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This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football: #14 Devin Studstill

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This Palm Beach Gardens product aims to make a move in 2018.

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

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about all of them. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2018 season. Next in line is Devin Studstill.

#14 Devin Studstill

Devin Studstill joined the Irish as an early enrollee in 2016. He earned a starting role early on in the heralded 2016 BVG defense, and did show some promise during the season. It was most certainly not without errors and the typical freshman mistakes, but the potential was there.

And despite the hopeful nature of his first full season in South Bend, 2017 did not represent a capitalization upon that promise. He got passed up by the combination of converted-corner Nick Coleman and classmate Jalen Elliot. Studstill was subsequently relegated to a rotational role during his sophomore campaign.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

His stats declined in 2017 due to the reduction in playing time. His continued struggles were amplified when compared to an already struggling group of safeties. 2018 serves as a season of opportunities for Studstill. He can begin to improve and seriously contribute this season. If not, the writing may very well be on the wall.

This is his chance to prove that he is a stud, still.

(I regret nothing.)

3 Things To Know About Devin Studstill

  1. Studstill was recruited out of Palm Beach Gardens High School, the same that Bob Baumhower graduated from. Baumhower was a nose tackle as part of Don Shula’s legendary Dolphins teams, and both a 5-time Pro Bowl-er and a 2-time First-team All-Pro.
  2. His father - Darren Studstill - also graduated from the same high school and went on to play in the NFL for the Cowboys and the Jaguars.
  3. In 2016, he was one of 8 true freshman to play in 8 games.

YouTube Hot Fire

Devin Studstill’s only career interception comes at 0:37 here:

Country, Condiment, or Canon

Identifying the player as either a country, condiment, or member of the Star Wars Canon.

Portugal.

Alright, hear me out.

Back in the day - say, around the 15th century - Portugal showed signs of being a major world power. They were a major part of the race to the Americas and were at one point a very major player in the New World. Things were looking up. Snap back to present day, and Portugal is just Portugal. There’s nothing wrong with Portugal, but when you think of world powers, Portugal isn’t one of the first few that come to mind.

Navy v Notre Dame Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Devin Studstill seemed to be the first in line to usher in a new generation of safeties at Notre Dame. He impressed early, and looked to be a major contributor down the line. But, as we’ve already noted, his first season was mistake-ridden. The potential was flashed, but never fully realized. He’s now going into his third season, and when you think of possible starting safeties for Notre Dame, Devin Studstill isn’t one of the first names that comes to mind.

That can change, but I’m not so sure it will.

2018 Forecast

Devin Studstill is a solid piece on this roster.

He is not without value, and certainly not lacking the ability to succeed. His early praise showed that. His time under the lights as a freshman, however, showed a bit of a different story.

It showed a player who was still learning how to be an effective safety. It showed a player who was maybe a step too slow. It showed a player who would most definitely require some development if he were going to become what people thought he could. It showed a work in progress, for lack of a better phrase.

2017 didn’t show any of that progress. It showed stagnation. It showed a promising young player getting passed up because he couldn’t put it all together. Most importantly for Devin Studstill, it showed that time was running out, and it wasn’t going to be easy.

2018 will mark a turning point - for better or worse - in Studstill’s career. He will either make a move and be a meaningful contributor, or remain a backup/rotational player for the rest of his time in South Bend. As much as I will root for his success, I anticipate the latter option to occur. I think he is not physically up to par with those ahead of him, and the mental aspect of the game is so well understood by Coleman, Gilman, and Elliot that I have a hard time seeing Studstill improve enough to pass them up.

Only time will tell.