The first couple spring practices were enough to fill out a penciled depth chart for Notre Dame’s offense. Franky, there was one question needing some clues more than anything else, and Irish rising junior Michael Carmody has emerged as the early frontrunner at left guard opposite fifth-year Andrew Kristofic at right guard.
Let’s emphasize the phrase early frontrunner there, as new Notre Dame offensive line coach Joe Rudolph likely will mix and match a bit yet both before the Blue-Gold Game on April 22 and before the Irish head to Dublin in 148 days.
The one position with a clear pecking order among its top two, despite Notre Dame continuing to go through the facade of a competition, is quarterback.
“[Rising junior Tyler Buchner is] not going to back down from anybody,” Irish quarterbacks coach Gino Guidugli said Friday. “At the end of the day, if those two are competing and going head-to-head, they’re making each other better and ultimately, they’re making the offense better, which is going to make this football team better. …
“They understand what’s at stake. It’s nice to see those guys compete. I think it sets a precedent in the room that, ‘Hey, you have to go out there every day and be consistent and make decisions that are going to help our football team and put them in situations to be successful.’”
Those are nice sentiments, and Buchner’s development obviously should be a Notre Dame priority through 2023, especially as it pertains to keeping him actively engaged with the program.
But Wake Forest graduate transfer Sam Hartman will start for the Irish in Dublin.
— Buchner: Because it may be asked, Buchner has three seasons of eligibility remaining to be used in three years.
— Sophomore Steve Angeli: And Angeli has four seasons remaining in four years.
— Early-enrolled freshman Kenny Minchey
One more reminder, Ron Powlus III took a medical retirement this offseason.
Coach @GinoGuidugli was mic’d up today and he brought the heat 😂🔥#GoIrish☘️ pic.twitter.com/lpr8Z7fhB8
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) March 31, 2023
— Junior Audric Estimé
— Junior Logan Diggs: Both Estimé and Diggs have only two seasons of eligibility remaining, but given the short shelf lives of running backs, it could probably be assumed at least one of them will not return to college in 2024. Then again, perhaps NIL could change that long view.
— Sophomore Jadarian Price: Not yet full-go as he recovers from a summer Achilles injury, it looks more and more like Price may have the third-most carries for Notre Dame this fall with fifth-year Chris Tyree looking at a life at receiver.
— Sophomore Gi’Bran Payne
— Freshman Jeremiyah Love
— Virginia Tech graduate transfer Kaleb Smith: The nomenclature of “Big” used here is not official, is not what Notre Dame uses, and is intended only to convey uncertainty at who will line up where among the Irish receivers, particularly with a new offensive coordinator in Gerad Parker. It still feels safe to presume there will be some delineation between skill sets, though.
— Junior Jayden Thomas: He became a third-down extraordinaire in 2022 and has been praised as a leader this spring. Thomas could end up starting over Smith. Again, uncertainty about the split of starters.
— Junior Deion Colzie
If the amount of times his name comes up in interviews is an indication, WR Tobias Merriweather is having a heck of a spring.
📸 @3RD13 for @insideNDsports pic.twitter.com/Sg7xx4IGOp
— Tyler James (@TJamesND) March 31, 2023
— Sophomore Tobias Merriweather could not be receiving much more praise this spring.
— Early-enrolled freshman Jaden Greathouse
— Early-enrolled freshman Braylon James
— Junior Lorenzo Styles
— Fifth-year Chris Tyree: One could understandably wonder if Tyree’s dabbling at receiver was part of Notre Dame’s conversation with him about returning for this final collegiate season.
— Former walk-on Matt Salerno
— Freshman Kaleb Smith
— Junior Mitchell Evans
— Sophomore Holden Staes
— Sophomore Eli Raridon
— Junior Kevin Bauman: Both Bauman and Raridon are sidelined for the spring as they recover from ACLs torn in the fall.
— Freshman Cooper Flanagan
— Preseason first-team Walter Camp All-American Joe Alt: Yes, a preseason All-American team was released Friday. Yes, that’s idiotic.
— Senior Tosh Baker: He has never cracked the starting lineup aside from the rash of left tackle injuries in 2021 that eventually led to Alt’s star turn, but Baker remains one game away from taking over at a pivotal role. It is not like he has been supplanted by scrubs. If he hangs around South Bend, one has to think the starting gig could be his in 2024, but that may be an “if.”
— Sophomore Billy Schrauth
— Fifth-year Zeke Correll is set for his third season as a starter at the fulcrum, a veteran presence that should make life that much easier for Hartman.
— Junior Pat Coogan
— Early-enrolled freshman Sam Pendleton
— Junior Rocco Spindler
— Sophomore Ashton Craig
— Junior Blake Fisher
— Sophomore Aamil Wagner
— Sophomore Ty Chan
INCOMING OFFENSIVE LINEMEN
Positions are in flux even among the second unit along the offensive line, so trying to nail them down beyond that is foolish, particularly with players not even yet on campus.
— Charles Jagusah
— Joe Otting
— Sullivan Absher
— Chris Terek