Notre Dame Football

Love Not Taking The Cheese

August 10, 2018

Notre Dame cornerback Julian Love is looking to redeem himself after an up and down spring during the beginning of summer camp. Love is making it a point to focus on certain things he lost sight of after a big sophomore season and it starts with fundamentals. 

“In the spring, it wasn’t the spring that I wanted,” explained the junior standout. “I was putting too much pressure on myself to make all these plays. I told you guys I wanted to get more interceptions and go for it and then he (Head Coach Brian Kelly) helped me realize that wasn’t what made me successful this past season.

“I did well and made some interceptions, and it is hard to tell someone who wants the ball on defense to just let the ball come to you. It is tough, and Coach (Todd) Lyght is heavy on me, and Coach (Terry) Joseph is doing a great job with me. We have created a great relationship this summer to work to let the game come to me and work through my technique and eliminate things before the play starts. That is key in balancing in trying to do too much.”

After making an impact his freshman year collecting 45 total tackles, an interception and three pass-breakups, Love’s numbers shot up significantly last season. He recorded 68 tackles, three interceptions and had a record-setting 20 pass breakups. 

“My success was my effort,” stated the 5-foot-11, 190-pounder. “I focused on tackling, something freshman year I didn’t do so well. I focused on being a more efficient tackler, and my numbers happened to go up. As for my effort, I tried to run back side to make plays, and because of that, I made more plays than did freshman year. It’s not number goals, but goals for me to push myself harder and farther.”

Being in the spotlight can be tough and coming off a season like Love had it got everyone talking about the Nazareth Academy (Ill.) alum. Going back to his roots helped him come back to focus.

“I think back to my high school coach Tim Racki,” Love explained. “He was always so big on my team and thinking about the game like a mousetrap. All the distractions are the cheese. When you focus on the distractions, the pre-season rankings and the watch lists you’re biting the cheese, when you bite the cheese you get your head cut off. I called him recently, and he just reminded me of that.”

As an upperclassman, Love has also risen to the challenge of being a leader on and off the field especially during what Love called the 'dog days of camp.'

 “It is tough,” said Love. “It's all the older veteran guys holding the younger guys accountable and holding each other accountable. It is nice to be back."

The trip to the Culver Academies to start camp was good, but Love and the Irish are also glad to be back on campus. 

"We have nice showers," Love stated. "We get to relax, do our thing, and we have A/C, but it is just taking advantage of that realizing what we have with all the resources we have and just working.

"We are taken care of through training, nutrition, through everything, and all we have to do is focus on football. All we need to do is realize that, and that will keep us pushing through the dog days of camp.” 

Although Love isn’t a captain, he brings unique leadership to an Irish defense that is vibing well under new leadership in defensive coordinator Clark Lea. 

 “I give a different take on our defense that a lot of other players don’t,” said Love. “We have a good variety of emotions, personalities and physical attributes throughout our defense. Mine is kind of unique, I try to be more on the calm side, and I am able to talk to players in a good way. 

"I have a good spot in our defense, with Tevon (Coney) we work very well together. He is a backer, but our contrasting and everything works well together because we know what each other have.” 

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