Notre Dame Football

Breakout Season Coming for Love?

August 12, 2017

Although Julian Love played a lot as a freshman, it’s clear that this offseason was a little different for him.

“I feel pretty good, last off season my head was spinning a little bit which is normal for freshman,” Love stated. “Now I feel more confident and I can help others and do more with regards to being a leader.”

The 5-foot-11, 190 pound sophomore cornerback from Westchester (Ill.) had a year of tremendous growth as a freshman and this year has actually been cross-training at safety and he commented on his comfort level at safety.

“I feel like one of my strengths is the ability to absorb and retain a lot of information,” explained Love. “I feel pretty comfortable [at safety], but I take it one rep at a time and I detail my work because that is important when cross training.”

One of the reasons he feels so comfortable is because of his past experience at the safety position. In high school, he played some safety and even has some cross training experience from last year.

“Last year I cross trained a little bit between corner and nickel,” Love said. “It’s tough, especially early on. But now, I am getting into the grand scheme of the defense and I know the safety’s role, I know the corner’s role and knowing both allows me to be successful in cross training. I feel like I have been successful so far, but I need to detail my work a little bit more. Once you gain knowledge of the whole defense it makes your job a whole lot easier.”

Love says he usually cross trains just a couple periods during practice, but he feels prepared as both a corner and a safety.

Some factors in Love’s playing time at safety will be injuries at both positions (cornerback and safety) along with how young safeties like Jalen Elliot and Isaiah Robertson develop. Of course, the NCAA ruling on safety Alohi Gilman will also impact Love’s playing time. However, Love does not seem to be focused on his playing time at either position.

What he is primarily concerned about is getting the Notre Dame defense back on track and it starts with a different identity.

“I think it is getting turnovers and getting ball disruptions,” Love stated. “It’s being that team that can flip the field at any moment. That is huge with the addition of our offense. Coach Elko harps on ball disruptions, getting the ball loose. That is going to be the difference for us.”

And he also admitted that the three levels of defense are starting to get on the same page and play as one cohesive unit rather than a group of individuals.

“Spring ball was trying to get the new defense, trying to get your job done,” said Love. “Now, there’s a sense of cohesion between the LBs and the DBs. We are getting the big picture of the defense. It is helping us make more plays. You can see it come together piece by piece.”
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