On the latest edition of the OFD Podcast, our fearless leader Joshua Vowles posed the question to Pat Sullivan and myself, “What are you most excited about fot eh 2019 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football season?” Due to it only being a one hour show, I had to limit myself to a few responses...and if you want to hear those responses click right HERE. But today, I wanted to expand on that question and also hear from all you. So here we go.
I’m am absolutely stoked about this game, mainly because I will be in Athens and I have tickets to this game. It should be a great weekend all around and will be even better if the Irish find a way to win. This game also excites me because it is not often the Irish play an SEC opponent in the regular season. Most prognosticators aren’t giving the Irish much of a shot in this game, which I think can play into Notre Dame’s favor and also the fact UGA players were crapping all over ND during the Playoff last season. There will be plenty of bulletin board material for the Irish in this one.
When Ian Book was inserted to the starting lineup last season, he quickly became my favorite player. Not only is he great passer and brings balance to the Irish offense, but he just seems unflappable. No stage is too small or too large for him. In the Brian Kelly era, only one QB has started in consecutive seasons and that was DeShone Kizer and he regressed from year one to year two. I’m excited to see Book do the opposite of Kizer and be even better in 2019. Also I’m excited to see if Book keeps the beauty that is his mustache.
The return of familiar faces
Two notorious faces return to Notre Dame Stadium this season in former ND head coach Bob Davie and former defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. Davie is the head coach at New Mexico, while BVG is now the DC at Bowling Green. The Irish are poised to rudely welcome both back. New Mexico and Bowling Green are easily the two worst teams on the schedule this season. If Notre Dame doesn’t win each game by at least five TDs, it’ll be a disappointment.
The defensive line has a chance to be very, very special. It is perhaps the best and deepest defensive line that the Irish have had in my fandom. All reports from camp say Julian Okwara is an absolute freak (we already knew that). On the other side you have Khalid Kareem who is fantastic in his own right. Coming in behind them is Daelin Hayes, who would probably be a starter at most other programs. On the interior you lose a lot with the departures of Jerry Tillery and Jonathan Bonner, but the Irish still have quality players in Myron Tagovaiola-Amose and Kurt Hinish. Other names to look out for on the line; Ade Ogundeji, Jayson & Justin Ademilola, Ja’Mion Franklin and Isaiah Foskey.
The Atlanta native has really turned some heads in fall camp. In just three practices the media was allowed to attend, Hamilton recorded five interceptions. Its not often Notre Dame gets players that make immediate impacts as freshmen. The last time I can think of that happening was 2011 with Aaron Lynch and Stephon Tuitt. Notre Dame’s secondary will be a strength this season and if Hamilton is really as advertised, it gets that much better. My bold prediction for Hamilton, is that he makes an a key play against Georgia in his homecoming to the Peach State.
Those are a just a handful of things I’m looking forward to this season. Feel free to drop into the comments and let us know what you’re excited about this upcoming season. It should be another exciting year for ND. Go Irish!