Notre Dame is set to start the 2021 season this weekend when the team reports for fall camp. We'll really find out what this team is made of in 33 days when the Irish travel to Tallahassee, Florida to take on the Seminoles of Florida State.
As we continue our breakdown of the Notre Dame squad heading into fall camp we dive into the five areas where we have the greatest confidence with this football team.
Here are the five areas and/or players we have the most confidence in with camp right around the corner.
1. KYLE HAMILTON — This is a no-brainer for Notre Dame. Hamilton, as long as he's healthy this season, is set to be the team's best defensive player and arguably the best overall player. Hamilton was an All-American for the Irish last season, showing himself to be capable of dominating in the run game, in zone coverage, in man coverage and with the occasional blitz. Heading into year two as a starter Hamilton has a chance to take his game to an eve greater level. That means cleaning up his angles a bit and becoming a more impactful player on the ball in the pass game, but the reality is if Hamilton doesn't improve his game at all he's still probably the best safety in college football.
2. RUNNING BACKS — With Kyren Williams and Chris Tyree manning the backfield Notre Dame could have one of the very best one-two backfield duos in the country. Williams is a do-it-all player that can make you miss just as effectively as he can put his shoulder down and hammer for tough yards. Expect to see him far more involved in the pass game this season. Tyree is a home run waiting to happen, and the sophomore back is one of the most explosive backs in college football. Notre Dame also returns C'Bo Flemister and his 10 career rushing touchdowns and welcomes the arrival of standout freshmen Logan Diggs and Audric Estime.
3. DEFENSIVE LINE — Despite heave personnel losses in recent season we fully expect the Notre Dame defensive line to once again be a strength of the football team. The return of veterans Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa and Kurt Hinish is one reason, but for Notre Dame to truly be dominant up front the Irish need defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola and end Isaiah Foskey to shine. Both are poised for breakout seasons, especially Ademilola. What gives the greatest confidence, however, is the incredible depth Notre Dame possesses up front. The Irish can throw waves of talented linemen at opponents from the inside and outside.
4. WIDE RECEIVERS — Including the wide receivers might surprise some but we've been consistent about this one all season. Notre Dame has a lot of talent coming back at wide receiver and a lot of depth. Veteran Avery Davis is a savvy player, but we are expecting a lot more production from rising seniors Lawrence Keys, Braden Lenzy and Kevin Austin. Sophomore Xavier Watts and talented freshmen Lorenzo Styles Jr. and Deion Colzie only add depth to this talented group of pass catchers. Austin finally tapping into his potential and Lenzy staying healthy are very important to this unit, as is position coach Del Alexander doing a better job building up the younger, talented pass catchers.
5. QUARTERBACK ROOM — Notre Dame has four talented quarterbacks on the roster, with one player in each class. Veteran Jack Coan is the expected starter, and the last time we saw him in action he was leading Wisconsin to 10 wins and a trip to both the Big Ten title game and the Rose Bowl. Behind him is Drew Pyne, Tyler Buchner and Brendon Clark. This is a situation where Coan is clearly the best player right now, but if the talented younger players are thrust into action they should be just fine. Notre Dame has a very healthy quarterback depth chart heading into fall camp.
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