It is the most wonderful time of year. Wait, no, that is reserved for late December.
It is the most exciting time of year. No, that’s not right. That is either the third week of March or the peak of the college football season, mid-November.
It is the most thorough time of year. That sounds about right, as it is time for the annual series of profiles of each and every scholarship player expected to be on Notre Dame’s roster this coming fall, a tradition unlike any other started by this space’s former innovator, Keith Arnold.
The NCAA’s guidelines will allow the Irish to begin preseason practice Aug. 3, a Friday. Logic indicates Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly will hold an introductory press conference on or about the preceding Wednesday, Aug. 1. In other words, Kelly will next offer thoughts on the 2018 season in 87 days.
That is a pertinent number, considering the Irish roster currently has 87 players on it, two more than the NCAA maximum allowed and all listed below. Depending just when that inevitable attrition occurs, the (minimum of) two departing players may or may not be profiled in the series.
Again this year, just like last summer, the articles will flow from No. 99 to No. 2, from senior defensive tackle Jerry Tillery to sophomore linebacker Jordan Genmark-Heath. Proceeding by jersey number leads to more of a position group trend, giving each profile more context. Following a discussion of Tillery with a look at senior defensive tackle Micah Dew-Treadway, No. 97, makes more sense than placing fifth-year linebacker Drue Tranquill after Tillery.
Plus, the numeral progression includes the harmless parlor game of guessing the jersey numbers of the 20 incoming freshmen. Tackles Ja’Mion Franklin and Jayson Ademilola certainly seem ripe for Nos. 92 and 93.
The thoroughness commences Tuesday with Tillery.
More images of Notre Dame’s coming practice facility
Projected offensive depth chart
QB: Sr. Brandon Wimbush (2 remaining years of eligibility entering 2018); jr. Ian Book (3); incoming fr. Phil Jurkovec (4).
RB: Sr. Dexter Williams (1); jr. Tony Jones (3); so. Jafar Armstrong (4); so. Avery Davis (4); early-enrolled fr. Jahmir Smith (4); incoming fr. C’Bo Flemister (4).
WR boundary: So. Michael Young (3); sr. Chris Finke (2); incoming fr. Lawrence Keys (4).
WR field: Sr. Miles Boykin (2); jr. Javon McKinley (3); early-enrolled fr. Micah Jones (4); incoming fr. Kevin Austin (4).
WR slot: Jr. Chase Claypool (2); fifth-year Freddy Canteen (1); incoming fr. Braden Lenzy (4).
TE: Sr. Alizé Mack (2); so. Cole Kmet (3); fifth-year Nic Weishar (1); so. Brock Wright (3); early-enrolled fr. George Takacs (4); incoming fr. Tommy Tremble (4).
LT: Jr. Liam Eichenberg (3); so. Josh Lugg (4); incoming fr. Cole Mabry (4).
LG: Fifth-year Alex Bars (1); Lugg.
C: Fifth-year Sam Mustipher (1); Bars; sr. Trevor Ruhland (2); incoming fr. Luke Jones (4).
RG: Jr. Tommy Kraemer (3); so. Dillan Gibbons (4); incoming fr. John Dirksen (4).
RT: So. Robert Hainsey (3); so. Aaron Banks (4); incoming fr. Jarrett Patterson (4).
Projected defensive depth chart
Drop end: Jr. Daelin Hayes (2); jr. Julian Okwara (2); so. Kofi Wardlow (4).
3-technique tackle: Sr. Jerry Tillery (1); so. Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa (3); sr. Micah Dew-Treadway (2); incoming fr. Jayson Ademilola (4).
Nose tackle: Fifth-year Jonathan Bonner (1); so. Kurt Hinish (3); so. Darnell Ewell (4); incoming fr. Ja’Mion Franklin (4).
Strong end: Jr. Khalid Kareem (2); jr. Ade Ogundeji (3); jr. Jamir Jones (3); incoming fr. Justin Ademilola (4).
Buck LB: Fifth-year Drue Tranquill (1); so. Jordan Genmark-Heath (3); jr. D.J. Morgan (3); early-enrolled fr. Jack Lamb (4); so. Drew White (4).
Mike LB: Sr. Te’von Coney (1); jr. Jonathan Jones (3); early-enrolled fr. Bo Bauer (4); so. David Adams (4).
Rover: Sr. Asmar Bilal (2); so. Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah (4); so. Isaiah Robertson (3); incoming fr. Shayne Simon (4); early-enrolled fr. Ovie Oghoufo (4).
Field CB: Jr. Troy Pride (2); sr. Shaun Crawford (2); incoming fr. Tariq Bracy (4); incoming fr. Joe Wilkins (4).
Boundary CB: Jr. Julian Love (2); jr. Donte Vaughn (2); incoming fr. Noah Boykin (4); incoming fr. D.J. Brown (4).
Nickelback: Sr. Nick Coleman (1); Crawford.
Safety: Jr. Alohi Gilman (3); Coleman; early-enrolled fr. Houston Griffith (4); incoming fr. Paul Moala (4).
Safety: Jr. Jalen Elliott (2); jr. Devin Studstill (2); sr. Nicco Fertitta (1); incoming fr. Derrik Allen (4).
Punter: Fifth-year Tyler Newsome (1).
Placekicker: Sr. Justin Yoon (1).
Kickoff specialist: So. Jonathan Doerer (3).
Longsnapper: Jr. John Shannon (3).
INSIDE THE IRISH READING:
— Notre Dame’s draftees, undrafted free agents and depth charts
— Genmark-Heath’s move shows both Notre Dame’s need for linebacker depth & surplus safeties
— Consensus four-star OL Quinn Carroll chooses Notre Dame over homestate Minnesota
— Bars’ ascension to Notre Dame captain underscores offensive line’s team-wide influence
— A competition in name only: Notre Dame’s ‘1A and 1B’ QBs, Wimbush and Book
— A 2017 concern, Notre Dame’s defensive line now leaves little for questioning
— Improved safeties should lead to even better showings from Notre Dame’s cornerbacks
— Claypool’s emotions could set the ceiling on Notre Dame’s receivers
— The Packers sign linebacker Greer Martini
— Mandel’s Mailbag: Favorite stadium traditions, including Virginia Tech’s entrance ($)
— Stewart Mandel’s post-spring college football top 25 ($)
— ESPN to televise 35 bowl games; their schedule
— Navy QB Zach Abey moves to wide receiver