Reviewing the Redshirts is an off-season series meant to resurrect discussion around the current Irish freshmen who did not play in 2015.
There were 11 players this past year who retained a year of eligibility and today we look at a growing lineman from Chicagoland.
DT, Micah Dew-Treadway
Hometown: Bolingbrook, Illinois
247 Sports COMPOSITE RANKING:
3-star, No. 29 SDE, No. 9 IL, No. 543 USA, 0.865 Score
Need at Position: Mild
Projected Spot on 2016 Depth Chart: 3rd String
By now you may have forgotten about Dew-Treadway. The rising academic sophomore from suburban Chicago was offered on May 29, 2014 and only 13 days later gave his verbal to Notre Dame. Just 7 months later he was enrolled in classes and gearing up for his first spring practice. Here were my comments on MDT following National Signing Day last year:
MDT reminds me a little bit of a less talented version of Jay Hayes from last cycle. In comparison to fellow classmate Brandon Tiassum, I like Dew-Treadway's build and frame a lot more. He's a big kid but still relatively lean with long arms and plenty of room for good weight. For many of these kids we're talking in terms of potential and I can see the clay available to create a good football player here. But right now, heading into his freshman year I'm not sure if MDT has the goods to be a future starter. Although, I will say that if he has appropriate weight and strength gains he could be a rotational player fairly early in his career.
"He has a good frame" is an overly used refrain in recruiting to say a player can gain weight--or add 'good' weight more specifically. In the case of Dew-Treadway it's absolutely true, though. He has long arms and neck, he's tall, and he was lean coming out of high school without a big lineman gut.
When he committed to Notre Dame there was a lively discussion in our comment section, among other things, about which position Dew-Treadway would play in college. Back in the summer of 2014 he was listed at 275 pounds and seemed like he could play a variety of positions. By the time August camp opened MDT had already gained 25 pounds and was standing at 3 bills.
Can he battle for minutes at strong-side defensive end? This might be really difficult as he's 25 pounds heavier than backups Jonathan Bonner and Grant Blankenship and likely doesn't come close to matching Isaac Rochell's athleticism who's a little heavier at 287 pounds.
We don't know how big MDT is going to get--a lot of players gain 80% of their playing weight real early in their college career then taper off that growth as upperclassman--but it would seem he's destined to stay on the interior now that he's in the 300 club. Some weight loss is possible but probably not likely giving his frame.
Trying to find Dew-Treadway a spot really highlights Notre Dame's big problem on the defensive line: Where are the 3-tech gap penetrating tackles? Jay Hayes (6-3, 285) is about as close to the prototypical size but after his second-year redshirt questions abound on his ability. We're assuming Jerry Tillery (6-6, 305) starts at 3-tech because his burst is good enough, however, it's anybody's guess who fills out the depth chart behind him.
Most likely, Dew-Treadway is the best fit at nose guard especially if he puts on more weight. Even if there won't be much playing time available there in 2016 the Irish are losing Jarron Jones after next fall and Daniel Cage has quickly become a junior with only 2 more years left on his eligibility. Someone has to begin being groomed as a replacement, right?
Simply put, either MDT's weight stays steady, the coaches like his quickness, and he plays 3-tech or he gets too big and plays the nose. The likely best case scenario is that he's pushing for some backup reps somewhere along the line if not this spring than at least in August camp.