College Football is back!
We have been waiting for this since the end of last year, unless you were a Notre Dame fan like myself, then you were waiting for this season since midway through last. 2017-2018 season may be one of the biggest season Notre Dame has endured in the past 5 years.
First off, we all know that Brian Kelly is on the “hot seat” this year. No questions the Notre Dame Head Coach needs to make a successful season this year to continue his legacy in South Bend. With that said, there have been a number of things in the offseason that has helped the Irish improve and more than likely see a respectable season this year.
Besides the coaching staff and all the new acquisitions that were made in the spring and summer, Notre Dame has one big question mark. His name is Brandon Wimbush. The Junior QB has not seen a ton of action in the starting role since he has come to South Bend, as he has been behind some great ones, especially DeShone Kizer. Wimbush was highly-targeted QB coming out of high school himself, as he was a 4-star recruit. Nobody has seen much of the starting QB, so this can bring about a lot of questions. Looking at him, you aren’t concerned. He is stout, muscular, can run and escape pocket pressure, and has a great arm. Everything said from camp has things sounding great for the offense at that position. Notre Dame fans across the globe have heard this song and dance before though.
If Wimbush is the question, his skill positions around him are not. The WR and RB depth chart has the potential to be the Rudolph/Floyd/Tate combo that the Irish had for a season previously. At WR, EQ St.Brown coming back is the main target. The Sophomore last year showed us all the reasons why he is to be the number 1 option going forward. Around him we sprinkle in all of the other talents at wide out and you have quite the deadly attack in the air.
Now, to the real surprise. The stable of backs that are able to be plugged into the lineup at any point this season. We all have seen plenty of Josh Adams, who is consistent and reliable with the football in his hands. There is no questions what we all will see from him this year. Dexter Williams, on the other hand, is the guy to keep an eye on. Last year Williams ran into some off the field issues that many say affected his on-field play during the season. This year, he has come back more focused and prepared and those around the Irish over the summer say he is ready. I am hopeful that these two will perform well as a side-by-side duo that can keep any defense on their toes. There is a sleeper RB that people need to watch out for. Mr. Jones, a name that many has not heard of in this position has had a great offseason and is looking to make his presence known ASAP as to why he can be a force to this team and a nightmare for others.
The last and final analysis going into the start of the season is the same one that we have talked about for the last 3 seasons, the defense. For all of the talent that Notre Dame is able to recruit, they have not been looking like it pans out on the field during the season. What strikes me as odd is that even though the defense has been nothing short of awful, these individual players are still able to go on to the NFL and play professionally. If there are so many players that are able to go onto the next level and play, why are they not able to perform on the field at ND? Is this scheme related or just performance related? This season will show, as a number of young talents got on the field last year and gained valuable experience playing against quality teams. With a year under their belt, expect the secondary to be more solidified (we can hope) and the Front line to be stout with solid guys in the rotation week to week.
All in all, I think that this season will be a great one for the team. I think many will be surprised at how they will play, on both ends of the ball. Expect them to be close against two very good teams on the roster, USC and Georgia. Two losses, tops. That’s my prediction.
Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame. As always, LET’S GO IRISH!