The Notre Dame offensive line was a bit disappointing in 2019, at least in some areas, but the return of five starters and a great deal of depth has expectations sky high for the unit in 2020. Lindy’s Sports College Football National 2020 Preview ranks the Notre Dame offensive line as the best unit in the country.
Here's what Lindy's wrote about the Irish line:
“If new whiz-kid coordinator Tommy Rees — we have t-shirts older than him — wants to be a tough guy and establish the line of scrimmage, he can do just that with a line led by pro-prospect veterans Robert Hainsey, Tommy Kraemer, Liam Eichenberg and Aaron Banks. Sophomore center Jarrett Patterson is the fifth returning starter — and a dang good one — while backup Josh Lugg logged starts in 2019 as an injury replacement. The Irish could win their second Joe Moore Award — given to the nation’s top line (we love this award) — for the second time in four years.”
Lindy’s is incredibly high on the Irish line, and the individual players that make up the unit. Eichenberg was named a second-team preseason All-American and ranked as the sixth best tackle in the country. Kraemer ranked as the fifth best guard in the land and Patterson ranked as the eighth best center.
Notre Dame and Ohio State were the only programs to have three returning offensive linemen to rank among the Top 10 players at their respective positions. The Buckeyes ranked as the second best line in the country.
Wisconsin is the only Notre Dame opponent to rank among the 10 best offensive lines, with the Badgers coming in ranked seventh.
The offensive line was the only Notre Dame position group to make the Top 10.
Clemson had three position groups ranked in the Top 10. The Tigers had the top backfield, fifth best defensive line and eighth best group of receivers. Lindy’s went to print prior to Clemson wideout Justyn Ross being ruled out for the season with an injury, and that would likely drop the Tigers out of the Top 10.
USC also had three position groups in the Top 10, with their receivers ranking third, backfield (quarterbacks/running backs) ranking fourth and defensive line ranking ninth.
Pittsburgh had a pair of units ranked by Lindy’s. The Panthers defensive line ranked sixth and their secondary ranked seventh.
Louisville had the ninth best group of receivers.
Cincinnati had the 10th best secondary, and sophomore cornerback Ahmed Gardner ranked as the nation's 10th best player at his position. That is relevant because first-year Notre Dame cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens coached that unit, and Gardner, last season.
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