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Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Who (Would Have) Stood Out | Notre Dame Spring Game

April 19, 2020

Notre Dame losing the opportunity to play the Blue-Gold Game isn’t high on the list off important things for the success of 2020, but losing 13 practices this spring definitely is significant.

Now, it’s always good to see guys run around for the first time in front of 20,000 people and get some experience in somewhat game situations. Is there a ton to take away from it? No, but there can also be some lasting impressions made - good or bad.

The Irish practiced one time this spring before the coronavirus canceled spring ball, so there wasn’t a ton predict from the first day with no pads, but here are four guys I think would have stood out on Saturday.

RB Kyren Williams and RB C’Bo Flemister

Williams (pictured) impressed at times last year during spring ball and fall camp as a true freshman. The St. Louis native found himself working with the first-team in situations during fall camp and then got some early playing time to start the year, but Notre Dame’s depth made it an easy decision to preserve a year.

In a spring game setting, Williams would have been the benefit of several checkdowns and likely a bigger workload. Williams is dangerous in the open field, so it would have been fun to see him get some work.

Combined with being a young guy the staff needed to see on film and Williams’ ability to stretch the field, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see him be one of the more talked about players coming out of the game. 

That leads us to C’Bo Flemister. The junior running back ran 48 times for 162 yards and five touchdowns as a sophomore in 2019, so it’s not as if we hadn’t seen him run. Notre Dame used the Georgia native as almost a short-yardage back last fall, which led to the five scores.

There is little doubt Flemister would have received plenty of work on Saturday. It would have been nice to see what he could do when not running the ball inside the five. But, I think Flemister would have been in for a big day as there would have still been snow on the ground for Saturday’s game, so it would have definitely favored the run game. 

Flemister is a gritty player, who runs hards, which would have been favorable considering the conditions. (Yes, it was sunny in the afternoon, but the snow in my yard didn’t melt until about 5pm.) 

Rick Kimball/ISD
C’Bo Flemister

DE Justin Ademilola 

The junior defensive might be one of the most forgotten guys on the team and one people should likely be talking about a little more. If you remember, Ademilola was part of the game plan against Clemson and has been stuck behind some pretty good defensive ends during his first two seasons. 

Similar to Khalid Kareem, Ademilola is a guy who can hold up against the run, but also has a unique ability to rush the passer at a high level. 

The chance to rush the passer in a spring game is almost always going to favor the defensive end. The quarterback can’t be hit and Ademilola would have definitely been matched up against an inexperienced tackle at some point. 

I think 2020 could be a big year for the New Jersey native and he could have jumpstarted it with a big Blue-Gold game. 

Rick Kimball/ISD
Justin Ademilola 

S Houston Griffith 

It’s not as if people have written him off, but Griffith seems to have a little bit of a chip on his shoulder. Whether it’s from moving around the secondary his first two years or Isaiah Pryor coming in (They are good friends as they are former teammates at IMG Academy), Griffith knows it’s his time.

He’s back at his natural position of safety and knows the defense, which we’ve seen jumps from guys in year three. There is an added sense of comfort when a player knows the defense inside and out, which I think everyone would have seen from Griffith. 

I do think the addition of Pryor has also made him focus that much more. I do believe Griffith is a better athlete, moves more naturally and can play the better than Pryor, so with a little extra motivation, it could have been a huge spring for the Chicago native. 

Rick Kimball/ISD
Houston Griffith 


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