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Notre Dame 99-to-2: No. 15 Isaiah Rutherford, freshman defensive back, consensus four-star


Listed Measurements: 6-foot-1, 170 pounds.2019-20 year, eligibility: A freshman, Rutherford has all four seasons of eligibility remaining, including 2019.Depth chart: Rutherford is unlikely to crack the defensive two-deep this season.
Recruiting: The consensus four-star prospect originally left Notre Dame off a summertime list of finalists, instead focusing on Cal, Oregon, Oklahoma and LSU. Nonetheless, the Irish coaches continued to pursue the No. 12 cornerback in the country and No. 110 overall recruit, per, and Rutherford eventually visited campus for the season-opening win against Michigan. Apparently he saw enough that evening.

“Rutherford is a bit bigger than most cornerbacks, and that will show especially once he gets some more muscle on his frame. As long as he learns to use that to his advantage, Rutherford could become a real hassle for receivers on the boundary.

“... The recruiting debacle in the class of 2017 creates an opportunity for Rutherford. Between him, classmate K.J. Wallace and three signees from a year ago, the Irish will need to find three starters and four rotation players (in 2020).”

Rutherford’s length may well become a long-term asset, but for now it works counterproductively with his light weight. It is hard to envision a world where that lankiness can handle the physicality of college football at the line of scrimmage. With senior Troy Pride established as one starting cornerback and sophomores Houston Griffith and TaRiq Bracy working to become the other while senior Donte Vaughn and fifth-year Shaun Crawford recover from injury, Notre Dame does not much need Rutherford yet, either.

With that in mind, his defensive work will presumably come on the scout team.

If he shows a panache for aggressive tackling in the preseason, Rutherford could work his way onto the special teams units, though even that should not put him over the four-game limit as far as a year of eligibility would be concerned.

As first mentioned in December, the Irish will need a few cornerbacks to step forward before they face Navy across the Atlantic to open 2020. Rutherford will be a prime candidate for that, especially if he spends the next 13 months putting on muscle.

Between Griffith, Bracy, Wallace and Rutherford, Notre Dame needs to find three cornerbacks before Rutherford’s junior season. That third cornerback becomes needed next year, as well, if things with Crawford do not work out as well as can justifiably be hoped.

In other times, one might argue Rutherford’s size clearly makes him a safety candidate in the future, but the Irish are well-stocked along the last line of defense, while cornerback has a void in experience barreling toward it.

NOTRE DAME 99-to-2:
No. 95: Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, defensive tackle
No. 94: Isaiah Foskey, freshman defensive end, consensus four-star
No. 94: Darnell Ewell, defensive tackle
No. 91: Ade Ogundeji, defensive end
No. 90: Hunter Spears, defensive tackle, early-enrolled consensus four-star
No. 89: Brock Wright, tight end
No. 88: Javon McKinley, receiver
No. 87: Michael Young, receiver
No. 85: George Takacs, tight end
No. 84: Cole Kmet, tight end
No. 83: Chase Claypool, receiver
No. 80: Micah Jones, receiver
No. 78: Tommy Kraemer, right guard, three-year starter
No. 77: Quinn Carroll, offensive tackle, early-enrolled consensus four-star
No. 76: Dillan Gibbons, offensive guard
No. 75: Josh Lugg, offensive lineman
No. 74: Liam Eichenberg, left tackle, two-year starter
No. 73: Andrew Kristofic, offensive tackle, early-enrolled consensus four-star
No. 72: Robert Hainsey, offensive tackle, three-year starter
No. 71: John Olmstead, offensive lineman, early-enrolled consensus four-star
No. 69: Aaron Banks, left guard
No. 60: Cole Mabry, offensive tackle
No. 57: Trevor Ruhland, veteran backup offensive lineman
No. 57: Jayson Ademilola, defensive tackle
No. 56: John Dirksen, offensive lineman
No. 56: Howard Cross, incoming freshman defensive lineman, consensus four-star
No. 55: Jarrett Patterson, starting center
No. 55: Ja’Mion Franklin, defensive tackle returning from injury
No. 54: Jacob Lacey, consensus four-star defensive tackle, early enrollee
No. 54: John Shannon, long snapper
No. 53: Khalid Kareem, senior defensive end
No. 52: Zeke Correll, consensus four-star center, early enrollee
No. 52: Bo Bauer, linebacker, sophomore
No. 47: Kofi Wardlow, junior defensive end
No. 45: Jonathan Jones, senior inside linebacker
No. 44: Jamir Jones, senior defensive end
No. 42: Julian Okwara, senior defensive end
No. 41: Kurt Hinish, junior defensive tackle
No. 40: Drew White, junior inside linebacker
No. 39: Jonathan Doerer, junior kicker
No. 35: TaRiq Bracy, sophomore cornerback
No. 35: Marist Liufau, Hawaiian freshman linebacker
No. 34: Jahmir Smith, sophomore running back
No. 34: Osita Ekwonu, inside linebacker, consensus four-star
No. 33: Shayne Simon, sophomore linebacker
No. 31: Jack Lamb, sophomore linebacker
No. 30: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, junior linebacker
No. 29: Ovie Oghoufo, sophomore linebacker-turned-defensive end
No. 27: J.D. Bertrand, consensus four-star linebacker
No. 25: Braden Lenzy, speedy sophomore receiver
No. 24: Tommy Tremble, sophomore tight end
No. 24: Jack Kiser, early-enrolled freshman linebacker, Mr. Indiana Football
No. 23: Litchfield Ajavon, four-star safety, freshman
No. 23: Kyren Williams, early-enrolled freshman running back
No. 22: Kendall Abdur-Rahman, quarterback-turned-receiver, freshman
No. 22: Asmar Bilal, the only returning starting linebacker
No. 21: Jalen Elliott, three-year starting safety
No. 20: Shaun Crawford, defensive back returning from yet another injury
No. 20: C’Bo Flemister, sophomore running back
No. 19: Jay Bramblett, freshman punter
No. 19: Justin Ademilola, sophomore defensive end
No. 18: Joe Wilkins, sophomore receiver
No. 18: Nana Osafo-Mensah, freshman defensive end, consensus four-star
No. 17: Isaiah Robertson, junior receiver
No. 16: K.J. Wallace, freshman defensive back, three-star