Hometown: Roswell, GA
High School: Blessed Trinity Catholic
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
A tackling machine with athletic makeup, Bertrand fits the bill as a conventional off-ball linebacker.
Traditional frame with noted height and weight for the position. Brisk feet that transition into reactionary speed in the open field. Frequently shuffles, scrapes, and then sheds, leading to tackles. Extraordinary balance and play strength, evident when engaged with linemen, often using only parts of his body to defeat blockers. Great burst from his coverage alignment, breaking on underneath routes. Awareness pops, with recognition of formations and a “feel” for where the ball flows. Recovery speed when initially beat up the seam by tight ends. Fundamentally sound, but imposing hitter. Will play through the receiver, disrupting the catch point in coverage. Recognized for his leadership and character both on and off the field. Change of direction and ability to transition are drawbacks in his game. Cleats are too often stuck in the ground, showing an inability to work from a square body position to one of movement. Lets linemen into his chest too often, giving them a clear target in their hand placement. Handsy in coverage, seemingly apprehensive in man-man scenarios. Bertrand is the linebacker you want holding your defense accountable and leading your team. His physicality and awareness grant him opportunities to rattle offenses. If he can answer questions about his coverage skills, Bertrand will open himself up to an increased draft stock.
“Last season was a breakout year for Notre Dame linebacker JD Bertrand. The junior led the Fighting Irish in tackles (101), proving to be a rock-solid force in the middle of the defense. For a team that now has a new head coach and new defensive coordinator, Bertrand’s calming presence and leadership have been vital for a program in transition.”
JD Bertrand, a linebacker for the Fighting Irish, truly made a name for himself beginning his sophomore year where he appeared in eleven games for the team while also seeing time vs Alabama in the College Football Semifinal Playoff game. In his junior year he not only played, but started all the games for Notre Dame. Recorded one hundred and one tackles along with four QB hurries during the 2021 season. After the 2021 season he was then names the Phil Steele All Independent First Team.