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Notre Dame 99-to-2: No. 97 Micah Dew-Treadway, defensive tackle

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Listed Measurements: 6-foot-4, 299 pounds
2017-18 year, eligibility: Junior with three years of eligibility remaining including the 2017 season
Depth chart: Dew-Treadway moved up the spring depth chart when junior Elijah Taylor suffered a LisFranc fracture. If Taylor returns fully healthy this fall, he will likely supplant Dew-Treadway as the primary backup behind senior Jonathan Bonner. LisFranc injuries are notoriously fickle, though—logically such should be expected when a foot is counted on to support 300 pounds. If Taylor is at all limited, Dew-Treadway should have the chance to log some competitive snaps. He will be in a mix with senior Pete Mokwuah and junior Brandon Tiassum for that role.
Recruiting: A consensus three-star, Dew-Treadway’s size alone made him a notable recruit. If his size could be developed with time in a college weight room, the Irish coaches may have found a contributing piece. That time in a college weight room began a semester early with Dew-Treadway enrolling in the spring of 2015.

CAREER TO DATE
Dew-Treadway has not appeared in a game for Notre Dame. He preserved a year of eligibility his freshman season, certainly understandable considering the 2015 Irish defensive line featured Sheldon Day, Romeo Okwara and Isaac Rochell, in addition to the litany of usual suspects.

Dew-Treadway suffered a foot fracture before the 2016 season.

QUOTE(S)
When Taylor went down early in spring, Irish coach Brian Kelly needed to figure out who would fill in on the defensive interior if for no other reason than to successfully field the remaining practices. Obviously, those results could indicate a pattern for the fall.

Kelly’s first instinct was Dew-Treadway.

“Micah Dew-Treadway has had a really good offseason for us,” Kelly said. “Changed his body, has been doing a really good job in all facets. In the class room, weight room and he’s somebody that had been ascending anyway prior to the injury. … Micah has shown some real promise over the past couple months.”

WHAT KEITH ARNOLD PROJECTED A YEAR AGO*
Brian Kelly’s mid-June comments about Jarron Jones might actually help Dew-Treadway see the field. Because if the optimum amount of snaps for Jones is 35, that means there’s about 20 more for some lineman not named Daniel Cage or Jerry Tillery, and it’s anybody’s guess who will fill those snaps.

“I tend to think those snaps could go to Jon Bonner first. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Dew-Treadway finds his way into those second-team developmental snaps this year, moving ahead of a veteran like Peter Mokwuah or converted offensive lineman John Montelus, with athleticism a key factor in all of this.”

2017 OUTLOOK
Sometimes a player’s size alone gets him on the field. That could be the case with Dew-Treadway this season. Notre Dame simply does not have many other 300-pound options to clog the middle. That was essentially the reasoning behind recruiting the raw prospect.

Kelly mentioned Dew-Treadway’s work in the weight room. If that work is legitimate—and new director of football performance Matt Balis is able to get the most out of it—then Dew-Treadway’s tangible skills may be catching up to his size. One may be tempted to include the adverb finally in that previous sentence, but that would not be fair to Dew-Treadway. It made sense to spend his freshman campaign on the sidelines, and a foot fracture robbed him of the chance to get a handful of snaps in each game last season.

If he does not see notable action this year, such a disappointed syntax would be quickly appropriate. Dew-Treadway should be able to, at least, fill the middle for 10 snaps a game and total a couple tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage. More than that would be a welcome gift for defensive coordinator Mike Elko. By no means has Bonner excelled so much that the opening is not there for Dew-Treadway to push for more opportunity.

DOWN THE ROAD
If that “at least” scenario plays out, Dew-Treadway will have established a strong base for the 2018 season and, if offered a fifth year, 2019, as well. Of all the names mentioned above, only Taylor and Tiassum would also have possible eligibility in 2019. Tillery will still be around in 2018, along with the possibilities of Bonner and Mokwuah.

Obviously recruits will join the ranks, but Dew-Treadway can stake a claim to future playing time if he takes advantage of available chances in 2017.


*By no means is the “What Keith Arnold projected a year ago” section intended to showcase what Keith did or did not get right. It is intended to provide further context of how a player has performed compared to reasonable expectations.

2017’s Notre Dame 99-to-2
Friday at 4: Goodbye A-to-Z, hello 99-to-2
No. 99: Jerry Tillery, defensive tackle
No. 98: Andrew Trumbetti, defensive end