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Notre Dame 99-to-2: No. 16 K.J. Wallace, freshman defensive back, three-star


Listed Measurements: 5-foot-10, 187 pounds.2019-20 year, eligibility: A freshman, Wallace has all four seasons of eligibility remaining, including 2019.Depth chart: Wallace could conceivably see time at nickel — if fifth-year Shaun Crawford does not reach full health and if junior Avery Davis’ move to defensive back proves ineffective — but it is more likely Wallace exits preseason practices as third- or fourth-string at field cornerback and spends the fall largely working on scout team.
Recruiting: Wallace committed way back in January of 2018, waiting 10 months before National Signing Day, but never wavering during that time despite Stanford, Penn State and Tennessee pursuing the three-star prospect.

“Wallace’s recruiting rankings are a bit up-and-down, which often points to a good amount of raw talent and subsequent questions about fine-tuning that potential. That is too much a reward not to risk.

“... Notre Dame has invested in cornerback recruiting the last two cycles, in part because of a debacle at the position in the 2016 cycle and in part because the Irish do not have immediate answers ready after the 2019 season. That fact alone could put some inexperienced players on the field, a la Houston Griffith and TaRiq Bracy this past season.”

Notre Dame has one cornerback it knows it can rely upon this year in senior Troy Pride. Griffith or Bracy is likely to start opposite him, and increasing confidence in that duo lessens Wallace’s chances of playing much this season.

Crawford, Davis and, to some varying extents, Bracy and senior safety Jalen Elliott should be able to handle the nickel back position, even if in piecemeal. It would take quite a preseason from Wallace to emerge in that equation.

If he does, though, it will trace to his solid coverage skills. The necessary conditioning, increased physicality and playbook understanding may take Wallace some time at this level, as they do for just about everybody, but he is already well-suited from a technical standpoint.

No matter how the secondary situation sorts itself out, Wallace could end up on some special teams units, be it for four games or the whole season.

When Pride heads to the NFL after this year, Wallace will join a full-fledged position competition along with the sophomore duo and classmate Isaiah Rutherford. Two of the four will start at the traditional cornerback positions, and the other two should be within the two-deep, simply by default.

Wallace will also have a chance at making a quick impact at nickel back, especially if Davis does not catch on quickly. Crawford may be back, but there are so many questions at hand with his career it is best to simply worry about that separately. If he is not, Wallace could have the inside track to starting at a position with increasing importance in college football.

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