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Way too early fall depth chart for Notre Dame Football

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Also too many guys named Isaiah

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 16 Navy at Notre Dame Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to January. The roster for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team has already had a massive jolt this offseason. NFL departures and transfers have changed the outlook of the depth charts on both sides of the ball, and now we have many months of debate ahead of us.

A reader asked me to do this — and so here we are. This is the WAY too early depth chart for fall (but we will get to spring stuff soon enough).

OFFENSE

Notre Dame *way too early* Depth Chart — Offense

WR TE LT LG C RG RT WR WR RB QB
WR TE LT LG C RG RT WR WR RB QB
25 Braden Lenzy 89 Brock Wright 74 Liam Eichenberg 69 Aaron Banks 55 Jarrett Patterson 78 Tommy Kraemer 72 Robert Hainsey 13 Lawrence Keys 4 Kevin Austin 8 Jafar Armstrong 12 Ian Book
Fr Jordan Johnson OR 24 Tommy Tremble 73 Andrew Kristofic 76 Dillan Gibbons 61 Colin Grunhard 56 John Dirksen 75 Josh Lugg 18 Joe Wilkins Tr Ben Skowronek 34 Jahmir Smith 7 Brendon Clark
- Fr Michael Mayer - - - - - - - 20 C'Bo Flemister Fr Drew Pyne
- OR George Takacs - - - - - - OR Fr Chris Tyree -
- - - - - - - - - OR 23 Kyren Williams -

The big news, of course, is at quarterback. Ian Book is returning and Phil Jurkovec is transferring. This catapults Brendon Clark as the back-up, and Drew Pyne will settle in as the 3rd stringer.

The entire offensive line returns, and that second spot across the board is not as black and white. Josh Lugg becomes a really important player as a swing man at guard and tackle.

Notre Dame v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Running back is going to be interesting. Jafar Armstrong is slotted at the top, but he could mutate into more of a flex position this spring. I still like Jahmir Smith a lot, and he could see a big increase in carries with Tony Jones Jr. gone and that possible flex move from Armstrong. I foresee a true #3 this year with Chris Tyree that could also see a bump up like Smith. I’m still not sold on C’Bo Flemister, but I still think he gets some carries.

There are rumors of a possible Brock Wright departure, but I believe that he will return (as of right now) and be the top TE on the depth chart along with Tommy Tremble. Michael Mayer will get a fair amount of playing time along with George Takacs.

Kevin Austin makes his triumphant return, and opposite Braden Lenzy, the position looks extremely dynamic. As far as the slot goes, Lawrence Keys III will lock that down with Joe Wilkins backing him up (another “move back”).

DEFENSE

Notre Dame *way too early* Depth Chart — Defense

CB FS ROVER DE NG DT DE BUCK MIKE SS CB
CB FS ROVER DE NG DT DE BUCK MIKE SS CB
20 Shaun Crawford 14 Kyle Hamilton 13 Paul Moala 9 Daelin Hayes 41 Kurt Hinish 95 Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa 91 Ade Ogundeji 6 Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah 40 Drew White Tr Isaiah Pryor 28 TaRiq Bracy
16 KJ Wallace 12 DJ Brown 24 Jack Kiser 29 Ovie Oghoufo 54 Jacob Lacey 57 Jayson Ademilola 19 Justin Ademilola 2 Jordan Genmark Heath 52 Bo Bauer 3 Houston Griffith 15 Isaiah Rutherford
9 Cam Hart - - 94 Isaiah Foskey 55 Ja'mion Franklin 90 Hunter Spears 18 NaNa Osafo-Mensah - - - 4 Avery Davis

Clark Lea’s special baby is losing quite a bit from last year — but we should all have faith in what’s happening on this side of the ball.

The interior of the defensive line stays the exact same as it was in 2019 with hardcore veterens Kurt Hinish and Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa leading the way. The Irish lost a lot on the edge with Khalid Kareem, Julian Okwara, and Jamir Jones — but they return a lot as well. Adetokunbo Ogundeji and Daelin Hayes are the clear starters at Shark and Strong respectively, and have solid depth with Justin Ademilola, Ovie Oghoufo, and Isaiah Foskey. I think NaNa Osafo-Mensah will start to work himself into the rotation — although not regularly.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 21 Notre Dame at Georgia Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The linebackers could see a shift with the loss of Asmar Bilal. In the end, I think Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah ends up moving to BUCK with Paul Moala taking over at ROVER. Drew White anchors them at the MIKE.

At safety, Kyle Hamilton takes over as the full-time starter in place of Alohi Gilman. As far as Jalen Elliott’s spot goes, my money is on Ohio State transfer Isaiah Pryor. Houston Griffith gets moved back to safety (his better position) and could be a key part of the Nickel package. D.J. Brown plays a back-up roll again — but this group is a lot less deep than in 2019.

Cornerback has numbers again, but it’s young and untested. Shaun Crawford and TaRiq Bracy will take leading roles with K.J. Wallace and Isaiah Rutherford providing depth. Both Cam Hart and freshman Caleb Offord add to that depth with more untested potential.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Notre Dame *way too early* Depth Chart — Special Teams

KICKOFF PLACEKICKER PUNTER LONG SNAPPER HOLDER PUNT RETURNER KICK RETURNER
KICKOFF PLACEKICKER PUNTER LONG SNAPPER HOLDER PUNT RETURNER KICK RETURNER
39 Jonathan Doerer 39 Jonathan Doerer 19 Jay Bramblett Fr Alex Peitsch 19 Jay Bramblett 18 Joe Wilkins 25 Braden Lenzy
98 Harrison Leonard 98 Harrison Leonard 98 Harrison Leonard 65 Michael Vinson 14 J.D. Carney 23 Kyren Williams 20 C'Bo Flemister

Kicking and punting duties stay strong with Jonathan Doerer and Jay Bramblett. The Irish will need a new long snapper with the loss of John Shannon, and that should end up being freshman Alexander Peitsch. Braden Lenzy finally was back at KR against Iowa State, and I imagine (and hope) that stays true in 2020. Punt returner... those are the biggest guesses in this whole mix.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 14 New Mexico at Notre Dame Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images