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Notre Dame 99-to-2: No. 18 Troy Pride, cornerback

Miami v Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 29: Stacy Coley #3 of the Miami Hurricanes catches the ball as Troy Pride Jr. #18 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is there for the tackle at Notre Dame Stadium on October 29, 2016 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Miami 30-27. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

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Listed Measurements: 5-foot-11 ½, 183 pounds
2017-18 year, eligibility: Sophomore with three years of eligibility remaining including the 2017 season.
Depth chart: Pride’s positioning on the depth chart among the field cornerbacks could largely depend on down-and-distance situations. Most simply, Pride and junior Shaun Crawford are competing for the right to back up starting sophomore Julian Love.
Recruiting: A consensus four-star prospect, Pride chose Notre Dame over a list laden with offers from the Southeast, logical given Pride is from South Carolina. Clemson, North Carolina State, North Carolina and Virginia Tech all pursued the nation’s No. 23 cornerback, per

Pride saw action in all eight games following the dismissal of former Irish defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. He started against the year’s three toughest opponents in Stanford, Miami (season-high five tackles) and USC (four tackles), coming off the bench against the run-heavy attacks interspersed between them.

2016: Eight games, three starts, 12 tackles, one fumble recovered.

Pride also ran track this winter and some of the spring, setting the fastest times for Notre Dame in the indoor 60-meter (6.77 seconds), the indoor 200-meter (21.75 seconds), the outdoor 100-meter (10.47 seconds) and the outdoor 200-meter (21.36 seconds).

“Pride might be too talented to redshirt, capable of competing in the two-deep if he gets a firm grasp on the system. If that’s the case, expect him to get some time covering kicks and running on special teams, a place he should see the field if he’s going to burn the year of eligibility.

“Pride has the physical traits this staff looks for in a cover cornerback. He’s got pedigree and leadership as well, a competitive football player who earned rave reviews from area recruiter Autry Denson as well as position coach Todd Lyght.

“Notre Dame’s secondary is filled with young defensive backs looking to jump the line. I’d be surprised if Pride isn’t one of them.”

A year ago, a large part of Pride’s playing time was due to the rash of defensive back injuries the Irish endured, including an Achilles injury suffered by Crawford in the second week. This season, Crawford’s return complicates Pride’s projection, but it certainly will not keep him off the field entirely.

First off, assume Pride continues to contribute on special teams. He brings much more to the football field than just his undeniable speed, but he does have that speed and it is best utilized on coverage units.

When it comes to the secondary, neither Pride nor Crawford will move past Love in the pecking order, but one will establish himself as the primary nickel back while the other readies to fill in for Love whenever the starter moves to the secondary’s back-end as Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has implied will occur in particular passing situations.

With that in mind, Pride could see double digit snaps as the field corner each week. That will be enough to keep the sophomore engaged and ready should an injury befall Love, Crawford or even boundary corner Nick Watkins. Given the nature of the position and recent history, perhaps that should might be better phrased as when.

The Irish are rich with cornerbacks right now, but it is a position much like defensive end: A team can never have enough of them. Love, Crawford, Pride and sophomore Donte Vaughn all have three years of eligibility remaining. Watkins has two. Even with Love sometimes working at safety, only very specific situations would see all five on the field at once.

As already mentioned, though, injuries do occur, and Notre Dame is only rich in cornerbacks for the time being. Each of the five will undoubtedly be needed throughout 2017 and 2018. Given current recruiting trends, the sophomore trio and Crawford will be counted on in 2019, as well.

2017’s Notre Dame 99-to-2
Friday at 4: Goodbye A-to-Z, hello 99-to-2 (May 12)
No. 99: Jerry Tillery, defensive tackle
No. 98: Andrew Trumbetti, defensive end
No. 97: Micah Dew-Treadway, defensive tackle
No. 96: Pete Mokwuah, defensive tackle
No. 95: Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, defensive tackle (originally theorized as No. 92)
No. 94: Darnell Ewell, defensive tackle (originally theorized as No. 95)
No. 93: Jay Hayes, defensive end
No. 92: Jonathon MacCollister; defensive end (originally theorized as No. 46)
No. 91: Ade Ogundeji, defensive end
No. 89: Brock Wright, tight end
No. 88: Javon McKinley, receiver
No. 87: Michael Young, receiver (originally theorized as No. 84)
No. 86: Alizé Mack, tight end
No. 85: Tyler Newsome, punter
No. 84: Cole Kmet, tight end (originally theorized as No. 90)
No. 83: Chase Claypool, receiver
No. 82: Nic Weishar, tight end
No. 81: Miles Boykin, receiver
No. 80: Durham Smythe, tight end
No. 78: Tommy Kraemer, right tackle
No. 77: Brandon Tiassum, defensive tackle
No. 76: Dillan Gibbons, offensive lineman (originally theorized as No. 65)
No. 75: Josh Lugg, offensive tackle (originally theorized as No. 73)
No. 75: Daniel Cage, defensive tackle
No. 74: Liam Eichenberg, right tackle
No. 72: Robert Hainsey, offensive tackle
No. 71: Alex Bars, offensive lineman
No. 70: Hunter Bivin, offensive lineman
No. 69: Aaron Banks, offensive lineman
No. 68: Mike McGlinchey, left tackle
No. 67: Jimmy Byrne, offensive lineman
No. 58: Elijah Taylor, defensive tackle
No. 57: Trevor Ruhland, offensive lineman
No. 56: Quenton Nelson, left guard
No. 55: Jonathan Bonner, defensive lineman
No. 54: John Shannon, long snapper
No. 53: Sam Mustipher, center
No. 53: Khalid Kareem, defensive lineman
No. 48: Greer Martini, inside linebacker
No. 47: Kofi Wardlow, defensive end
No. 45: Jonathan Jones, inside linebacker
No. 44: Jamir Jones, linebacker/defensive lineman
No. 42: Julian Okwara, defensive end
No. 41: Kurt Hinish, defensive tackle (originally theorized as No. 94)
No. 40: Drew White, linebacker
No. 39: Jonathan Doerer, kicker (originally theorized as No. 52)
No. 38: Deon McIntosh, running back/receiver
No. 35: David Adams, linebacker
No. 34: Tony Jones, Jr., running back
No. 33: Josh Adams, running back
No. 32: D.J. Morgan, safety
No. 30: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, rover
No. 29: Kevin Stepherson, receiver
No. 28: Nicco Fertitta, safety
No. 27: Julian Love, cornerback
No. 26: Ashton White, safety
No. 25: Jafar Armstrong, receiver (originally theorized as No. 87)
No. 24: Nick Coleman, safety
No. 23: Drue Tranquill, rover
No. 22: Asmar Bilal, rover
No. 21: Jalen Elliott, safety
No. 19: Justin Yoon, kicker

No. 66: Tristen Hoge, offensive lineman, transfers to BYU
No. 50: Parker Boudreaux, offensive lineman
No. 30: Josh Barajas, linebacker, to transfer to Illinois State

No. 13: Tyler Luatua, tight end, career ended by medical hardship