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Notre Dame Football

Projecting the Two-Deep | Notre Dame Offense

July 1, 2020

Notre Dame’s path to the season is a one step at a time process this summer. Players are back on campus working out and that’s a good thing. The next step is to get to August when they can actually practice and if things go well over the next two months around the country, hopefully they’ll be playing games in September.

Before they get there, they have camp, even if it’s a different version of it than normal. There will still be competition and players fighting for spots. There just may be less opportunities for players to make moves before they get into the actual season.

To help everyone have an idea of where things stand in July, it seems like a perfect time to project the two-deep for the start of camp.

I mentioned the start of camp for a reason. This is how I see the two-deep for when Notre Dame starts practices. This is not necessarily how I see it for when they play Navy and I believe we’ll see a more fluid depth chart after the first few games as well.

With the projections, I have added notes for each position to add more context of why I see it this way now and why it could change later on.

Quarterback: Ian Book, Brendon Clark

There doesn’t need to be much added to this. Book is QB1. That’s written in stone. Clark is penciled in as the backup and will get the benefit of the doubt heading into camp because Drew Pyne did not have a chance to unseat him as an early enrollee.

I expect Clark to be the backup all season, but until we see more of him, it’s tough to lock that in as a sure thing.

Running Back: Jafar Armstrong, C’Bo Flemister

This is what is expected in August. It could look a lot different by the time they hit September or October.

Armstrong had a disappointing season and he’s had two injuries that made him miss time in 2018 and 2019. He’s coming out with the ones to start because of experience, not because of what he has shown on the field so far.

Flemister was ahead of Jahmir Smith on the depth chart at the end of last season so he seems like the logical choice to be the number two to start things off. I’d expect Trevor Speights, Kyren Williams, and Chris Tyree to all see action with the first and second team offense in camp, though.

If no one shines bright in practices, we may see a committee approach in early games until a couple of guys start to separate from the pack.

Tight End: Tommy Tremble, Brock Wright

This is another obvious one, but Wright has a chance to make a move as an in-line option. The upside with Tremble as a receiver is so high, though, and he provides versatility with where he can line up.

It’s possible that freshman Michael Mayer could make a statement to get into the mix.

Left Tackle: Liam Eichenberg, Andrew Kristofic

It would be surprising if this wasn’t how it looked at left tackle, but if Kristofic doesn’t show enough, he might be listed as the number two in name only. They may look at other options if Eichenberg goes down (like flipping Robert Hainsey to the left side).

And if Kristofic doesn’t look like the left tackle of the future, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them move him to guard and give Tosh Baker a chance to be Eichenberg’s backup.

Left Guard: Aaron Banks, Dillan Gibbons

Gibbons is listed because of seniority, but I would expect there to be a lot of competition at guard. And if Banks were to go down, Josh Lugg is the obvious choice to fill in at either guard or right tackle.

Center: Jarrett Patterson, Zeke Correll

It should be noted that Colin Grundhard could be the second team center ahead of Correll, but I have to believe that they will give Correll every opportunity to be the next man in at center.

Right Guard: Tommy Kraemer, Josh Lugg

As mentioned above, Lugg is the obvious choice to be the third guard behind Kraemer and Banks. He may be listed at right tackle, where he finished last season, so we could see John Dirksen here.

Dirksen is someone who needs to make a statement this summer to put himself in a good position to be trusted if called upon.

Right Tackle: Robert Hainsey, Quinn Carroll

If Carroll is healthy and looks like he has improved as expected, it would give Jeff Quinn flexibility to have Lugg work more as an interior player.

W (Boundary): Kevin Austin, Ben Skowronek OR Javon McKinley

Austin seemed primed for a big spring before everything was cancelled.

It’s a toss-up between Skowronek and McKinley for who backs up the boundary and we could see Austin play to the field as well.

X (Field): Braden Lenzy, Joe Wilkins Jr.

This is Lenzy’s spot to lose given what he did at the end of last season. I wouldn’t count out Wilkins if he is healthy, though.

We’ll see if Jordan Johnson can make an impact early to get in the mix. He’s someone I would expect to dazzle with his ball skills in one on ones.

Z (Slot): Lawrence Keys, Avery Davis

Keys has looked phenomenal in practices. That didn’t translate to Saturdays yet, but he is the front-runner in the slot.

Davis was working with the second team in that one spring practice and this is his best position in my opinion. He’s a candidate to start.

It will be interesting to see if Kendall Abdur-Rahman or Xavier Watts can enter into the equation. Each one of these players has explosive athletic traits and it would help the offense a lot if the slot receiver became a consistent threat.

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