Security was incredibly a position of fantastic toughness for Notre Dame in 2018, and it really should only be more powerful in 2019.
Notre Dame fans anxiously awaited the arrival of Alohi Gilman in 2018 immediately after his transfer from Navy and sitting down out the 2017 year, and he didn’t disappoint. Upcoming to him was Jalen Elliott, a a great deal-maligned participant that enhanced significantly last year. The duo returns to South Bend this coming 12 months and really should direct a marvelous secondary that returns all but a single starter.
On major of Gilman and Elliott returning, the Irish will also have next 12 months gamers Houston Griffith, Derrik Allen and Paul Moala ready in the wings. The previous obtaining a ton of slot time as a legitimate freshman, and the latter creating his mark on specific teams. Allen preserved a 12 months of eligibility in the course of his rookie year, but was a very regarded recruit out of Georgia.
Joining those people 5 are 5-star protection Kyle Hamilton — also from Georgia — and Litchfield Ajavon. Ajavon is the sort of athlete that receives overlooked thanks to a scaled-down body and athletic characteristics. That explained, if he has a profession equivalent to Matthias Farley, it really should come as no shock.
Leaving Notre Dame are seniors Nick Coleman and Nicco Fertitta, whilst the upcoming of senior to be Devin Studstill is up in the air. He really should have his degree by semester’s end, and a grad transfer has been rumored. At the moment, he supplies top quality depth and knowledge if Notre Dame needs to enjoy another person in a pinch.
This is a group to be quite thrilled about in 2019. Alohi Gilman is a single of the greatest safeties in the region and really should be a captain for the Irish this coming drop. He will be the coronary heart and soul of the Notre Dame protection. Jalen Elliott showed a knack for currently being around the soccer in 2017, but could not change that into turnovers. In 2018, that all altered. Elliott was a uncooked athlete coming out of the Virginia large college ranks, but his ceiling was large. A significant 12 months is envisioned from this duo.
In 2018, Notre Dame solved the setting up protection issue. In 2019, they will seem to remedy the depth issue. Final 12 months, if Gilman or Elliott went down, it would have been an issue. Even so, with protection recruiting turning the corner, Notre Dame is in better position to take care of injuries and give rest to its starters. Enter Houston Griffith, Paul Moala, Derrik Allen and Kyle Hamilton. Griffith and Hamilton are functional enough to receive time in the slot and/or protection, whilst Moala and Allen could possibly enjoy nearer to the line of scrimmage if have to have be. The different stage of characteristics really should give Notre Dame with a ton of harmony in the again end of their 2019 protection. If Devin Studstill is on the roster come drop, he is yet another person who will enable.
Incoming freshman Litchfield Ajavon is possible a pink-shirt or selected to specific teams only in 2019, but his upcoming as a thumper in the Irish secondary up coming to Kyle Hamilton is fascinating to dream about.
Getting a seem at the totally free protection position, there is no question that Alohi Gilman is the starter. The previous Navy transfer unquestionably transcended the Notre Dame secondary last year. Gilman’s affect can not be understated. Following currently being forced to sit out in 2017 thanks to an NCAA ruling, I am undoubtedly “not” even now bitter about it.
Gilman produced the totally free protection position his own in 2018. Final year, in 13 game titles performed, Gilman tallied 94 tackles (58 solo), two forced fumbles, two interceptions and defended 5 passes. He is the definition of a significant-video game participant and has come to be a fan favored in his brief time at Notre Dame. He sealed the win and undefeated year at USC with a essential forced fumble, had two essential interceptions in opposition to No.12 Syracuse that turned the video game on its head and led the team in tackles in the decline in opposition to Clemson.
Just place, there is not a great deal Gilman simply cannot do.
On the lookout earlier Gilman on the depth chart, you will obtain senior Devin Studstill. Studstill has been massively underwhelming in his Notre Dame profession hence much. Following only showing up in three game titles last year, it is been greatly claimed that Studstill will seem to total a grad-transfer for the 2019 soccer year. At this stage in his profession, you simply cannot blame him. Studstill needs to be at a location where by he can make an affect and Notre Dame is possibly not it.
A lot more possible to be Gilman’s backup this year is Kyle Hamilton. A 5-star recruit out of Atlanta, no a single really should be shocked if Hamilton sees A Good deal of the area this year. Rated as the No.1 protection and No.15 overall participant in the 2019 course, there is no question that Clark Lea will struggle to continue to keep Hamilton on the sidelines. Hamilton chose the Irish over massive packages these kinds of as Clemson, Georgia, Auburn, Michigan and Ohio Point out. At 6’3″, 190 lbs, Kyle Hamilton is a freak athlete with the body and probable to be the greatest protection Notre Dame has witnessed in its background. Following watching his movie, it will make perception why he is continuously likened to Harrison Smith.
Following Gilman, Studstill (?) and Hamilton, you will obtain Paul Moala. The sophomore has however to be featured on the Notre Dame protection in his young profession and has predominantly been a specific teams person hence much. Unless there are injuries difficulties at totally free protection in 2019, it is possible Moala will continue being a specific teams person this year.
At sturdy protection, Jalen Elliott will possible be the starter come Week 1. I have my reservations and opinions about Elliott and no a single really should be stunned if the man driving him on the depth chart now, Derrik Allen, begins over him as the 12 months goes on. Elliott is vulnerable to faults and at periods he drives Notre Dame fans (myself provided) up the wall. Whiffs on tackles, lacking assignments, currently being to slow to figure out several schemes — you title it. Elliott is a sound participant with a fantastic nose for the ball, but Allen is the person that has probable and really should be obtaining taking part in time over Elliott. Count on to see Allen take over by Week 3 at Georgia.
Allen was a 4-star recruit ranked as the No. 9 overall protection and 108th overall participant in the 2018 course according to 247athletics.
Third on the sturdy protection depth chart is freshman dedicate Litchfield Ajavon. The 4-star and No.19 protection in the 2019 course chose Notre Dame over presents from Clemson and Georgia. Standing at 6’0″, 190 lbs, Ajavon has the body and pace to be elite at protection for the Irish in the upcoming, but not now. Count on to see toughness mentor Matt Balis incorporate some muscle mass on to Ajavon this year and assume to see him potentially make specific teams time.
Predictions and Expectations for 2019
Nathan: As stated above, I entirely assume protection to be a important toughness for Notre Dame in 2019. Gilman and Elliott comprise a single of the better combos in the region, and the depth is as gifted as ever under Brian Kelly. Clark Lea and Terry Joseph have this position group in a fantastic location shifting ahead.
Mason: Security will fascinating to look at this year. The two spots have fellas that extra than able of currently being quite successful starters, whilst also possessing gifted youth driving them. Manufacturing really should be equivalent to last year, if not a bit increased.