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Notre Dame 99-to-2: No. 54 John Shannon, long snapper


Listed Measurements: 6-foot-2, 238 pounds.2019-20 year, eligibility: A senior, Shannon has two seasons of eligibility remaining, including 2019.Depth chart: The only scholarship long snapper on the roster, Shannon will have no challenger to his role.Recruiting: The U.S. Army All-American chose Notre Dame over offers from West Virginia and West Point, opting to follow the trail of his grandfather, a four-year starter for the Irish.

Shannon need surgery to repair a torn labrum days after his All-American Bowl appearance, making preserving a year of eligibility in 2016 logical for both him as he returned to health and for Notre Dame as Scott Daly concluded his career. Shannon has handled the long snapping duties in every game since then, covering 26 games.

In that span, Shannon’s other statistical output has been four tackles, two in each of 2017 and 2018.

Shannon should end up a four-year starter for Notre Dame, the exact career the Irish coaching staff hoped for when it devoted a scholarship to eliminating the headaches sometimes stemming from snapping difficulties.

“If anything, 2019 may be a year of adjustment for Shannon, his first season not snapping to current fifth-year punter Tyler Newsome. Finding chemistry from the outset with recently-committed Jay Bramblett (Tuscaloosa Hillcrest High School; Tuscaloosa, Ala.) could help ease in Newsome’s replacement.”

Shannon has proven consistent as a long snapper, but this season may test that. Every point after and field goal attempt needs to be set up more ideally for the kicker than Shannon has ever worried about before, with junior Jonathan Doerer taking over for the all-time leading Irish scorer Justin Yoon. Similarly, Bramblett’s punts will be worrisome enough without any snap issues.

In those respects, Shannon’s track record should provide both Doerer and Bramblett some semblance of reliability.

One of those should get more work than the other. A long snapper has a job to do whether an offensive possession ends successfully or not, point after or field goal attempt or punt. In 2019, the Irish figure to punt less and aim for the uprights more, a step back in 2018 notwithstanding.

Yes, a step back in 2018. Two years ago, Notre Dame averaged 34.23 points per game. Last season, it managed 31.38 points per game. (33.75 if excluding the Cotton Bowl’s dismal showing.)

With a returning record-setting quarterback, two returning starting receivers, four returning starting offensive linemen, a possible breakout star at running back and arguably the best tight end of the Chip Long era, the Irish should trend closer to 40 points per game in Shannon’s (and Long’s) third year of work.

Shannon should be back for Notre Dame in 2020, despite the commitment of long snapper Alex Peitsch (St. John’s College High School; Washington, D.C.). The Irish under head coach Brian Kelly have made a habit of letting long snappers adjust for a season before throwing them into the fire. After all, for a position that flies beneath the radar, a mistake can be beyond costly.

NOTRE DAME 99-to-2:
No. 95: Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, defensive tackle
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