Irish Status Report: Cornerbacks

The eighth of nine installments in a series of spring wrap-up columns examining Notre Dame’s roster with a look at each individual’s status entering the summer months. Is he ascending? Has he stagnated? Did he take a step back?

Cole Luke (CB) – Was challenged pre-spring by head coach Brian Kelly who offered that both cornerback spots – not just the left side opposite Luke – were up for grabs. Luke later revealed that position coach Todd Lyght demanded the senior-to-be become more physical in run support – he responded with a sound, consistent, and rugged 15-practice session. 

Status: Ascending

Shaun Crawford (CB) – Take a snapshot of Notre Dame’s 80-plus player roster entering August camp – chances are Crawford will finish his college career as one of the five best football players on it. The pressing question at present: how much of an impact can he make as a redshirt-freshman next fall, just 12 months removed from ACL surgery?

Status: Ascending

Ashton White (CB) – Last in the position’s six-player pecking order exiting the 2015 season, White showed enough this spring to guarantee heavy special teams duty as a redshirt-freshman and hinted that he’s capable of more in 2017, mixing it up with the Irish receivers in each media viewing.   

Status: Ascending. Went from off the radar to “in the mix.”

Nick Coleman (CB) – The sophomore doubtless improved as a football player, but he was a No. 2 CB throughout his freshman season and that’s the case again heading into the summer.  A healthy Nick Watkins (below) renders Coleman fourth in the current pecking order.

Status: Stagnant

Nick Watkins (CB) – Entered spring as the odds-on favorite to win the starting left cornerback role but exited with a truncated session and broken humerus (upper arm). Watkins needed the weight training and reps and it’s a safe bet the repercussions of this injury will plague Watkins early in the 2016 season. 

Status: A step back

Devin Butler (CB) – Was held out of contact for part of spring due to off-season foot surgery but appeared in good health at its conclusion. Butler will be a member of all four Irish run teams but young cornerback talent appears to have usurped his status as a potential starter.

Status: Stagnant

-- Note: Incoming freshmen Troy Pride, Jr., Julian Love, and Donte’ Vaughn will join the unit this summer. Top Stories