The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players and coaches, 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.
Today’s spotlight is on Notre Dame’s special teams and recruiting coordinator. Polian has served in his current role since 2017, but first joined the Fighting Irish to coach special teams, defensive backs and linebackers from 2005 to 2009.
In between positions at Notre Dame, Polian served as the head coach for the Nevada Wolf Pack and led the team to the 2014 New Orleans Bowl and the 2015 Arizona Bowl.
When it comes to his recruiting strategy, Polian has placed a great deal of emphasis on the talent out of Hawaii like MTA and Jordan Botelho. For example, Polian was behind Notre Dame’s recent offer to Tevarua Tafiti, a standout linebacker from Punahou School, the same high school that gave Notre Dame Manti Te’o, Robby Toma and Marist Liufau.
Polian has been essential in the Irish effort to be there for recruits through texting and video chat as recruits must stay away from campuses as the coronavirus spreads. The coach explained, “What we are trying to do is be steadying and calming for the recruits and their families... You don’t know enough about us. What do you need to know?
Alan From “The Hangover”
It is easy to get emotional when you add new guys to your wolf pack...
Irish eyes were on running back Will Shipley, but they eventually saw him choose the Clemson Tigers. Notre Dame recruiting is struggling to distinguish itself from programs like Clemson and Georgia, and the current pandemic could put Notre Dame recruiting in even more danger. The situation could also help Polian and other recruiting staff members make even stronger connections with recruits.
The transition last year from veteran kickers Justin Yoon and Tyler Newsome to Jonathan Doerer and Jay Bramblett went incredibly smooth. Before the 2029 season a lot of people questioned which game one of the kickers would lose for the Irish. As it turned out, there were none. We should expect similar steadiness in 2020.
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