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100 Thoughts In 100 Days: The Six Most Intriguing Players For Notre Dame Football In 2018

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Who am I keeping a close eye on this season?

NCAA Football: Southern California at Notre Dame Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Alright y’all... we are 87 days to kickoff for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and instead of just posting a random picture of whatever with a number, you’re going to get a chance to dive even deeper into my everyday thoughts.

It’s not always going to be pretty, and you have to remember: these are just random streams of thought and in no way should constitute a firm belief or ideology (mostly).

I’m only 6 days behind... so let’s play catch-up with a list.

THE 6 MOST INTRIGUING PLAYERS FOR 2018

In no particular order:

  • Brandon Wimbush. Notre Dame needs more out of its passing game in 2018 if it wants to compete at a high level. Obviously the biggest key to that is a more efficient and more accurate Brandon Wimbush. If he can improve his passing — even marginally, I think the offense will be fairly powerful.
  • Liam Eichenberg. The ideal lineup for Notre Dame’s offensive line has Eichenberg starting at left tackle. This would allow Notre Dame to put its best five linemen out on the field at the same time. It puts Robert Hainsey back on the right side, and has Tommy Kraemer and Alex Bars back at guard.
  • Braden Lenzy. Losing C.J. Sanders as a kick returner creates a much bigger hole for the Irish than what some may let on. Braden Lenzy will have a chance to immediately fill that role, With his blazing speed, natural run instincts, and some surprising strength — Lenzy could light it up as a return man. I’m normally very cautious when it comes to freshmen, but this one has the tools and the opportunity to shine.
  • Drue Tranquill. Last year, Tranquill was an absolute stud in his role as the ROVER in the new defense that Mike Elko brought to Notre Dame. For 2018, he moves up to the BUCK linebacker position, and in doing so, he leaves a huge hole at ROVER and brings a few questions to the BUCK. Can he be as effective in his new position as he was last year?
  • Chase Claypool. I know Miles Boykin was the big hero of the Citrus Bowl, but if Brandon Wimbush is going to improve in 2018, he is going to need some dynamic help. Claypool is the one receiver on the roster that is capable of being truly dynamic as a pass-catcher. If he reaches that potential — WATCH OUT.
  • Dexter Williams. There is so much good to be had with a healthy Dexter Williams in the backfield. Even if, for some reason, Williams is unable to play in the first game (or four) his abilities will be vital in the run that Notre Dame fans hope to have come October and November. We all wanted more Dexter, so maybe we finally get more Dexter.

A SOMEWHAT HONORABLE MENTION

That list was pretty heavy on offense, but for good reason. The defense returns so much, and is much more proven as a unit. Here are three other players that have my special attention this year:

  • Tyler Newsome
  • Jerry Tillery
  • Te’von Coney