Five to Develop

We look at five members of Notre Dame's 2013 recruiting class that will be given an extended chance to develop, possibly with a redshirt-freshman season, to begin their careers.

Yesterday we looked at five members of Brian Kelly's 2013 recruiting class who I feel have a chance to enter the program and make an early impact. Now we turn our attention to five future members of the class that will likely have a chance to develop their skills with the benefit of a redshirt season.

Malik Zaire - Even if one of the current quarterbacks on the Irish roster would transfer Zaire would not be forced into early action. A year of seasoning will help Zaire get better knowledge of the Irish offensive attack coming out of a high school that plays a lot of option as compared to the spread passing attack of the Irish.

Rashad Kinlaw – Despite the current need at cornerback, Kinlaw has lost time on the field due to injury and will be making a position change from quarterback to defensive back. While expected to play some defense this fall, another injury this summer may slow his development, affording the Irish to give him extra time to develop coverage skills.

Jacob Matuska – Looking at Matuska as a defensive end or tight end allows one to project he'll have time to develop his game. While the Columbus (Ohio) native has already added another 25-pounds (265-pounds), he could still use some seasoning with players like Stephon Tuitt, Sheldon Day, Jarron Jones and Chase Hounshell already in the program on defense and Ben Koyack, Troy Niklas, Alex Welch and classmate Mike Heuerman at tight end.

Colin McGovern – We could have named any of the offensive linemen in the 2013 class but went with the Illinois native. Projected as a guard, McGovern will have plenty of spots on the depth chart to move up when he arrives on campus. So a year to gain more physical strength and improve his technique could go a long way. Of course, most of the incoming offensive linemen will be in the same boat, though its notable guard prospect John Montelus made the previous list.

James Onwualu – It might be hard to keep Onwualu off the field as the Irish could look to use him on special teams early. However, as a wide receiver the Saint Paul (Minn.) native is still transitioning from running back. A year to work on his route running and blocking would help make Onwualu a more all around player. At this time the Irish look to have solid depth with a handful of receivers already on the roster with multiple years of eligibility remaining.


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