Notre Dame Tommy Tremble Preview

Notre Dame Tommy Tremble Preview

Tommy Tremble Has The Tools To Be A Game Changer

Junior tight end Tommy Tremble has the talent to become one of the nation's top tight ends in 2020
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Heading into the 2019 season, then sophomore tight end Tommy Tremble had played a grand total of two games in two years.

Tremble was injured in the second game of his senior season at Norcross (Ga.) Wesleyan, and he did not see any game action during his freshman season at Notre Dame. A fall camp injury to starter Cole Kmet allowed Tremble to get early action, and the talented second year player made his presence felt.

Tremble hauled in three passes for 49 yards in the season-opening victory over Louisville, including a 26-yard third quarter touchdown to break the game open.

The Georgia native hauled in nine passes for 136 yards and a pair of scores in the season’s first five games. Over the final eight games he caught just seven passes for just 47 yards, but during that stretch his blocking stood out.

Heading into what is basically his redshirt sophomore season, Tremble is in position to become a dynamic playmaker in the Irish offense.

POTENTIAL TO BECOME A MATCHUP NIGHTMARE

From a raw tools standpoint, Tremble has an opportunity to become a dynamic part of the offense, one that can create mismatches in a number of different areas. 

Tremble was timed at a 4.63 in the 40-yard dash prior to his senior year in high school, and we saw that speed flash last season. The rising junior has the agility and body control to be a sharp route runner, and his ball skills stand out.

Arguably the biggest surprise during his first season in the rotation was how effective Tremble was in the run game, both as an in-line blocker and in space. Despite being just 235 pounds, Tremble can line up in an attached position and get matched up against linebackers, and there aren’t many backers that can run with him.

Tremble’s size makes him difficult matchup for safeties, who have to treat Tremble like a wide receiver when he’s in the slot. That makes it a bit more challenging for safeties to focus on keying the run game. 

Tremble’s blocking in the slot last season was outstanding at times, and if he can be more consistent in 2020 his combination of speed and blocking should give offensive coordinator Tommy Rees and position coach John McNulty some intriguing ways to use Tremble.

We didn’t see him do it much this past season, but Tremble’s size, speed and ball skills are good enough to align him outside at times, which would put him against undersized cornerbacks.

CLEAN UP TECHNIQUE AND ASSIGNMENTS

The issue for Tremble is consistency from both a technical and assignment standpoint. Tremble would compete hard in the run game, and he shows good power, especially for his size. His footwork and hand placement weren’t always strong, and he must play with better angles in the run game to be more effective.

Tremble’s route technique wasn’t always sharp, both in regards to his top-end footwork and also from an execution standpoint post-break.

None of this was unexpected when you consider his youth and overall lack of experience. The question now is can Tremble show growth in those two areas now that he is a more seasoned player. 

While Tremble is immensely talented, he needs to be able to match that with a level of focus, maturity and dedication needed to turn his potential and raw talent into production.

HOW BIG OF A JUMP WILL TREMBLE MAKE?

The focus here isn’t as much on a jump in production as it is a jump in overall effectiveness. The concern isn’t on whether or not Tremble catches a certain number of passes, but is he performing at a high level and attacking the defense in wider variety of ways.

Will Tremble use his speed to attack down the field more than we saw in 2019? Will he become more impactful on working across horizontally, where he can get linebackers and safeties in chase mode more than he can on option and stop routes? Will he do more damage after the catch?

Will the staff move Tremble around more, and will they build game plans around how he can attack defenses, as opposed to him being just a complementary piece?

If those questions are answered in the affirmative, Tremble will not only put up strong numbers, he’ll force defenses to key on him to a much greater degree. That is how Tremble can have the greatest impact, not only producing, but making it easier for his teammates to do the same.

The tools are there, but will Tremble make that kind of leap? It wouldn’t be the first time we saw such a leap. Kmet went into the 2019 season with 17 career catches for 174 yards and zero touchdowns. Tremble’s 16 catches for 183 yards and four touchdowns is even more impressive. We saw Kmet turn into a difference maker, now we’ll need to see if Tremble can make a similar leap.

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Heading into the 2019 season, then sophomore tight end Tommy Tremble had played a grand total of two games in two years.

Tremble was injured in the second game of his senior season at Norcross (Ga.) Wesleyan, and he did not see any game action during his freshman season at Notre Dame. A fall camp injury to starter Cole Kmet allowed Tremble to get early action, and the talented second year player made his presence felt.

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