Notre Dame 99-to-2: No. 57 Jayson Ademilola, defensive tackle, consensus four-star incoming freshman
Listed Measurements: 6-foot-3, 290 pounds
2018-19 year, eligibility: Incoming freshman with four years of eligibility remaining, including the 2018 season.
Depth chart: Ademilola became something of a luxury this season when senior Jerry Tillery not only returned but also switched to the three-technique tackle position. Behind Tillery, sophomore Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa will handle most of the reserve duties while senior Micah Dew-Treadway figures to get a chance, as well. Then comes Ademilola.
Recruiting: A consensus four-star, the U.S. Army All-American chose Notre Dame over Michigan and Alabama while also holding offers from Georgia, Auburn and Ohio State. Rivals.com rated Ademilola the No. 13 defensive tackle in the country and No. 219 prospect overall. He committed in lockstep with his twin brother, defensive end Justin.
By bringing in both Jayson Ademilola and Ja’Mion Franklin, the Irish coaching staff covered both fronts of the defensive interior. The former can focus on breaking through the line to make plays while the latter holds the point of attack. That is, once they earn their playing time.
“Jayson has a little bit more of the length and athletic ability, if you will, to play the three [-technique],” Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said during December’s early signing period. “They were a great complement in terms of a [nose] and a three that we saw out there early on. We thought they complemented each other very well.”
WHAT WAS SAID WHEN ADEMILOLA’S NATIONAL LETTER OF INTENT ARRIVED
“Ademilola may not be ready for the physical demands of a full collegiate game, but he should already be able to make his presence felt on a series-by-series basis. He can both absorb blocks and provide some pressure on the opposing quarterback.”
Rarely do top-flight defensive linemen take a fifth year of collegiate development. The return of fifth-year nose tackle Jonathan Bonner only underscores that sentiment; as well as Bonner played last season, he is not as stellar of a talent as Ademilola’s recruitment suggests he could be.
Thus, Ademilola will not likely preserve a year of eligibility this season, even if he begins preseason practice fourth on the depth chart. Dew-Treadway did receive some praise in the spring, but that was the furthest thing from a surprise considering the very nature of spring practice. If Ademilola can supplant Dew-Treadway, he will be in prime position for 5-15 competitive snaps per game, keeping Tagovailoa-Amosa fresh while Tillery handles at least half the overall workload.
That may not result in more than a handful of tackles, but the effects further up the depth chart will be the real boon to the Irish defense.
DOWN THE ROAD
Tillery will be gone after this season, and no matter how 2018 goes, it should be only a matter of time before Ademilola moves past Dew-Treadway for good. For the following two seasons, Ademilola and Tagovailoa-Amosa should provide Notre Dame with an excellent rotation in the defensive middle. Arguably the most important position on a modern era football field, fresh legs at defensive tackle create a genuine chance for game-changing impacts.
The Irish, however, have struggled to develop defensive linemen consistently, only producing one first- or second-round draft pick in the last half dozen NFL drafts (Stephon Tuitt, 2014). For Ademilola to become the type of player his recruitment suggests he could, that will need to change in a big way very soon.
WHY NO. 57?
Not only does it in keep in line with the above image, but it can serve as an homage to Bonner’s two-year starting role as a defensive tackle while wearing a mid-50s jersey.
NOTRE DAME 99-to-2:
No. 99 Jerry Tillery, defensive tackle, senior
No. 97 Micah Dew-Treadway, defensive tackle, senior
No. 95 Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, defensive tackle, sophomore
No. 94 Darnell Ewell, defensive tackle, sophomore
No. 93 (theoretically) Ja’Mion Franklin, defensive tackle, incoming freshman
No. 91 Ade Ogundeji, defensive end, junior
No. 90 (theoretically) Tommy Tremble, tight end, incoming freshman
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. 79 (theoretically) Cole Mabry, offensive tackle, incoming freshman
No. 78 Tommy Kraemer, right guard, junior
No. 77 (theoretically) Jarrett Patterson, offensive tackle, incoming freshman
No. 76 Dillan Gibbons, offensive lineman, sophomore
No. 75 Josh Lugg, offensive lineman, sophomore
No. 74 Liam Eichenberg, starting left tackle, junior
No. 73 (theoretically) Luke Jones, offensive lineman, incoming freshman
No. 72 Robert Hainsey, right tackle, sophomore
No. 71 Alex Bars, left guard and captain, fifth-year senior
No. 70 (theoretically) John Dirksen, offensive lineman, incoming freshman
No. 69 Aaron Banks, offensive tackle, sophomore
No. 57 Trevor Ruhland, offensive lineman, senior
No. 11 Freddy Canteen, receiver, outgoing transfer
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