Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Left Side Strong Under Liam Eichenberg

August 20, 2019
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Notre Dame has a tradition of quality offensive line play and 2019 will officially turn the page to a new core of guys. Liam Eichenberg, Robert Hainsey and Tommy Kraemer will get their turn to lead the Irish as Alex Bars and Sam Mustipher have departed the program.
 
Head coach Brian Kelly has been very pleased with what he’s seen from the group during camp, including the next two in as Josh Lugg and Trevor Ruhland have had good camps.
 
“It’s a good offensive line and a good group,” said Kelly. “All five of them work well together. Those five guys plus Trevor and Josh Lugg, who is a swiss army knife for us, give us some versatility. That group of five is a really good unit who plays well together.”
 
Eichenberg started at left tackle last fall and experienced some growing pains as any first-time starter would. The Ohio native also battled not knowing who would be lining up next him after Alex Bars went down as Trevor Ruhland and Aaron Banks were fighting for the job until Banks took it over late in the season. 
 
2019 should be very different as Eichenberg is comfortable in his role and has 13 games of starting experience to lean on. 
 
“I have to finish on my blocks – not just being on the guy, but I want to finish the guy and put him in the ground,” Eichenberg explained. “I want to have a great year this year. I really hope for our offensive line that we have a great year. Our goal is the Joe Moore Award and hopefully, that’s where we end up.”
 
Kelly has also noticed a change in his left tackle over the last two weeks.
 
“He’s been really solid,” stated Kelly. He’s been tested. What I liked more about Liam more than anything else in this camp is he’s been steady and he’s been consistent. I thought at times in the spring, there were some ups and downs that were noticeable. Very rarely has it been noticeable those days that haven’t been his best. 
 
“If he has a day that’s not his best, it hasn’t’ been noticeable. I know that doesn’t sound like a glowing report, but when your best day isn’t noticeable, that’s a really good thing for a left tackle.”
 
When it comes to the left side of the line, Eichenberg has been impressed with the growth of Banks at left guard.
 
“He doesn’t have a better understanding of the offense, but I think everything has slowed down for him,” Eichenberg stated. “That comes with games you play, but it’s completely different when you’re going up against the same guy doing the same stuff. In the moment during a game, you don’t know what’s going to happen. We know our defense, certain pressures and how guys move.”
 
It’s clear Banks and Eichenberg are comfortable in their own skin and it has led to a strong level of trust between the two players.
 
“The difference for Banks is there is more of a trust factor there,” said Eichenberg. “I trust him to see what he needs to see and communicate it. Our communication has definitely improved. I think he’s going to have a monster year. He’s massive, but at the same time he’s crazy athletic, which is rare to see at his size.”

 
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