When Irish eyes are leaving

Man, Notre Dame’s got a few key bodies to replace this season.

The Irish have some big shoes to fill when it comes to the offensive skill positions. Leading rusher Dexter Williams is no longer around after falling just short of 1,000 yards a year ago. He averaged 6.3 yards per carry and scored 12 touchdowns.

Notre Dame also has to replace two of its top four pass catchers from a season ago, a problem UGA is familiar with. The team’s leading receiver, Miles Boykin, was taken in the third round by the Baltimore Ravens and showed the NFL Combine that he’s a tremendous talent at 6-foot-4 220 pounds. Athletic tight end Alize Jones is also gone.

The Fighting Irish return four starters on the offensive line from a year ago. Last year’s right guard, Trevor Ruhland, will likely move over to center to replace Sam Mustipher.

There are also some major losses on the defensive side, where Notre Dame loses two of its most active linebackers, it’s best cornerback, and its best defensive tackle.

Te’Von Coney was the Irish’s leading tackler in 2018 with 123 stops. He also had 9.5 tackles for a loss and was one of the unit’s biggest leaders. Drue Tranquill, the team’s third-leading tackler, was also a key performer. He had an interception against Georgia in 2017 and racked up 86 stops in his final season with the program. He was taken in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Chargers.

Cornerback Julian Love, who was a finalist for the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, elected to forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft after a strong junior campaign. He was taken in the fourth round of the draft by New York where he’ll join Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker, the winner of the Jim Thorpe Award and first-round pick.’

Maybe Notre Dame’s biggest loss on either side of the ball, however, is defensive tackle Jerry Tillery. The Los Angeles Chargers took him with the No. 28 overall pick in the draft and the 6-foot-6 295-pound defender was almost unblockable in his final college season. He had 30 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, five quarterback hurries, and three forced fumbles while consistently fighting double-team blocks.

Notre Dame also has to replace punter Tyler Newsome and place-kicker Justin Yoon.

Ian Book is back at quarterback, and so is most of his o-line, so it’s not all gloom and doom for the Irish.  But that’s a lot of talent gone, at almost every level.


Filed under Notre Dame's Faint Echoes

13 responses to “When Irish eyes are leaving

  1. stoopnagle

    Hmm.. yes.. but how have they recruited?


  2. That offensive line 2 years ago with its pro prospects couldn’t block us. Remember that tackle that everyone gushed over got beat consistently by Bellamy and Carter.

    I look forward to seeing SEC speed abuse these guys once again. Throw in 80,000+ to make ND go silent count. It may be a long night for that offensive line.


  3. Macallanlover

    Did not realize how much they had lost from last season, how in the heck are they rated so highly in pre-season rankings? (Mr. Steele, when is the mailman gonna deliver my new CFB “bible”?) I am sure they have some guys returning who saw a decent amount of action last season, and we will certainly get their best shot, but they got hit pretty hard on every unit except OL. Book got a lot of press last season but against a weak schedule. I will save my ND worry for the “week of”, this 2019 UGA team should not struggle at home against them.


  4. lakedawg

    Eight PM on a hot September day and a lot of drunk obnoxious Ga fans, thinking this one is going to be a butt kicking.


  5. practicaldawg

    Their 2019 defense won’t be able to get off the field and will get gassed quickly by Kirby’s rushing attack. This is a terrible matchup for ND. Fromm may throw the ball 5 times.


  6. Dawg1

    A New K and PK is NOT the way to go into a hostile environment on the road early season.


  7. illini84

    Is the game time set?


  8. Cojones

    Take every lost player at ND and you can match many side-by-side that we lost to the draft as well. We have been ranked 3rd and 4th with our player losses and ND is being treated no different.

    I view ND with the same capabilities as last year’s LSU and we know what happened there. I don’t feel that ole’ UGA superiority coming through when viewing ND’s possibilities and coaching ability to come close to matching us this year. I view ND with full caution this year and am glad we are playing in Sanford.

    Btw, why not encourage UGA fans to show up with bright flashlights as well as using their computer flashlights and then really light up that stadium under dimmed lights at the start of the 4th qtr.


    • Macallanlover

      Tactical flashlights are man made, artificial. Cellphones come from the air, thus natural…thanks to Al Gore and Ma Bell. ND fans will get a good dosing of Holiness in their Sanford experience, relax about this game. They will definitely have a steeper fall from 20117 than we will. Book it, Dano!