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3 underrated Notre Dame football players for the 2020 season

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I talk about them a lot — but do you? [whispers that you should]

NCAA Football: Navy at Notre Dame
Jayson Ademilola
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of the spring, many names on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football roster will be mentioned as “possible contributors” or “role players” or whatever. These are the guys that aren’t household names right now, and they aren’t the guys that someone mentions right away when talking about the team — but their importance to the team should not be understated.

Here are three Irish football players that fit that bill a little bit.

Bo Bauer, Linebacker

NCAA Football: Bowling Green at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Bauer is already a special teams demon, and fans love his ferocious savagery on the football field. Still, because his natural position of MIKE linebacker is currently owned by Drew White, Bauer’s name gets lost in the shuffle. He could eventually battle for the BUCK position and has slimmed down to 225 in the offseason, but his pass coverage will have to improve. Regardless of his place on the depth chart, I expect Bauer to get a fair amount of minutes — especially in short yardage situations. And yeah... his special teams play will be outstanding.

Jayson Ademilola, Defensive Tackle

Notre Dame v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Notre Dame’s depth along the defensive line is once again a thing of beauty. One of the keys to a great defense is the ability to rotate along line, and the Irish will certainly do that. Myron Tagovailola-Amosa is the starter at defensive tackle, but Jayson will be a huge part of what the Irish do on defense. Last year, Ademilola had 25 tackles and 4 TFL’s in 11 games while MTA had 22 tackles and 2.5 TFL in 12. He is incredibly efficient and productive when out on the field, and should be considered a co-starter for 2020.

Jarrett Patterson, Center

Boston College v Notre Dame Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

While there probably is nothing underrated about Notre Dame’s offensive line in 2020 with six returning starters, the name that is mentioned the least is center Jarrett Patterson. As a redshirt freshman in 2019, Patterson moved from tackle to center to take the starting job from departing senior Sam Mustipher. It was really nice transition from veteran leader to “young buck” and it never felt like the Irish lost much from the year before. With his second year as a starter coming up, we should expect Patterson — all 6’4” 300 pounds of him — to continue to improve and become an even stronger part of this Irish offensive line.