Game Day Depth Chart: Defense

A review of Notre Dame's defensive starters and key reserves for tonight's matchup at Purdue.

Irish Defense

Junior Defensive End #7 Stephon Tuitt : Has 14 career sacks, a fumble recovery touchdown and now an interception touchdown after last week's game-changing gem in Ann Arbor.

Sophomore Defensive End #91 Sheldon Day: Noted as the line's most technically sound player vs. Michigan by head coach Brian Kelly.

Senior Nose Guard #1 Louis Nix: Said Nix of his role: "I don't think people know actually what I do. I get frustrated like that. People expect me to make Manti (Te'o) tackles and interceptions. It's not my job. I go out there and do my job and take up some double teams and make plays when i have to."

Senior Boundary Linebacker #55 Prince Shembo: Had five quarterback hurries in the opener, none last week in Ann Arbor. Has yet to record a sack on the season.

Freshman Drop Linebacker #9 Jaylon Smith: Notched x tackles at Michigan, a career-best in his second start.

5th-Year Senior Mike Linebacker #48 Dan Fox: Leads the team with 20 total tackles including two for loss entering West Lafayette.

5th-year Senior Will Linebacker #44 Carlo Calabrese: Has recorded 14 stops with two for lost yardage and a fumble recovery in two games. The recovery was the first forced or recorded turnover of his career.

Senior Boundary Cornerback #2 Bennett Jackson: Suffered his worst outing in 15 career starts last week including a questionable interference call that kept a Michigan touchdown drive alive to seal the Wolverines win. Could see freshman Cole Luke earn rotation time at his position tonight against the Boilermakers.

Sophomore Field Cornerback #6 Keivarae Russell: Struggled mightily last week with an end zone pass interference, a touchdown allowed, a missed tackle that led to a score, and a tackle attempt that couldn't deny Irish foil Jeremy Gallon from the end zone.

Senior Boundary Cornerback #41 Matthias Farley: Poor tackling (touchdown and crucial fourth quarter first down) and end zone pass interference plagued Farley last week in Ann Arbor. Did record an end zone pass defensed vs. tight end Brandon Funchess.

Sophomore Field Safety #22 Elijah Shumate: Played 25 snaps as the field safety in Week One and improved greatly last week in his first career start, registering a crucial fourth quarter tackle-for-loss of quarterback Devin Gardner, totaling five stops.

OR… Senior Field Safety #28 Austin Collinsworth: Made his first career start in opener vs. Temple. His quarterback hit/pressure results in a defensive touchdown for the Irish late in last week's comeback attempt at Michigan. Collinsworth has carved a niche as a blitzing linebacker in the team's dime package.

Key Reserves to Watch

Junior Boundary Linebacker #11 Ishaq Williams: Recorded a crucial third-down sack last week in Ann Arbor. Williams played outside linebacker, inside linebacker (as a spy on QB Devin Gardner) and both 3-4 and 4-3 defensive end last week

Senior Nose Guard/Defensive End #96 Kona Schwenke: Ranks as the first defensive lineman off the bench for 2013 Irish.

Junior Mike Linebacker #59 Jarrett Grace: Rotates heavily as a mike linebacker in the base defense and also part of three-man substitution package (along with Ishaq Williams. Cole Luke) in the nickel and dime sets. Recorded his first career tackle-for-loss last week.

Senior Field Cornerback #23 Lo Wood: Rotation last week appeared to be two snaps at field cornerback on six plays; Missed all of 2012 due to a ruptured Achilles.

Freshman Boundary/Nickel Cornerback #36 Cole Luke: Serves as the team's nickel and dime cornerback. Look for Luke to rotate in for Jackson more often tonight vs. Purdue.

Sophomore Defensive End #94 Jarron Jones: Blocked an extra point in his collegiate debut vs. Temple. Did not appear from scrimmage vs. the Wolverines.

Freshman Defensive End #90 Isaac Rochell: Made his collegiate debut on the third series of the season-opener win over Temple and recorded three stops. Did not appear vs. the Wolverines.

Junior Drop Linebacker #30 Ben Councell: Rotates behind Jaylon Smith to bring a physical presence to the position.

Junior Boundary Safety #16 Eilar Hardy: Made his collegiate debut from scrimmage last week, appearing in the second quarter vs. the Wolverines. Missed 2011 with a torn ACL and did not appear last fall...

Senior Will Linebacker #8 Kendall Moore: Serves as the team's fourth linebacker and starts on kickoff coverage and return, plus the punt coverage team.

Junior Inside Linebacker #38 Joe Schmidt: Former preferred walk-on earned scholarship in the off-season and is a starter on kickoff, punt coverage. Recorded a diving tackle after a 32-yard kick return last week in Ann Arbor.

Freshman Safety #10 Max Redfield: Made his debut on kickoff/punt coverage and return vs. Temple -- a member of all four Irish run teams.


Junior Kicker/Punter #27 Kyle Brindza: Team's kick-off specialist and lead punter was the MVP last week for his clutch performance in Ann Arbor.

5th-year senior Punter #98 Alex Wulfeck: Graduate from Wake Forest that transferred to Notre Dame for his final season of eligibility; could punt in short field situations in relief of Brindza but has yet to appear..

Sophomore Long-snapper #60 Scott Daly: Will play in his third collegiate contest tonight.

Senior Holder #14 Luke Massa: Will also serve as the team's third quarterback Saturday night…

Junior Kick-off Returner #4 George Atkinson: Sparked an Irish rally with a 50-yard kick return last week against Michigan.

Junior Kick-off Returner #33 Cam McDaniel: Started in place of Atkinson at KR vs. Oklahoma last fall...

Senior Punt Returner #7 T.J. Jones: Just five yards shy of Notre Dame's team punt return yardage total (46) from all of 2012 and seven shy of the team's total from 2013 (48 -- 41 of which came on one bowl game return by Michael Floyd). Top Stories