Julian Love had a great season for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in 2018. The junior cornerback is a huge reason why the Irish defense was so good this year, and he helped lead them to a No. 4 defensive pass efficiency ranking that help the Irish become the No. 3 team in the country and a participant in the College Football Playoff.
Despite being snubbed by the Thorpe Award for the best defensive back in the country, Julian Love became a consensus All-American by being placed on the first team defense in the first four lists of the five that count. The fifth, the AFCA All-America Team, placed Love on the second team which ended the chance to be a unanimous All-American.
Love was seemingly pushed aside by the other two Thorpe Award finalists, Deandre Baker and Greedy Williams. Here’s a reminder about how those three stacked up statistically in the 2018 season:
Thorpe Award Finalist Stats
|Julian Love ND||12||61||3||15||1||1||1|
|Deandre Baker UGA||11||37||2||9||2||1||0|
|Greedy Williams LSU||11||33||2||9||2||0||0|
Here’s another reminder that Greedy Williams played in a game in which his defense gave up 74 points, and he had a grand total of 1 tackle on his stat line.
It’s still a great honor for Love to be a consensus All-American, and he’s the first Irish defensive back to become an All-American of any type since 2003 when Vontez Duff was named a third team selection on the AP team, and Shane Walton was a unanimous All-American. That’s a real honor — and some really serious company to keep for Love.
It’s interesting that during the 16 year span, it was Julian Love that was able to reach this level. Much like Shane Walton (but without all that soccer stuff), no one expected Love to be this good when he first stepped on campus. Of all the 4 and 5 star defensive back recruits the Irish have signed during that time, it was a 3 star from one state over that has become one of the nation’s best.
Congratulations to Julian on this tremendous honor, and will someone please talk this kid into staying another year.