Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 21 Caleb Offord, sophomore cornerback

Caleb Offord 2021
Notre Dame Athletics
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Listed measurements: 6-foot-1, 184 pounds.
2021-22 year, eligibility: Offord played in two games as a freshman, so even without the universal pandemic eligibility waiver, he would have four seasons of eligibility remaining as he enters his sophomore year.
Depth Chart: Offord’s name never arose this spring as someone challenging for a starting role, which also strongly suggested he was not on the verge of cracking the two-deep at either field or boundary cornerback.
Recruiting: A consensus three-star prospect, Offord chose Notre Dame over Vanderbilt — and this came before Clark Lea started targeting many of the same defensive recruits as his former program — while also holding offers from the likes of Kentucky, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Rivals.com rated Offord the No. 46 cornerback in the class of 2020.

NAME, IMAGE, LIKENESS
Someone with good eyes and a keen cultural sense, figure out what movie or show this shirt’s graphic is from.

CAREER TO DATE
Offord played in Notre Dame’s blowouts of South Florida and Florida State last year but did not record a statistic.

WHAT WAS SAID WHEN OFFORD SIGNED TWO YEARS AGO
“Every so often, the reaction to a recruit’s commitment is what bears repeating without much change … ‘Offord stands 6-foot-1, and his film indicates his frame might actually be longer than that. He appears to be solid in press coverage with a habit of being near the ball. Some of this should perhaps be taken with a grain of salt given the level of competition may not be as staunch as generally wanted when evaluating such.’

“Those skills in press coverage could give Offord a leg up on the competition at nickel back this offseason, a chance for anyone on the roster to secure a pseudo-starting role given the increasing dearth of Irish experience at cornerback.”

2021 OUTLOOK
The fact that Offord — as an early enrollee, it should be noted, not that the semester’s head start had much effect in 2020 — did not crack special teams work in four games last year is as bad a sign for his short-term work as the lack of springtime hype a few months ago was. With length and some physicality, Offord should have been expected to play on coverage units in a handful of games rather than appearing only in blowouts of Floridas.

Perhaps that first step will be taken this September, particularly as at least two of the first three Irish games should enjoy lopsided scores. Until Offord gets those chances, it is hard to imagine he will be handed defensive opportunities, particularly as Notre Dame’s depth at cornerback was buttressed by this freshman class.

DOWN THE ROAD
That cornerback depth will only improve as more time passes between the current Irish roster and the recruiting lapses of 2017 and 2018 (only one cornerback between the two of them, current senior Tariq Bracy). The commitment Thursday from consensus four-star Benjamin Morrison gives Notre Dame four defensive backs in the class of 2022, at least two of which should work as cornerbacks, three of which are four-star prospects.

Offord arrived in South Bend with a path to quick playing time. If he could impress as an early enrollee in the spring of 2020, the Irish needed someone to step up at cornerback. Instead, there was just one spring practice to impress in and classmate Clarence Lewis became the player who stepped up.

If Offord does not reestablish a path soon, he may be passed up by improved recruiting before long.

NOTRE DAME 99-TO-0
Let’s try this again
No. 99 Rylie Mills, sophomore defensive tackle
No. 98 Alexander Ehrensberger, sophomore defensive end
No. 97 Gabriel Rubio, early-enrolled freshman defensive tackle the size of a Volkswagen
No. 95 Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, fifth-year defensive tackle-turned-end
No. 92 Aidan Keanaaina, sophomore defensive tackle
No. 88 Mitchell Evans, early-enrolled freshman tight end, a former high school quarterback
No. 87 Michael Mayer, star sophomore tight end and lead offensive weapon
No. 85 George Takacs, senior tight end, ‘152 years old’
No. 84 Kevin Bauman, sophomore tight end
No. 82 Xavier Watts, sophomore receiver
No. 81 Jay Brunelle, speedy sophomore receiver
No. 80 Cane Berrong, early-enrolled freshman tight end
No. 79 Tosh Baker, sophomore offensive tackle
No. 78 Pat Coogan, incoming freshman center
No. 77 Quinn Carroll, junior offensive lineman
No. 76 Joe Alt, incoming and towering freshman offensive lineman
No. 75 Josh Lugg, fifth-year right tackle, finally a starter
No. 73 Andrew Kristofic, junior offensive tackle, possible backup center
No. 72 Caleb Johnson, early-enrolled offensive tackle, former Auburn commit
No. 70 Hunter Spears, junior offensive guard, former defensive tackle
No. 68 Michael Carmody, sophomore offensive tackle
No. 62 Marshall guard Cain Madden transfers to Notre Dame, likely 2021 starter
No. 57 Jayson Ademilola, senior defensive tackle
No. 56 John Dirksen, senior reserve offensive lineman
No. 56 Howard Cross, junior defensive tackle
No. 55 Jarrett Patterson, the best Irish offensive lineman
No. 54 Jacob Lacey, junior defensive tackle
No. 54 Blake Fisher, early-enrolled freshman left tackle, starter?
No. 52 Zeke Correll, junior, starting center
No. 52 Bo Bauer, senior linebacker, #BeADog
No. 50 Rocco Spindler, early-enrolled freshman offensive guard
No. 48 Will Schweitzer, early-enrolled freshman defensive end
No. 44 Devin Aupiu, early-enrolled freshman defensive end
No. 44 Alex Peitsch and No. 65 Michael Vinson, Irish long snappers, both needed
No. 41 Kurt Hinish, fifth-year defensive tackle, eventual record-holder in games played
No. 40 Drew White, fifth-year linebacker, three-year starter
No. 39 Jonathan Doerer, fifth-year kicker, using the pandemic exception
No. 38 Jason Onye, incoming and raw freshman defensive end
No. 37 Joshua Bryan, incoming freshman kicker
No. 35 Marist Liufau, junior Hawaiian linebacker
No. 34 Osita Ekwonu, junior defensive end
No. 33 Shayne Simon, senior linebacker
No. 29 Matt Salerno, senior punt returner, walk-on
No. 28 TaRiq Bracy, senior cornerback, possible nickel back
No. 27 JD Bertrand, junior linebacker
No. 26 Clarence Lewis, sophomore cornerback, second-year starter
No. 25 Philip Riley, early-enrolled freshman cornerback
No. 25 Chris Tyree, speedy sophomore running back
No. 24 Jack Kiser, junior linebacker, onetime pandemic hero
No. 23 Litchfield Ajavon, junior safety
No. 23 Kyren Williams, junior running back
No. 22 Logan Diggs, incoming freshman running back
No. 22 Chance Tucker, freshman cornerback
No. 21 Lorenzo Styles, early-enrolled freshman receiver