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Notre Dame Football

ISD Sweet 16 | Most Important in 2020: No. 5 vs. No. 12

March 26, 2020

It's Sweet 16 week! 

Well, at least for Irish Sports Daily. 

Jamie and Matt came up and seeded the 16 most important players to Notre Dame's 2020 campaign and we're giving ISD members the chance to advance them in a single-elimination tournament. 

Thursday’s matchup is No. 5 linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah vs. No. 12 offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer. 

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
2019 Stats
: 80 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, four passes defended, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries

Why he is the No. 5 seed: This one is easy. Owusu-Koramoah is one of the countries best linebackers. Athleticism and speed define his game, but the Virginia native also tends to find a way to come up with the football. Heck, Notre Dame even used him as a nickel in packages because he can run with receivers. 

It was a bold comparison, but I wrote last spring that Owusu-Koramoah had Jaylon Smith athleticism and I’m sure there were some eye rolls. It took a few games, but everyone quickly saw Owusu-Koramoah had NFL talent. 

Now, why is a potential All-American the No. 5 seed? It starts with his backup Paul Moala. Losing Owusu-Koramoah wouldn’t be good, but Moala has shown he’s ready for a larger role and made several key plays last year himself. 

Why Owusu-Koramoah should advance: Owusu-Koramoah has the chance to be one of the best defensive players in the country in 2020 and will be counted on to bring a somewhat inexperienced defense along this fall. 

Tommy Kraemer
2019 Stats:
 Kraemer has started 32 games over the last three seasons for Notre Dame and gave up just one sack last year on 202 passes. He played in just seven games in 2019 as he suffered a knee injury against Michigan.

Why he is the No. 12 seed: If Kraemer didn't get injured, the Cincinnati native might be preparing for the 2020 NFL Draft. Kraemer returning in 2020 is a good thing for Notre Dame as he could very well be in the mix as the best on the Irish offensive line. 

Kraemer had his ups and downs in 2018 after moving to guard, but he improved his pulling and work in the run game. It was clear he was trending up before his injury. 

would consider Kraemer one of the best returning guards in the country, so there is a drop off between him and his backup Josh Lugg. However, it’s as big of a gap as other spots on the offensive line and wouldn’t require shuffling of the line. 

Why Kraemer should advance: Kraemer has a chance to play himself into the first two rounds of the draft with a big 2020 and the NFL loves big guards who can move people. Kraemer can do just that. 

No. 1 vs. No 16: Winner - Ian Book with 62%. 

No. 8 vs. No. 9: Winner - Braden Lenzy 51.4%

No. 4 vs. No. 13: Winner - Liam Eichenberg 87.3%

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