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Notre Dame Football

Jafar Armstrong Confident Following Spring Ball

April 17, 2019

Notre Dame running back Jafar Armstrong flashed his playmaking ability during Saturday’s Blue-Gold game as he rushed for 85 yards and one score but also added four catches for 71 yards. 

The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder admitted he felt more comfortable as he has a year of playing the position under his belt. 

“I was learning a bunch of different plays last year along with the receivers stuff I was doing,” explained Armstrong. “This year, I know the plays and I know what to expect. It’s about me really going after it and enhancing my game. There is a lot less I have to worry about this year.

“It’s me being more comfortable. I know what to expect this year. I’m really coming into myself and be the best player I can be every day.”

Armstrong will be the first to say he’s still improving and that includes taking pieces from other running backs in Lance Taylor’s room. 

“I try to take things from all the backs,” stated Armstrong. “All the backs are really quick, physical and confident. They don’t shy away from any pressure or tackle. They are a bunch of really good guys who are eager to go out and prove themselves.” 

Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly called sophomore Jahmir Smith a truck following the spring game and Armstrong agreed with the head coach, but also was quick to add the North Carolina has much more to his game.

“Jahmir’s cuts are great too,” Armstrong said. “He had the spin move on Saturday and I think he’s strong, fast and quick. He does really good things out of the backfield. I’m excited for him and he’s going to make some noise this year.” 

Even early enrollee Kyren Williams has impressed Armstrong in the first four months he’s been on campus.

“He’s quick and really shifty,” Armstrong stated. “He had a nice spin move and broke two tackles. He’s pretty physical and has really impressed me. He should still be in high school, but he’s scoring touchdowns in the spring game. He’s out there having a good time.” 

The addition of Taylor as Notre Dame’s running backs coach has also been a welcome sight to Armstrong as he’s developed similar backs with his skill set.

“Coach Taylor coming in and having coached guys like Christian McCaffrey, who is someone I try to model my game after from a catching the ball out of the backfield and speed perspective,” Armstrong said. “He’s a great coach and asset to have.” 

As for the expectations heading into 2019, Armstrong knows there is plenty of talent to get the job done and they are willing to accept whatever role is asked of them, including being more involved in the Irish passing game. 

“We’re going to do the best we can,” said Armstrong. “We have the opportunity to catch a bunch of balls and we work on that a lot. Whatever Coach Long and Coach Taylor have for us, we’ll be ready for it.” 

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