Over the coming weekend, the 99-to-2 series will twice rattle off profiles on players wearing No. 85. Early-enrolled freshman tight end George Takacs was assigned the digits this spring, and Notre Dame captain and fifth-year punter Tyler Newsome was wearing 85 long before Takacs arrived.
That double-up makes it exceedingly unlikely Takacs will appear in any punt coverage situations this season. Someone aside from Newsome would have to be punting in order for it to be legal.
It is unrelated to Notre Dame, but there is never a bad occasion to remember a recent moment of college football history which included strategically giving two players the same number. In the 2009 regular season finale, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier deployed a wildcat formation for the first time of the year. Freshman cornerback Stephon Gilmore took the snaps, wearing No. 5, only 12 months removed from playing quarterback in high school.
When Gilmore stepped behind center, he was replacing junior starting quarterback Stephen Garcia, who also happened to wear No. 5.
While it may be debated whether the ruse confused Clemson or not, Gilmore sparked a game-tying drive and finished with 20 yards rushing on five carries with one pass attempt completed for 39 yards. Garcia finished the day 10-of-21 for 126 yards and three touchdowns while adding 46 rushing yards on 14 carries.
Do not expect the Irish to deploy such trickery. It should merely be hoped both fifth-year receiver Freddy Canteen and junior safety Alohi Gilman do not find themselves on the same kickoff coverage unit, both wearing No. 11.
AN ANNUAL REMINDER: TROY PRIDE IS FAST
Competing in the ACC outdoor track championships, the Notre Dame junior cornerback ran a 21.16-second 200-meter dash Thursday evening, finishing one spot and 0.02 seconds away from qualifying for the finals. A night later, Pride ran a 10.50-second 100-meter sprint to finish fifth in the preliminaries, crossing the line seventh in the Saturday final with a 10.56-second performance.
It is that kind of blazing speed which allowed Pride to track down senior running back Dexter Williams on a breakaway race for the end zone in the Blue-Gold Game on April 21.
INSIDE THE IRISH READING
— 99-to-2 prep with Notre Dame depth charts
— No. 99 Jerry Tillery, defensive tackle, senior
— No. 97 Micah Dew-Treadway, defensive tackle, senior
— No. 95 Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, defensive tackle, sophomore
— No. 94 Darnell Ewell, defensive tackle, sophomore
— No. 93 (theoretically) Ja’Mion Franklin, defensive tackle, incoming freshman
— No. 91 Ade Ogundeji, defensive end, junior
— No. 90 (theoretically) Tommy Tremble, tight end, incoming freshman
— University determines construction of new parking garage not currently feasible
— Former Notre Dame CB Ashton White heads to the University of Buffalo for the next two years
— South Florida new home for former Alabama, Arizona State QB Blake Barnett, a once-heralded Notre Dame commit
— Green Bay head coach: DeShone Kizer would be a first-round pick in this year’s draft
— Packers hoping to hit it big with tall, fast WRs
— How ‘scheduling for success’ can help the Pac-12 keep pace in the playoff era