Much of the spring’s analysis, summer wondering and now fall discussion has focused on Notre Dame’s defense — and it was admittedly furthered in this space. Questions obviously surround both the defensive tackle and the safety positions.
But those ponderings should not be so grand as to block out any conversation of the Irish offense, a unit which just may be the most-potent of Brian Kelly’s tenure at Notre Dame. With that in mind, below you will find an attempt at a refresher of a practical depth chart. The qualifier practical is included because it will defer from any listed depth chart. For example, officially listing the starting right guard as the backup center would elicit a number of fruitless and unnecessary questions. If the situation were to arise in a game, though, the Irish would possibly expect senior Alex Bars to move to the middle of the line.
By no means will this be the depth chart in 32 days when Notre Dame kicks off against Temple. That’s why there is a fall camp, right? This is just a starting point for context as some players rise, others fall and a few even switch positions.
Quarterback: Jr. Brandon Wimbush — So. Ian Book — Sr. Montgomery VanGorder or Fr. Avery Davis. The “or” translates to: If a short-term solution is needed, look to VanGorder, but if the situation were to dictate a long-term change, Davis would likely spend a year of eligibility to at least be ready to aid, a la Wimbush in 2015.
Running Back: Jr. Josh Adams — Jr. Dexter Williams — So. Tony Jones — So. Deon McIntosh — Fr. C.J. Holmes, likely to preserve a year of eligibility after suffering a shoulder injury in the spring.
Field, or X, Receiver: Jr. Equanimeous St. Brown — So. Kevin Stepherson
Slot, or Z, Receiver: So. Chase Claypool — Jr. C.J. Sanders — Jr. Chris Finke — Sr. Freddy Canteen
Boundary, or W, Receiver: Jr. Miles Boykin — So. Javon McKinley
Additionally, Arizona State graduate transfer Cameron Smith and freshmen Michael Young and Jafar Armstrong slot into the depth chart somewhere, though where will remain unclear until some practice repetitions are observed. (Such as today’s, possibly.) The best guess this morning would place Smith competing with Stepherson at field, Young competing with McKinley at boundary and Armstrong getting chances at multiple spots.
Tight End: Fifth-year senior Durham Smythe and junior Alizé Mack — Sr. Nic Weishar—Freshmen Brock Wright and Cole Kmet. Smythe and Mack may alternate being 1A and 1B this season, depending on the game plan, but both will certainly be involved. As of now, the freshmen are behind Weishar, but that could change with a solid August from either Wright or Kmet.
Left Tackle: Fifth-year senior Mike McGlinchey — So. Liam Eichenberg
Left Guard: Sr. Quenton Nelson — Fifth-year senior Hunter Bivin — Jr. Trevor Ruhland
Center: Sr. Sam Mustipher — Sr. Alex Bars
Right Guard: Sr. Alex Bars — Fifth-year senior Hunter Bivin — Senior Jimmy Byrne
Right Tackle: So. Tommy Kraemer — So. Liam Eichenberg
The freshmen trio of Robert Hainsey, Dillan Gibbons and Aaron Banks fill in the offensive line depth, as well, but it is unlikely any see the field barring multiple injuries this fall.