Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Scouting the Roster: Julian Love

May 25, 2017

Player name: Julian Love

Player position: Cornerback

Years of eligibility left: 3

Projected rank on the depth chart: A definite starter and likely top corner on the roster

Player productivity so far:

2016: 45 tackles 2 TFLs 3 PBUs 1 INT 1 forced fumble

What player does best: Love was forced into a prominent role during the Duke game and his play kept him involved in a big role all season long. Through it he showed he is an outstanding player versus the run. Not many corners tackle as well as he does. He does a terrific job of fighting through blocks and diagnoses things quickly.

He is physical in coverage as well and really stepped up with his overall technique this spring. He is not the fastest in terms of his long speed, but he’s incredibly quick. There may not be a player on the roster who has a higher compete level than him. That combined with great instincts allows him to be in a position to finish at the catch point to break up passes.

What player needs to work on: This isn’t an easy area to pick out for Love because if he progresses like he has been, then he should be an outstanding all-around corner.

He needs to win more against bigger receivers. He did a really good job working against Notre Dame’s receivers this spring, but lost some jump balls against Syracuse’s Amba Etta Tawo and Bucky Hodges that resulted in big plays last season.

Although he got his hands on the football on a number of passes this spring, they need to see that translate to games this fall. It would help quite a bit if he could increase his interception total as well. He has very good ball skills and was a terrific offensive player in high school. More splash plays from him, potentially on interception returns, would be a welcome sight.

Productivity of former ND players and top players in the nation at his position:

Cole Luke 2016: 48 tackles 2 TFL 6 PBU 2 INT

KeiVarae Russell 2015: 60 tackles 3.5 TFL 1 sack 4 PBU 2 INT 2 forced fumbles

Jourdan Lewis Michigan: 25 tackles 3.5 TFL 8.5 sacks 11 PBU 2 INT 2 forced fumbles

Desmond King Iowa: 58 tackles 3.5 TFL 7 PBU 3 INT 1 forced fumble

Marshon Lattimore Ohio State: 41 tackles 1 TFL 9 PBU 4 INT

Sidney Jones Washington: 39 tackles 2.5 TFL 6 PBU 3 INT 2 forced fumbles

What can we hope for? It’s fair to hope that he emerges as a cornerback that starts to get mentioned as one of the best opposing teams will face this season. They may not be saying that right now, but hopefully they will be saying that by November.

He should make a jump in his overall production in terms of tackles, pass breakups, and interceptions. More importantly than that, he should be able to match up in man coverage against most of the top receivers Notre Dame will face this season.

We can hope he will be the best player in the Irish secondary this season.

What is a realistic expectation? It’s realistic to think he will have stretches that look similar to how he looked all spring. It's also realistic to assume he will have some growing pains as well.

It’s easy to forget that he is only a sophomore because he played so much last season, but he really hasn’t had a ton of game action or reached his physical peak yet. He should in fact only be scratching the surface in that area now that he is going through his first full off-season with the Irish.

There is no reason not to believe that he will continue to make an impact versus the run/perimeter passing game. His story is just getting started as a cover man, though, in only his second full season at corner (he played mostly safety and receiver in high school).

What about the future? It’s pretty obvious that I’m incredibly high on Love’s potential after seeing him last season and then taking another step forward this spring. He has a high ceiling and that’s great, but he also has a high floor.

Whether he develops into an All-American caliber player or not, I think he can be a high level starter at the very least because he does so many things well.
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