The Notre Dame Fighting Irish got a whole lot of good news today when Te’von Coney decided to return for his senior year. Coney and Jerry Tillery both decided in the 11th hour, and the Irish defense could be fierce in 2018.
We talk about the mission everyday: graduate our players and win a national championship. While I’m excited to have Jerry and Te’von return from a football standpoint, I’m proud that they both believe in this mission and value the significance of the ND degree.— Brian Kelly (@CoachBrianKelly) January 15, 2018
Coney was the teams leading tackler and sack leader in 2017 after starting the season as #2 on the depth chart. Quickly, Coney started to show himself as the team’s best defensive player throughout the course of the season. His numbers this year match with what Jaylon Smith did in his junior year.
This isn’t the final piece to the puzzle for the defense, however, and we will get more into that soon. However... Coney, Tillery, and Drue Tranquill’s return give the Irish a lot of firepower on that side of the ball.
If they can just figure out what to do at safety under new defensive coordinator, Clark Lea, this has the potential to be one of the best defenses we have seen at Notre Dame in a long time - even the 2012 squad.