Dominant defensive line play is a key ingredient to being a consistent playoff contender, and Alabama and Clemson have proven that. Fans saw that from Notre Dame in 2018 as well, as the Fighting Irish front emerged as one of the best in the nation.
Having a front that could attack the quarterback and slow down the opposition ground game improved the entire defense. To make another run in 2019, the Fighting Irish defense needs another strong year from the front. In order to have an elite defense year after year, the defensive line development and recruiting must continue to be strong.
Defensive line coach Mike Elston has taken recruiting at the position to a higher level in recent seasons, especially at defensive tackle. End recruiting has been good, but not to the level we’ve seen inside, but Elston is working to change that.
Notre Dame is on the verge of landing one of its best d-line classes of the Brian Kelly era. Elston landed standout end NaNa Osafo-Mensah and physical edge player Howard Cross III in the early signing period. They are joined by talented defensive tackles Jacob Lacey and Hunter Spears.
Elston is trying to finish the class off with Concord (Calif.) De La Salle end Isaiah Foskey, a five-star upside player with skills that are comparable at the same age to current standout Julian Okwara.