The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be a couple of guys short on Saturday when they host the Vanderbilt Commodores.
LINEBACKER OUT FOR THE YEAR
Redshirt freshman, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah suffered a broken foot in practice this week and will be out for the year. JOK was the backup to Asmar Bilal at ROVER, and a special teams player.
True freshman Shayne Simon will have to step up into the role that JOK held. Simon, a former 4 Star recruit from St. Peter’s prep, has been cross-training at both the BUCK and ROVER. Many thought that Simon would be able to win the starting ROVER spot this fall, and even though Bilal ended up winning the job, Simon is still considered to be one of the brightest spots for the future. Given his role now and that cross-training, we should expect to see a lot of him on Saturday — but mostly on special teams.
“The question would be about him getting in a position where he can help us. He’s going to have to play sooner or later. Each week is about getting him closer if something happens because he has to play at a high level for us. He can go into a game and play, but we have to continue to build on getting him to play at a high level.”
COLE KMET OUT FOR VANDY
Sophomore tight end, Cole Kmet, will be out this week with a high ankle sprain injury that he suffered in Notre Dame’s win over the Ball State Cardinals. While Alize Mack has been listed as the starter for the season, Kmet played a role similar to a co-starter. Fifth year senior Nic Weishar and sophomore Brock Wright will both see expanded roles this week.
There is no timetable for a return, but high ankle sprains can (and will) linger for quite a while.
A WIDER NET AT RECEIVER
There are a few moves being made this week at receiver. Miles Boykin said earlier this week that the position group played poorly against Ball State and their play directly affected the play of Brandon Wimbush.
Notre Dame and head coach Brian Kelly will be looking for true freshman Kevin Austin and sophomore Michael Young to contribute more in separate roles.
“Both of them will contribute to be one. You take both of them to get that one guy. Right now, Michael knows the offense a little bit better than Kevin. Kevin has little more length and can do more in 1-on-1 matchups.”
“We moved Kevin to the short field where Miles (Boykin) is. We feel he can give us some 1-on-1 matchups. We moved Michael back out to where Chase (Claypool) is to give us a little more screen quickness and quick game action.”
Another true freshman, Joe Wilkins is also getting a closer look this week and could see some game action.
“We moved him up. Joe stayed with us all week. We liked what we saw there.”
Wilkins was moved from cornerback to receiver during fall camp and has an explosive skill set.
Just a friendly reminder that this week’s game starts at 2:30. Eat your breakfast y’all!