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Notre Dame Football

48 Questions for Notre Dame Football

July 19, 2021

Notre Dame will kickoff against Florida State in 48 days and once again there are high expectations surrounding the program as the Fighting Irish are coming off another College Football Playoff appearance. 

Brian Kelly’s team lost several key pieces, including the all-time winningest quarterback in program history in Ian Book, but there are many more questions surrounding the program. 

Fall camp will provide insight to a few, but we’ll look back on Notre Dame’s progress during the bye week and following the 2021 campaign. 

1. Who replaces quarterback Ian Book? Jack Coan seems to be the frontrunner, but Drew Pyne and Tyler Buchner aren’t going to give it to him - even if they don’t start the first game of the year. 

2. Jeff Quinn has flexibility and options, but who starts on the offensive line and where?

3. Can receiver Kevin Austin Jr. make an impact in 2021? 

4. How does defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman manage depth on the defensive line combined with depth at linebacker? 

5. Will Notre Dame be impacted by COVID?

6. Is 2021 the year Notre Dame plays Bo Bauer and Drew White next to each other at some point?

7. How big of a step forward can safety Houston Griffith take on the field after making big strides in leadership during the offseason?

8. When does freshman receiver Lorenzo Styles Jr. make his first impact? 

9. Does kicker Jon Doerer have his confidence back?

10. How does Tommy Rees change his offense?

11. Can Notre Dame find success with perimeter screens? 

12. How good is cornerback Cam Hart? 

13. Which TaRiq Bracy will show up in 2021? The confident one is a good cornerback.

14. Will Notre Dame’s players start a movement to bring back black cleats as Bo Bauer did in the spring? 

Bo Bauer | Instagram
LB Bo Bauer

15. Who plays nickelback?

16. Can Jack Coan run the ball and how does that impact the offense?

17. Will Kyren Williams and Chris Tyree have a similar impact as the North Carolina combo of Michael Carter and Javonte Williams? 

18. How much drama surrounds the Notre Dame-Cincinnati game?

19. Who will lead Notre Dame in sacks?

20. Can Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa play defensive end at an All-American level?

21. Will Notre Dame fans miss Ian Book?

22. How often will the Irish offense push the ball vertically? 

23. Will offensive lineman Cain Madden have an adjustment period to this level of competition? 

24. How does Freeman use safety Kyle Hamilton? 

25. Which freshman defensive back gets in the rotation? 

26. Who starts opposite Kyle Hamilton at safety? 

27. Can freshman linebacker Prince Kollie break into a deep rotation at linebacker? 

28. Will tight end George Takacs hold off Kevin Bauman, Cane Berrong and Mitchell Evans? 

29. How does Rees improve his red zone offense? 

30. Where does Josh Lugg end up playing? 

31. Do freshmen offensive linemen Blake Fisher and Rocco Spindler end up starting side-by-side at some point? 

32. Will linebacker Marist Liuafu take the next step? If so, that’s scary for offenses. 

33. How many games will 2023 athlete Sonny Styles‍ attend this fall?

34. Will a freshmen running back make a move on C’Bo Flemister? 

35. Can receiver Lawrence Keys III be a consistent target? 

36. Where does sophomore receiver Xavier Watts fit into the rotation? 

37. Is 2021 the year it clicks for linebacker Shayne Simon after flashing at times in 2020? 

38. How does the defense handle adversity under Freeman?

39. Will receiver Braden Lenzy make 10+ plays of 20 yards or more? 

40. Who returns punts? 

41. Will Jordan Botelho end a life on kickoff coverage? 

42. How many ankles (defenders) does Kyren Williams break this year? 

43. Will the risk in hiring new safeties coach Chris O’Leary pay off? 

44. Will Notre Dame allow outside photographers and videographers back inside Notre Dame Stadium? 

45. How will Notre Dame (and everyone else) adjust to playing in front of a full stadium for the first time in a year, including freshmen and sophomore class who have never played in front of 80,000.

46. If Marcus Freeman doesn’t coach from the box, will Notre Dame fans hate it? 

47. Who and how does the new Notre Dame Stadium PA announcer follow in Mike Collins’ footsteps? The bar has been set high.

48. Can Freeman find a way to utilize athlete Isaiah Pryor in 2021?

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