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 2020 season.
#21 Caleb Offord, CB
Caleb Offord is a freshman early enrollee from Southaven, Mississippi, where he attended Southaven High School. He chose Notre Dame over offers from the Arkansas Razorbacks, Oklahoma Sooners, and Vanderbilt Commodores, among others. Offord was a consensus three-star recruit, rated the no. 512 overall player, no. 37 corner and no. 13 player from Mississippi in the class of 2019. He is the first Mississippian to sign with Notre Dame under Brian Kelly.
Offord is a strong cover corner with great wingspan and range at 6’1”, and is solid at playing around the ball in press coverage and on contested throws. This skill-set makes him a long-term candidate for either the boundary corner position, where his length and ball skills will help him cover large and strong receivers, or the nickel, where he can utilize his press skills.
Like the bad-ass protagonist of FX’s Justified, Offord is a tall, lanky Southerner with a great poker face who turns into a lights-out assassin when the pressure is on. When he gets on the field, Offord will hope to make opposing quarterbacks and receivers quiver in fear just like a bad guy who finds himself in the sights of Timothy Olyphant’s laconic lawman. Also: they both really love their hats.
Offord has the nuanced cover skills necessary to be on the field right away, and very likely will be. Although he is only a freshman, there is playing time to be had in Notre Dame’s young defensive backfield, particularly at the nickel position. He will be competing with a bevy of talented, but unproven players - including KJ Wallace, Cam Hart, Isaiah Rutherford and Ramon Henderson - and Offord’s skills in press coverage may give him an edge. Regardless of which cornerback position he ends up in, Offord will likely be no. 2 or 3 on the depth chart and see action in case of injury or a blowout.