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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame LB Marist Liufau Suffers Lower Body Injury

August 25, 2021

Notre Dame will start preparations for Florida State on Thursday, but the Fighting Irish will be without starting Will linebacker Marist Liufau.

The 6-foot-2, 229-pounder suffered a significant lower-body injury during Wednesday’s practice and will likely miss an extended period of time according to multiple sources. 

It’s a tough blow for the Irish defense as Liufau had received praise from head coach Brian Kelly and many around the program for his maturity during camp. 

“I think emotional control is probably the thing that I would say is No. 1,” said Kelly on August 12th. “He's playing a lot better within himself in terms of what he is asked to do. The discipline at that position is really critical and that's a maturity that he's showing.

“He's stronger, you see what he looks like. All those other things are coming together. He's a versatile player. He can cover guys. He can play on the inside. He can do a lot of things for us.”

Liufau was coming off a strong 2020 campaign where he made three starts and made 12 tackles combined in the ACC Championship and CFP semifinal game (both starts). 

The Hawaii native registered 22 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks as a sophomore in 2020 after playing in four games in 2019. 

Marcus Freeman’s defense will now likely turn to JD Bertrand and Shayne Simon at the Will position. Bertrand had a strong fall camp and seemed to be in position to get reps behind Liufau. Jack Kiser has worked at Rover this fall, but the Indiana native played the Will position a year ago. 

The next time Kelly will speak to the media will be on Monday.

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