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.
#22 Asmar Bilal
Asmar Bilal was recruited out of Indianapolis to be a “next generation” type of linebacker. He has phenomenal speed and freaky athleticism, and the prevailing thought at the time was that Bilal would be an answer to Notre Dame’s pass-rushing needs — as well as a linebacker that can hold his own in space and in coverage.
After three years on the Notre Dame roster, we are still waiting to see that entire package come together. Bilal has been a victim of being art of a poor defensive scheme (VanGorder), being passed on the depth chart, and his own shortcomings as a football player KNOWING how to play football.
3 Things To Know About Asmar Bilal
- Bilal recorded more than 50% less tackles as a junior as he did as a sophomore.
- He is the perceived starter at ROVER, and would be a first year starter.
- There is still plenty of time to turn potential into greatness, Bilal redshirted his freshman year, and has 2 years of eligibility remaining.
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Much like Fin, Bilal has a ton of potential to do a lot of good, but because he is just behind the 8 ball a bit, he has fallen short here and there. Despite that, the roster (cast of characters) is thinning out a bit, and if there was ever a time to shine as a true leader or producer — it’s NOW.
Many people had the starting ROVER position penciled in with incoming freshman, Shayne Simon. After a good spring and entering his 4th year in the program, Bilal has a chance to make people forget about the new shiny toy, and appreciate the incredible one right in front of their eyes.
With another season of Clark Lea’s mentoring, Asmar Bilal has all the tools to make a big impact for the Irish defense. I don’t think he will be as productive as Drue Tranquill was at the position, but I do think he will play well enough for us not to notice the loss nearly as much.