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Notre Dame 99-to-2: No. 16 Noah Boykin, cornerback, consensus four-star recruit


Noah Boykin

Listed Measurements: 6-foot-2, 170 pounds
2018-19 year, eligibility: Incoming freshman with four years of eligibility remaining, including the 2018 season.
Depth chart: Boykin’s natural abilities could position him as the immediate backup to junior boundary cornerback Julian Love, though that would necessitate Boykin out-performing junior Donte Vaughn.
Recruiting: A consensus four-star prospect and the No. 21 cornerback in the class, per, Boykin appeared set to commit to Florida on National Signing Day while also pondering Virginia. Instead, he surprised everyone by choosing Notre Dame. Boykin originally committed to Maryland before reopening his recruitment in January with the Gators the apparent front-runner.

The Irish coaching staff understood it had its work cut out in recruiting Boykin, but the mixture of his demeanor and on-field abilities made that pursuit a worthwhile one.

“One of the things that we were so impressed with, and maybe this doesn’t happen everywhere, we weren’t certain about Noah and his ability to come to Notre Dame and be a great fit until after his admissions meeting,” Irish head coach Brian Kelly said on National Signing Day. “The feedback that we got from admissions in terms of his interview really sold us on this was the right place for him.

“… We know about his football ability. He was one of the best players at the (Offense-Defense All-American Bowl), has got a confidence about him at that corner position. He’s a natural corner, and just gives us great flexibility and depth at that position that we’ve been lacking for so long.”

“Boykin’s greatest assets are his range and physicality. In some respects, that combination could land him at safety by the end of his collegiate career. For now, his ability to stick with receivers in routes sets him up well at cornerback.

“At the very least, Boykin will see action on special teams, but some time in the two-deep at nickelback or in the dime package could be feasible.”

Notre Dame has a quartet of talented, veteran cornerbacks. To take competitive snaps defensively, Boykin will have to surpass at least one of those four, with Vaughn the seemingly-most likely candidate. That will be far from an easy task, though.

If he does not move up the depth chart, Boykin will still assuredly see special teams work this season. That will be the case even if he lands in the two-deep, too. Within the two-deep, however, Boykin would quickly become an emergency-situation option needing to be relied upon. If Love went down for so much as a series, nearly any opposing quarterback would pick on his replacement, especially if that replacement is a freshman, no matter how talented that freshman may be.

The Irish pulled in four cornerbacks in the class of 2018, and Boykin may be the most-promising among them in the long-run. As those current veterans move onward — perhaps starting with Love jumping to the NFL after this season — opportunities will abound for all four of the newcomers.

Boykin’s length makes him an ideal boundary possibility, fending off physical receivers in isolated coverage. Considering Love is the only upperclassmen with a distinct possibility of departing to consider after this season, Boykin’s future position is also the one which may open up first for a starting competition.

NOTRE DAME 99-to-2:
No. 99 Jerry Tillery, defensive tackle, senior
No. 98 Ja’Mion Franklin, defensive tackle, incoming freshman
No. 97 Micah Dew-Treadway, defensive tackle, senior
No. 95 Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, defensive tackle, sophomore
No. 94 Darnell Ewell, defensive tackle, sophomore
No. 91 Ade Ogundeji, defensive end, junior
No. 89 Brock Wright, tight end, sophomore
No. 88 Javon McKinley, receiver, junior
No. 87 Michael Young, receiver, sophomore
No. 86 Alizé Mack, tight end, senior
No. 85 George Takacs, tight end, early-enrolled freshman
No. 85 Tyler Newsome, punter and captain, fifth-year senior
No. 84 Cole Kmet, tight end, sophomore
No. 83 Chase Claypool, receiver, junior
No. 82 Nic Weishar, tight end, fifth-year senior
No. 81 Miles Boykin, receiver, senior
No. 80 Micah Jones, receiver, early-enrolled freshman
No. 78 Tommy Kraemer, right guard, junior
No. 76 Dillan Gibbons, offensive lineman, sophomore
No. 75 Josh Lugg, offensive lineman, sophomore
No. 74 Liam Eichenberg, starting left tackle, junior
No. 72 Robert Hainsey, right tackle, sophomore
No. 71 Alex Bars, left guard and captain, fifth-year senior
No. 70 Luke Jones, offensive lineman, incoming freshman
No. 69 Aaron Banks, offensive tackle, sophomore
No. 68 Jarrett Patterson, offensive tackle, incoming freshman
No. 60 Cole Mabry, offensive tackle, incoming freshman
No. 57 Trevor Ruhland, offensive lineman, senior
No. 57 (theoretically) Jayson Ademilola, defensive tackle, incoming freshman
No. 56 John Dirksen, offensive lineman, incoming freshman
No. 55 Jonathan Bonner, defensive tackle, fifth-year senior
No. 54 John Shannon, long snapper, junior
No. 53 Khalid Kareem, defensive end, junior
No. 53 Sam Mustipher, center and captain, fifth-year senior
No. 52 Bo Bauer, linebacker, early-enrolled freshman
No. 47 Kofi Wardlow, defensive end, sophomore
No. 45 Jonathan Jones, linebacker, junior
No. 44 Jamir Jones, defensive end, junior
No. 42 Julian Okwara, defensive end, junior
No. 41 Kurt Hinish, defensive tackle, sophomore
No. 40 Drew White, linebacker, sophomore
No. 39 Jonathan Doerer, kickoff specialist, sophomore
No. 34 Jahmir Smith, running back, early-enrolled freshman
No. 33 Shayne Simon, linebacker, incoming freshman
No. 31 Jack Lamb, linebacker, early-enrolled freshman
No. 30 Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, linebacker, sophomore
No. 29 Ovie Oghoufo, linebacker, early-enrolled freshman
No. 28 Nicco Fertitta, safety, senior
No. 27 Julian Love, cornerback, junior, second-team All-American
No. 25 Braden Lenzy, receiver, incoming freshman
No. 24 Tommy Tremble, tight end, incoming freshman
No. 24 Nick Coleman, defensive back, senior
No. 23 Drue Tranquill, linebacker, two-time captain, fifth-year senior
No. 22 Asmar Bilal, rover, senior
No. 21 Jalen Elliott, safety, junior
No. 20 Shaun Crawford, nickelback, senior
No. 20 C’Bo Flemister, running back, incoming freshman
No. 19 Justin Yoon, placekicker, senior
No. 19 Justin Ademilola, defensive end, incoming freshman
No. 18 Joe Wilkins, cornerback, incoming freshman
No. 17 Isaiah Robertson, safety-turned-rover, sophomore

No. 35 David Adams, linebacker, sophomore

No. 11 Freddy Canteen, receiver, outgoing transfer

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