Notre Dame’s offensive depth chart entering the 2019 offseason
Exactly half of Notre Dame’s 2019 roster makes up its offense, including specialists. Currently, the total number comes in at 88, with two more recruits possibly signing in February. That needs to be no more than 85 scholarship players before the season begins, meaning noting the positions with glut warrants more time than discussing a January depth chart does.
Ian Book — Senior in 2019-2020 — 2 years of eligibility remaining.Phil Jurkovec — Sophomore — 4Brendon Clark — Incoming freshman — 4
Any changes here would be a great surprise. Though an injury or transfer is not why Notre Dame has a class gap between Book and Jurkovec, this is still the intended design of a quarterback depth chart. Prepare for at least one defection every few years by signing a passer in each class. (The position change of rising junior Avery Davis served that role in this instance.)
RUNNING BACKS (6)
Jafar Armstrong — Junior in 2019-2020 — 3 years of eligibility remaining.Tony Jones — Senior — 2Avery Davis — Junior — 3Jahmir Smith — Sophomore — 4C’Bo Flemister — Sophomore — 4Kyren Williams — Incoming freshman — 4
Six may seem to be more running backs than are necessary, but given the assurances of injury at the position, at least three can be expected to genuinely contribute in a given season. An influx of issues would make the fourth and fifth options very much needed. At that point, the sixth preserving a season of eligibility makes sense.
There will inevitably be some worry about the lack of returning production, but Armstrong showed enough in 2018 when healthy to quell at least some of those concerns.
Chase Claypool — Senior in 2019-2020 — 1 year of eligibility remaining, though Claypool could theoretically still head to the NFL. His deadline to decide is Monday.Chris Finke — Fifth-year — 1 year of eligibility remaining.Kevin Austin —- Sophomore — 3Michael Young — Junior — 2Javon McKinley — Senior — 2Joe Wilkins — Sophomore — 4Lawrence Keys — Sophomore — 4Braden Lenzy — Sophomore — 4Isaiah Robertson — Junior — 2Micah Jones — Sophomore — 4Kendall Abdur-Rahman — Incoming freshman — 4Cam Hart — Incoming freshman — 4
Yes, this is the glut in this half of the roster. No, there is not a clear-cut order of reserves coming out of a season in which three receivers (Claypool, Finke and NFL-bound Miles Boykin) handled nearly all route-running duties, which means this is more a listing than it is a depth chart. The rising sophomores, in particular, will have chances abound to enter the rotation, especially considering the speed Keys and Lenzy bring to the equation.
TIGHT ENDS (4)
Cole Kmet — Junior in 2019-2020 — 2 years of eligibility remaining.Brock Wright — Junior — 2George Takacs — Sophomore — 4Tommy Tremble — Sophomore — 4
The Irish bypassed the position in this recruiting class knowing they are set for now and should have at least three of these four in hand in 2020.
OFFENSIVE TACKLES (6)
Liam Eichenberg — Senior in 2019-2020 — 2 years of eligibility remaining.Robert Hainsey — Junior — 2Jarrett Patterson — Sophomore — 4Cole Mabry — Sophomore — 4Quinn Carroll — Incoming freshman — 4Andrew Kristofic — Incoming freshman — 4
Expect Eichenberg and Hainsey to spend three seasons starting opposite each other on the line.
OFFENSIVE GUARDS (7)
Tommy Kraemer — Senior in 2019-2020 — 2 years of eligibility remainingAaron Banks — Junior — 3Josh Lugg — Junior — 3Dillan Gibbons — Junior — 3Darnell Ewell — Junior — 3John Dirksen — Sophomore — 4John Olmstead — Incoming freshman — 4
Banks earning starting experience in the absence of Alex Bars this past season should eliminate any questions at this position in 2019.
Trevor Ruhland — Fifth-year in 2019-2020 — 1 year of eligibility remaining.Luke Jones — Sophomore — 4Zeke Correll — Incoming freshman — 4
With Banks set at left guard and Kraemer presumably holding onto the starting duties at right guard, Ruhland can move to the middle. He has cross-trained there for the last two seasons, providing some depth behind outgoing captain Sam Mustipher.
Kicker — Jonathan Doerer — Junior in 2019-2020 — 2 years of eligibility remaining.
Punter — Jay Bramblett — Incoming freshman — 4
Longsnapper — John Shannon — Senior — 2
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