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Notre Dame Football: The Irish Lost A Linebacker, So How Many Do They Add?


NCAA Football: Stanford at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish lost a linebacker yesterday when Josh Barajas made a transfer to Illinois State official. Barajas was pretty much buried on the depth chart, and with the move to Mike Elko’s 4-2-5 defense, there is less room at the inn.

It should be mentioned that Notre Dame took a pass on two linebackers during the tail end of the last recruiting cycle because of this numbers issue.

That, obviously makes sense.

As of right now, the 2018 depth chart has seven players:

  • Te’von Coney
  • Jamir Jones
  • Jonathan Jones
  • David Adams
  • Drew White
  • Ovie Oghoufo
  • Bo Bauer

Both Oghoufo and Bauer will be freshman- and you might think that those numbers should be enough for the Irish in 2018 and possibly even 2019. And yet... Notre Dame is still heavily recruiting Shayne Simon, Cameron McGrone, Bo Calvert, and Jack Lamb.

McGrone could commit to Notre Dame during the Irish Invasion, and Shayne Simon could leave the Invasion with the Irish as his leader. Calvert is a bit of a longshot, but Lamb is still very much in play.

So... what is going on at linebacker? I recently asked this question after Dallas Gant committed to the Ohio State Buckeyes. If Notre Dame is turning away guys because of numbers last year, what will they do in 2018? After that is answered, we really need to ask, “why” to get a better grip on the situation.

After a spring practice session, have Clark Lea and Mike Elko decided that they need more than what they have- like a lot more? What would that say about our linebacker situation in 2018 and beyond if we are stocking a possible 9 backers? Is there a possibility that one or more could move over to Rover- or grow into a rush end?

I don’t have many answers here, but I do have a lot of questions. Questions that could be a bit clearer after Irish Invasion.