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Notre Dame Football: Irish have 4 of the top 30 returning offensive linemen in 2020

Big boys are back

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USC v Notre Dame Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Pro Football Focus released their top 30 list for returning offensive linemen in 2020, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have four of their own listed in the rankings.

Keep in mind that these rankings are based off of play on the field and NOT NFL Draft sexiness. There is a difference.

#30 Jarrett Patterson, C

Patterson did not disappoint in his first year starting at center for the Fighting Irish. There wasn’t a single game this year where he allowed multiple pressures, and he ended up surrendering the seventh-lowest pressure rate among centers returning in 2020.

#28 Liam Eichenberg, LT

Eichenberg didn’t allow a single sack at left tackle this year and was solid across the board, generating an 85.5 pass-blocking grade and a 78.8 run-blocking grade. Similar to Leatherwood, penalties were a massive issue for him in 2019 — he had 11 on the year, the third most for his position.

#24 Aaron Banks, LG

Left guard Aaron Banks started the final six games of 2018 and maintained that role in 2019, allowing minuscule pressure along the way. His 2.1% pressure rate allowed over the last two seasons at left guard is tied for the seventh lowest in the FBS.

#23 Robert Hainsey, RT

The fourth member of the Fighting Irish’s stout offensive line cracks the top-30 list, and he has been an integral piece to their line for the past three years. Hainsey has logged over 1,800 snaps at right tackle in that time span and has been a wall in pass-protection over the last two, particularly. Since the start of 2018, Hainsey has allowed the third-lowest pressure rate at right tackle among returners.

Notre Dame returns all five of its starters in 2020, with RG Tommy Kraemer being the only name not on this list. In essence, the Irish actually return a “sixth starter” in Josh Lugg after his performance in relief of the injured Robert Hainsey in 2019.