Story Poster
Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame RB Jeremiyah Love Excited For Larger Role in Sun Bowl

December 26, 2023
6,193

Bowl games have taken on a new meaning within college football throughout the years and the latest change has more players opting out of their final game to focus on the NFL. 

Notre Dame has its fair share of players who won’t participate in this week’s Sun Bowl, but it also means it’s a golden opportunity for younger players to gain experience and showcase themselves in a larger role.

That’s exactly the case for Notre Dame freshman running back Jeremiyah Love, who finished 2023 with 56 carries for 346 yards and one touchdown, as Audric Estimè won’t suit up for the Irish on Friday afternoon. 

“I think it’s great, not only for myself but for all the backs,” stated Love. “We were kind of all behind Audric and he was our leader. With him gone, I think it gives all of us a great chance to really show what we all can bring to the table and what we all can do with more carries and more playing time. 

“I don’t really look at it like it’s just me getting more carries but all of us. We all get to showcase a lot more of what we all can do, and I think that’s going to be great for the bowl game.” 

For some, the adjustment from high school to college is a hard one, especially if a player is used to getting the ball often. 

Love was one of those guys who had a ton of touches every game during his high school career, which included back-to-back state titles at Christian Brothers (Mo.). In fact, Love had 22 touches for 318 total yards and five scores in his final game. 

In 2023, Love’s season high in carries was eight carries against Ohio State, but the St. Louis native embraced it as he knew his touches would likely be limited as a freshman.  

“I came in here with an open mind, ready to be coached, to accept coaching, and to learn from my superiors, and that’s what I did,” Love explained. “I started off just taking in all the information that I could get and here I am now at the end of the season a lot better than I was when I first arrived at Notre Dame. I just came into it with an open mind, ready to soak in all the information I could from my coach, Audric and all the seniors.” 

Work ethic has never been something Love has lacked, yet he quickly learned he could push himself even more after watching how Estimè conducted himself in the offseason. Love also learned a great deal from Notre Dame’s leading rusher during the season by watching him bully defenders. 

“Audric goes above and beyond,” said Love. “He does extra work. He’s working out when nobody else is working out. He’s doing all the things that really nobody else is doing. I learned that if I want to be the best I gotta do more and I gotta work when nobody else is working.

“I learned to run with my pad level a little lower. Audric is a big back, so watching him plow through people is kind of like, ‘Man, I see what I gotta do’ because when I first came to Notre Dame, I was more like an upright runner and as the season went on I kind of lowered my pad level and it was successful. I think that we all as a running back room contributed to us being the number one running back group in yards after contact this year.” 

Love will be the first to tell you he has more work to do to become a top running back at the college level, but that isn’t stopping him from hoping to see more reps in the slot too. 

He’s been putting in extra work at practice to improve his receiving skills to put himself in a position to do more on the field.

“I would like to play slot a little bit more,” Love stated. “As a receiver, I’ve grown a lot since coming to Notre Dame. Every day, mostly after practice, I work on my over-the-shoulder catches with my running back group. I kind of started off doing it by myself at the beginning of the season, but then everybody else started seeing me and they came out to catch some over the shoulders with me.

“I think I’ve really grown as a receiver and my routes have gotten a little bit better. Yeah, I would love to get some more time at the slot to really showcase that I’m more than just a running back. I can go out wide and I can route some people up and catch the ball.” 

A big game would cap off an impressive first semester on the field, but away from it, the decision to attend Notre Dame couldn’t have been a better one in Love’s eyes. 

“Man, it’s been great,” said Love. “I really enjoy my time here. I love all the coaches. The community here is great. The camaraderie between the teammates is great. I don’t think there’s any other place that has a culture like Notre Dame and that’s one of the reasons why I chose to come to Notre Dame. Since coming here they’ve really proven that to me that this is a special place and the people really care about you.” 

Want the latest scoop on the Fighting Irish? Sign up for our newsletter and become an ISD Premium Subscriber: Sign Up for ISD

Under Armour White Notre Dame Fighting Irish HOVR Phantom 3 Running Shoes

 
×
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.