not quite reach Will Fuller levels, transfer wide receiver Kris Mitchell should help in that department. Hopefully, we will see Mitchell’s number called on some vertical routes tomorrow.

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