Photo by Mark L. Baer - USA Today Sports
Notre Dame Football

ND Vs...BC Defensive End Harold Landry

May 18, 2017

Notre Dame ended up with some good fortune when both Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson elected to stay at Notre Dame rather than enter the NFL Draft. It's a good thing they did because Boston College experienced some good fortune as well when defensive end Harold Landry decided to return to school for his senior season.

Landry had plenty of reasons to leave. He led the nation in sacks with 16.5 and likely would have been a first round pick. Instead he will be back playing for BC and if he continues to improve from last season, then he cause of ton of destruction for their opponents this season.

That includes Notre Dame when the Irish visit Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts on September 16th. That's going to be a rough week to play BC, a program that always gets up to play Notre Dame. Whether they win or lose versus Georgia the week before, they better come to play the next week on the road because Landry and his teammates are going to bring their A game.

I watched three games of Landry and it's honestly tough to find holes in his game. He is much more than just a pass rusher and the Irish offensive coaches are going to have to game plan specifically to try and slow him down.

Pick your poison in the run game

Normally 250 pound defensive ends that are elite pass rushers are not elite when it comes to playing the run. I don't see that with Landry's game at all. He uses his length really well to establish separation and get off blocks and will beat blockers with his lateral quickness often.

He is fast down the line on plays run away from him. If Notre Dame elects to leave him unblocked rather than at least chip him on runs away from him, he can make a play like this like he did versus Florida State.


Running back Dalvin Cook doesn't have a moment to even see where the hole is before Landry has closed on him.

If you're thinking that the best solution would be to run at him, then think again. At least if you are thinking your tight end can handle him by himself. Florida State tried to run it at him three straight times and each time he blew up his blocker and made the tackle.


I don't see Notre dame shying away from running his side, but I think they may have to look at doubling him at the point of attack at times or cracking him with a big slot (Chase Claypool?) to disrupt his game.

Even running zone read or an RPO with him as the player being optioned can be dicey. He gets up the field so quickly and can screw up the mesh point. BC has been solid across the entire defensive line the last few years, but Notre Dame is going to have pay special attention to Landry and how they plan on blocking him.

Mixing it up in the pass game

That's probably the best thing they can do against Landry in pass protection. I think we saw there are some concerns at right tackle based on the spring game and there will need to be improvement from Tommy Kraemer or Liam Eichenberg at that spot or else Landry will eat them alive.

He can win in a variety of ways as a pass rusher. Here he is against Clemson last season dipping and bending around the corner to get the sack on Deshaun Watson.


Landry has seven forced fumbles last season. He led the nation in that category too. Later in the game he gets to the quarterback with a nice push-pull to almost get another forced fumble.


Don't sleep on him getting to the quarterback with an inside move either. Tackles have to be balanced and disciplined or he will exploit them.

Whether it is chipping him with a back occasionally or sliding the protection that way, the Irish need to consider all things if the right tackle isn't able to block him one on one. Mitch Hyatt, Clemson's first team All-ACC left tackle, did a good job against him on the opposite side in this game. Hopefully Mike McGlinchey can do the same and that is one less thing to worry about for the Irish.

There is, however, an even scarier possibility for Notre Dame that they will have to worry about with Landry. In BC's bowl game against Maryland, they moved him inside on some 3rd downs to take advantage of his quickness against Maryland's center.

They doubled him when he was rushing outside a lot and this was BC's solution to combat that. It worked here with a pressure that led to a sack for one of his teammates.


It's something more people are doing now with their best athletes and I wouldn't be surprised to see it with Daelin Hayes as well with Julian Okwara replacing him on the edge to bring more speed on the field.

The screen game to his side isn't a piece of cake either. I saw him run down some plays in pursuit to make tackles, break up passes in the quick game, and pick the ball off when the offensive tackle did a poor job of cutting him.


Landry was a 3 star prospect out of high school, but his offer list backed up that he could be a special player. He committed to BC in April of his junior year and after that received offers from Clemson, Florida State, Miami, and Ohio State. He stuck with BC and has developed into one of the best players in the nations.

He is a playmaker. His 16.5 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, 22 tackles for loss, 4 pass breakups, and 1 interception back that up and his film is just as impressive as his numbers. It's going to be a tremendous challenge for Notre Dame to keep him in check when they play BC this fall.
Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.