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Notre Dame Football

Portal Scouting Notes | Rod Heard II

January 6, 2024

Notre Dame is still looking for help at defensive back for this upcoming season. They’ve already added Jordan Clark as a graduate transfer to compete at nickel and they have former Northwestern DB Rod Heard II visiting this weekend. 

Heard played primarily as a slot defender last season, but he did so in a zone heavy scheme. I’d say he was more Rover than slot corner. That’s why I’m not sure he’s a fit as a nickel at Notre Dame.

However, I do think he can compete at safety for the Irish and with Al Golden utilizing three safeties in Notre Dame’s sub-package, there is a need for an experienced defender who could fill one of those slots.

DB Rod Heard II

- 5-11 190

- 2,270 career snaps at NW

- played in a heavy zone scheme at NW, close to 70%

- lined up almost exclusively as a slot defender in 2023

- 11 havoc plays in ‘23

- state champion in 4X100 relay in high school

- solid tackler, 6th in the country in “stops”


- 85 tackles

- gave up 74.9% completions this season

- vs 12 personnel, he switches to play deep when they add a LB


- barely utilized as a blitzer

I think Clark is more of the Thomas Harper replacement with man coverage ability and Heard is someone who could compete to start opposite Xavier Watts at safety. He’s a very good downhill run defender who is comfortable mixing it up near the line of scrimmage.

Adding a reliable tackler with his experience would take some pressure off of the young safeties on the roster and would be another step in solidifying what should already be a great secondary. I mentioned that he was barely utilized as a blitzer, but I wonder if he might be a candidate at the “Aztec” position where he can play closer to the line of scrimmge on 3rd downs. 

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