The OFD countdown marches on - who just missed the top 10? Also stay tuned over at Inside the Irish for Keith Arnold's composite rankings and final list.
#15: Max Redfield
Five star talent + inconsistency in young career = the most polarizing player on our ballot. It's a pretty simple question really - do you think Redfield has had a lot to learn early in his young career with two defensive coordinators, and the light will turn on this year? Then he has the talent to be an All-American and have a Harrison Smith-like career. On the other hand, if the communication and mental side of the game continue to be a challenge, then it could be an average four year output.
High: 9 (Brendan)
Low: 23 (Eric)
#14: CJ Prosise
As talented as the Notre Dame roster is at skill positions, no one is really a close comparison to Prosise's versatility and combination of size and speed. There's room for improvement with his pass catching, but the former safety recruit has become an offensive weapon talented enough to demand many touches per game and effective as a decoy for the defense on fakes.
The cross training at running back and early snaps with Greg Bryant suspended will be very interesting - we haven't seen a lot of Prosise running between the tackles and working with less space.
High: 12 (Michael/Eric)
Low: 17 (PBurns)
#13: Nick Martin
It's tough to judge the offensive line's performance for most of 2014, and that includes Martin - outside of Ronnie Stanley, the group struggled with consistency and communication as players were shuffled around both guard positions, center, and right tackle. Martin seemed poised to be one of the best centers in the country last year, but then bumped over to left guard and battling some minor injuries for much of the season. The younger Martin is a strong candidate to return as captain again this year and will be playing to up his draft stock at a position that isn't highly valued in the NFL.
High: 8 (Brendan)
Low: 18 (PBurns)
#12: Isaac Rochell
In a suddenly deep defensive line rotation Rochell has the versatility to play inside and outside depending on the matchup, and has been an immovable object in run defense. Given how last season ended - giving up 242 rushing yards per game in the last six - I'd say that's a pretty big need.
Rochell's pass rushing ability might also be underrated - he led the Irish with 10 quarterback hurries last season. If he turns a few of those hurries into sacks Rochell could challenge Sheldon Day and Jarron Jones as the top defensive lineman on the team.
High: 8 (Eric)
Low: 15 (Michael)
#11: Mike McGlinchey
This is a high ranking for a player who only saw significant action in two games last season, but McGlinchey is gigantic and impressed against LSU. The coaching staff is clearly very high on Alex Bars and his future at tackle, so it's indicative of how strongly they feel about McGlinchey that Bars is competing at guard this year.
McGlinchey is extremely athletic and I'd take odds on him both catching a pass this year as an eligible receiver near the goal line and blocking a field goal (he already had one against Northwestern last year). McGlinchey, Rochell, and Martin actually were exactly tied on our ballots, with each receiving votes as high as #8.
High: 8 (PBurns)
Low: 17 (Brendan)
Any surprises you'd have in your top 10?