Frome Looking to Regain Starting Spot

There is a whole lot of competition for the starting right defensive end position, and a healthy Chris Frome is right in the middle of it. The 6-foot-5 262-pound fifth-year senior is trying to reclaim the starting spot he lost halfway through the season because of a season-ending knee injury during the USC game.

Frome has been running with the number-two defense behind Ronald Talley the first two days of Notre Dame's fall football camp. Fifth-year senior Travis Leitko and junior Justin Brown are also in the mix to start.

"I'm just trying to get all the reps I can and get better," said Frome, who is wearing a brace for precautionary reasons.

Practice is the first time Frome has been on the field since he saluted the home crowd while walking off following his injury against the Trojans. The knee kept Frome from participating during the spring, and he didn't feel 100 percent for six months.

"The first practice, I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to get through it," Frome explained. "But it felt real comfortable and everything came back to me right away. Now it's just a matter of getting better, building on that and getting ready for Georgia Tech."

Frome started the first six games last season, making six tackles including a sack. One sack in six games isn't enough to take pressure off the other defensive end, pass-rushing specialist Victor Abiamiri. The production didn't get much better after Frome's injury, and the pass rush remains a question mark.

"I'll tell you what, we are experimenting with so many different defenses right now, and we're changing our personnel to see who can give us the best look," Frome said. "That's something we are trying to figure out right now."

Four months following the mid-October injury, Frome was cleared to run.

"The hardest part was actually the sprinting, making the cuts, pretty much all things you do as a defensive end," Frome explained. "At about the six month mark, that's when I started feeling real comfortable with it. From there, ever since, I've just been challenging it more and more. It feels great now."

Frome has battled back to the same strength and speed he had before the injury.

"I'm pretty pleased, I know everybody else is," he said. "I'm excited to get back and play football actually.

"I realized that I missed it a lot. I really couldn't wait, and I really couldn't work hard enough to get back. That was my goal and that was the only thing I was worried about during the off season. Now that I'm back, I'm focused on getting better and getting healthy."

And eventually starting again.

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories