Counting Down the Irish: 15 to 11, including 2 Notre Dame offensive linemen – Inside the Irish
In the last decade of this ranking of Notre Dame’s 25 most influential players, never has a freshman finished in the top 20, let alone the top 15.
Irish writers weren’t expecting much from Aaron Lynch (No.22 in 2011), Jaylon Smith (No.23 in 2013) or Kyle Hamilton (No.29 in 2019). Perhaps tight end Michael Mayer would have peaked last season, but with Tommy Tremble still there and seen as a strong receiving threat, it’s hard to envision two Irish tight ends in the top 20, even though pandemic events had not prevented this annual series.
Likewise, in Notre Dame history, only one freshman started a season opener on the offensive line.
Left tackle Blake Fisher got that first honor, the least of those trend breakers, as it’s widely assumed he will join Sam Young in Irish history on the eve of Labor Day.
15: Braden Lenzy, senior receiver, 103 points
High ranking: n ° 8
Low ranking: n ° 20
Nine ballots in total (out of 10).
If Lenzy finishes the season as Notre Dame’s 15th most impactful player, it will be reminiscent of his 2019, when he showed what his speed can do when he’s healthy. If he doesn’t, assume he’s unhealthy.
This writing could be that easy. Lucid Lenzy with two hamstrings at full strength can average 20 yards per touch (18.9 yards per touch on 24 touches in nine games in 2019). Lenzy struggles to reach halfway (7.1 yards per touch on 10 touches in seven games in 2020).
Irish head coach Brian Kelly said Lenzy finished in the top 10 in off-season training. If we take this at face value, a stronger Lenzy should tend towards this 2019 version, and this version could change the season of Notre Dame.
– Tyler James (@TJamesNDI) August 7, 2021
14: Blake Fisher, freshman left tackle, 112 points
High ranking: # 6
Low ranking: n ° 21
Nine ballots in total (out of 10).
No pressure, kid.
Kelly can keep dancing around naming Fisher a starter, at least for a few more weeks, but actions speak louder than words. While second Tosh Baker could potentially perform a late charge to win the post, that possibility existed in the winter as well, and the Irish were still planning to find a left tackle elsewhere on the roster.
That’s part of why Notre Dame worked in early spring with the idea of pulling senior Jarrett Patterson away from the center. He was recruited to play tackle, and using it to close the line with fifth year Josh Lugg seemed like the best case scenario for the edges of the offensive line.
Then Fisher came in in the spring and excelled from the start. Part of the surprise has to do with Fisher’s height: College freshmen typically aren’t 6 feet 6 inches tall while weighing 335 pounds. Part of that has to do with studying it quickly, learning from each movie shoot, and applying it in the next practice, according to Lugg. Overall, Fisher has changed the Irish plan, and the change is a clear sign that he will start on the left tackle at Florida State.
Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 54 Blake Fisher, freshman left tackle listed early, starting?
“The [early enrollees] make that decision (to keep Patterson center) a lot easier, ”Kelly said on Saturday. “So we had to assess this, so some of my comments (in the spring) were before we knew exactly what was going on there.”
In this regard, if Fisher is successful, his impact will be magnified. His success on the left tackle will keep Patterson in his best position, improving the offensive line to two positions.
Okay, no pressure.
13: Clarence Lewis, second-year cornerback, 118 points
High ranking: # 9
Low ranking: n ° 24
Lewis surprisingly filled a need for Notre Dame in 2020, as a cornerback who could fend for himself in covering the man even against explosive offenses. Without Lewis, the comfortable 31-17 victory in North Carolina could have turned into a 38-35 shootout, for example.
Building on his first campaign of 33 tackles and seven missed passes will be a challenge, but there is every reason to expect Lewis to do so, as evidenced by the fact that he is the first of 13 players to appear on the 10 ballot papers.
12: Cain Madden, Marshall transfer, right goalie, 121 points
High ranking: n ° 8
Low ranking: n ° 18
Madden’s arrival in June finalized some of the changes in Irish intentions that Fisher had started in March. Even with Fisher on the left tackle, Notre Dame lacked a right guard. Placing Patterson there would reinforce a weakness.
A second All-American team is also a good way to consolidate weakness.
Perhaps other than Alohi Gilman, Madden will be competing with Wisconsin transfer Jack Coan to be the most impactful transfer of the Kelly era. Gilman has had a few seasons to change Irish culture; Madden and Coan will have a year to leave their mark.
Madden will be hard to miss. If Fisher spreads 335 pounds over a 6-foot-6 frame, think about how Madden’s 310-pound scattering over a 6-foot-2 ½ body justifiably earned him the nickname “dump truck.”
Marshall’s defeat will be Notre Dame’s gain in 2021, not to mention Patterson’s.
How does my mind work?
Eat that leftover pizza, recommended by @_AudreyKennedy / Axios MN, listen @SplitZoneDuo discuss ABA, when out of nowhere, without context to their conversation, I sit on my #Our Lady save the prediction, but not on specific outcomes. pic.twitter.com/U63wFQLsvr
– Douglas Farmer (@D_Farmer) August 11, 2021
11: Kurt Hinish, fifth-year defensive tackle, 138 points
High ranking: # 9
Low ranking: n ° 17
To claim that someone should be ranked higher, someone else has to be ranked lower as well. It’s hard to envision a spot outside the top 10 for a fifth-year defensive tackle, let alone the three-year-old, who is poised to set the program record for games played at a level that doesn’t. should never be achieved, literally. But time will show that it is also difficult to knock someone down in the top 10.
But it must be recognized that some of the top 10 successes will be linked to Hinish. Spoiler alert: Two other defensive linemen, on both sides, are in the top 10. Hinish’s ability to breach the offensive line, thereby removing an escape route from an opposing quarterback, will make it easier for them to find their way through the offensive line. life. A certain middle linebacker is also in the top 10. Hinish’s constant handling of multiple blockers will keep him safe when chasing a running back.
Hinish’s stats have never been far-fetched (55 tackles in 50 games), but he’s always been effective (12 tackles for loss in the past two seasons). Defensive line rotations may keep those ratios the same in 2021, but that’s not much of a criticism of Hinish.
“Our defensive line room is extremely deep,” Irish defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman said on Tuesday. “In my years as a coordinator, the most successful I’ve had is when I’ve had a good waiting line. The depth of our d-line is unlike any other. … The d line is maybe the only one where we have to talk about three-way rotations, because there are so many good players in this room.
That luxury begins with Hinish, the Pittsburgh worker who will reach and exceed 60 games played assuming health. In the summer, this space suggested Hinish will make 10 tackles for a loss this season., building on his 4.5 in 2019 and 7.5 in 2020. If this bold idea comes to fruition, keeping him out of the top 10 may prove insane, even if that top 10 is rightly hard to break through. .
25: Jordan Botelho, second-year defensive end, Vyper, 33 points
24: Bo Bauer, senior linebacker, 34 points
23: Rylie Mills, sophomore defensive tackle, 34 points
22: Lawrence Keys, senior receiver, 42 points
21: Cam Hart, junior cornerback, 52 points
20: Marist Liufau, junior linebacker, 54 points
19: Josh Lugg, fifth-year offensive lineman, 67 points
18: Jack Kiser, junior linebacker, 71 points
17: Jayson Ademilola, senior defensive tackle, 93 points
16: Avery Davis, fifth-year wide receiver, 97 points
The electors :
Michael Bryan, 18 stripes
Patrick Engel, Blue and gold illustrated
Matt Freeman, Irish Sport Daily
Jack Leniart, Slap the sign
Mannion McGinley, The observer
Tom Noie, South Bend Grandstand
Tim O’Malley, Irish illustrated
Ryan Ritter, His faithful sons
Pete Sampson, Athleticism
Josh Vowles, One foot down