Jayson Ademilola Notre Dame

Jayson Ademilola Notre Dame

Ranking The Irish: #16 - DT Jayson Ademilola

Breaking down junior defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola, who needs a big year for Notre Dame
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The Top 25 players for Notre Dame in 2020 continues with a look at talented junior defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola.

This analysis for the Top 25 Irish players is a combination of talent, expected production, importance of that player’s role and also the value the player brings. The value aspect includes the position played and also the depth chart, meaning who can the Irish least afford to lose.

Let's look at why Ademilola needs to have a big year for Notre Dame.

MAKING THE CASE

Ademilola came to Notre Dame as part of the vaunted 2018 recruiting class, which was loaded with talented front seven players. 247Sports ranked him as the nation’s 45th best overall player in the entire country in that class.

As a freshman, Ademilola was a key figure in the defensive line rotation. His snaps were limited but his production on a per-snap basis was outstanding. According to Pro Football Focus, Ademilola made an impressive 10 run stops on just 94 run snaps, which was a tremendous rate. It was by far the best on the Irish defense.

That continued in 2019, as Ademilola registered 13 run stops on 114 run snaps. A strong case could be made that Ademilola has been Notre Dame’s best interior run defender on a per-snap basis over the last two seasons.

In fact, there wasn’t an ACC defensive tackle with at least 100 run snaps that produced a higher PFF run stop rate last season than did Ademilola. His 10.5% run stop rate was outstanding, and the next closest player to him was at 8.7%. Florida State All-American candidate Marvin Wilson was at 8.5%, Clemson freshman All-American Tyler Davis was at 7.2% and Pittsburgh star tackle Jaylen Twyman was at 6.2%.

Ademilola is an athletic and disruptive player, and when he keeps his pads low and fires off the line he can be very hard to handle. His hands are strong for a player his size and he can get off blocks effectively.

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT

There are two big questions for Ademilola this season.

The first is can he handle more snaps and remain productive. Some players are able to produce at a high level with limited snaps because their deficiencies can be masked, or they are fresh due to those limited reps. The best players are able to sustain their high level of play over extended opportunities.

We don’t yet know if Ademilola can handle a higher volume of snaps because Notre Dame hasn’t played him as much as players like Kurt Hinish and Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa. Last season, for example, Ademilola never played more than 31 total snaps in a game and never more than 18 against the run. There were six games where he played 10 or fewer run snaps.

Tagovailoa-Amosa played between 32-53 snaps in 11 of Notre Dame’s 13 games, and he played 113 more run snaps last season than Ademilola. Hinish played at least 30 snaps in nine of Notre Dame’s 13 games and had 118 more run snaps than Ademilola last season.

If you extend his run game production from last season to equal the same number of snaps as Hinish and Tagovailoa-Amosa, the talented interior defender would have registered eight tackles for loss against the run game alone. Now that he’s a junior, is Ademilola ready to handle a heavier workload? If he can, will he be able to sustain his high level of production? That remains to be seen.

The second question for Ademilola is can he finally become a more disruptive pass rusher. He was a dominant pass rusher in high school, but Ademilola has made just a half of a sack in his two years in an Irish uniform. He registered just nine total pressures on 113 pass rushes last season.

There’s an opportunity for Ademilola to become a force in the Irish defense, and there’s also a need. If he stays healthy, stays focused and is physically able to handle a heavier work load he’ll become just that, and could develop into one of Notre Dame’s top defenders.

Past Breakdowns:

#25 - Third Linebacker
#24 - Kurt Hinish, DT
#23 - Jonathan Doerer, PK
#22 - Lawrence Keys III, WR
#21 - Shaun Crawford, CB
#20 - TaRiq Bracy, CB
#19 - Jafar Armstrong, RB
#18 - Houston Griffith, S
#17 - Javon McKinley, WR

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The Top 25 players for Notre Dame in 2020 continues with a look at talented junior defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola.

This analysis for the Top 25 Irish players is a combination of talent, expected production, importance of that player’s role and also the value the player brings. The value aspect includes the position played and also the depth chart, meaning who can the Irish least afford to lose.

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