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Notre Dame Football

Elite 8 | Most Important in 2020: Liam Eichenberg vs. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

April 3, 2020

16 of Notre Dame most important players have been cut to eight after ISD members voted over the last week. 

Friday’s Elite 8 matchup is No. 4 left tackle Liam Eichenberg vs. No. 5 linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

How we got here: It wasn't pretty in the first round as Eichenberg crushed the No. 13 seed tight end Tommy Tremble with 87.3 percent of the votes and Owusu-Koramoah rolled over No. 12 offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer with 69.7 percent of the vote.

Liam Eichenberg 
2019 Stats
: The fifth-year senior returns with 31 games played and has given up just three sacks as a starter the last two seasons. That’s 1,784 plays, which includes zero sacks given up in 2019 on 845 snaps. 

Matt Freeman on why Eichenberg should advance: Left tackle might be the second most important position on the offensive side of the ball and Eichenberg could very well be one of the best in the country. Is he perfect? No, but Mike McGlinchey made huge strides as a fifth-year player and I expect Eichenberg to do the same. 

Pass protection is Eichenberg’s strength and that experience will ease the minds of quarterback Ian Book and first-year offensive coordinator Tommy Rees. I expect Eichenberg to cut down on the false starts and while the Irish still might run right behind Tommy Kraemer and Robert Hainsey, I don’t expect them to ignore the left side. 

Notre Dame has a first-round talent in Eichenberg. Notre Dame was just named Offensive Line U. How doesn’t Eichenberg advance? 

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

Jamie Uyeyama on why Owusu-Koramoah should advance: He might be seeded a little lower because Paul Moala is a quality player backing him up at Rover, but JOK is probably the most likely on the team be an All-American next season.

Even when going through growing pains as a first-year starter, he made plays early in the season and was one of the best players on the field against Georgia (2.5 TFLs). He got better and better as the season progressed with his best performance in the bowl game against Iowa State (4 TFLs, 1 forced fumble). 

The scary part is that he hasn't come close to reaching his potential yet and didn't get many opportunities to play on 3rd down last fall. That will change this season. He finished with 19.5 Havoc plays and that number is going to go up.

Elite 8

No. 1 Ian Book vs. No. 8 Braden Lenzy: Winner - Ian Book 85%

No. 4 Liam Eichenberg vs. No. 5 Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah:

No. 3 Ade Ogundeji vs. No. 6 Robert Hainsey: 

No. 2 Kyle Hamilton vs. No. 7 Kevin Austin Jr. 

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