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This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football: #22 Asmar Bilal, LB

Will the 5th Year Senior Emerge as the Leader in the LB Room?

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Southern California Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Time for another round of “This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football” here on OFD. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. 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 2019 season.

#22 Asmar Bilal, Linebacker

Next up for the Irish is fifth year senior, returning starting linebacker, Asmar Bilal. Bilal hails from Indianapolis and has been a quiet, but solid contributor for the Irish, playing in every single game over the last 3 years. This alone is incredibly impressive for someone who people are generally overlooking for this year. Bilal had a solid first season starting, but the consensus is that the talent below him could pass him up, especially as he moves inside from Rover. However, I think Bilal could surprise people this year and prove some of the doubters wrong.

Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, or Chicago (obviously Taylor for me)

At this point it should be known that I love T-Swift. “Ready for it” should be an anthem for Bilal as he hopefully is ready for the shift inside and can burst onto the scene this year.

Hey Dog, Hey

The Komodor. Mostly because these dogs have dreads, but they were also bred to be guard dogs of property and livestock (according to a robot narrated youtube video I watched). He could be the guardian of a position group that has anything but certainty surrounding it.

2019 Outlook

Bilal is not expected to be a vocal leader on the team, but he could quietly have a great season, especially with the move inside. The defense is clearly set up for the Mike to be a playmaker, as displayed by Te’von Coney a year ago and Nyles Morgan the season before that. His ability to/not to finally stand out could open or close the door for some others (Shayne Simon, Drew White, Bo Bauer, Jonathon Jones) to step up this season. Despite the others behind him, I think he turns the corner and emerges as the quiet leader of the linebacker core, flashing some powerful downhill hits as he continues to improve on his run fits. The athleticism and size has always been there, but he has always felt just slightly out of position. Playing Mike should slow things down as he won’t have to worry as much about tackling in space. I strongly believe that we will know the type of season Bilal will have within the first 4 games of the year, which hopefully displays a player who finally found his fit (pun).

YouTube Hot Fire

A quiet reminder of the type of Athlete Bilal is.