A look at 2004 and 2005 on defense

<P>Earlier we took a look at the offensive side of the ball so now we will take a look at the defense. The Irish appear to have some solid talent for the future. The idea is to find one star player at each position and to find a quality reserve at each position. Some players will have to develop quickly but the talent appears to be there. . </P>

Remember that these are just predictions and not to be taken as fact. I am guessing on a possible depth chart but that is what makes recruiting fun. There is no way I can predict what will happen in the future but here is a possible depth chart. Remember also that if an underclassman has not clearly taken over a spot, I will list the upperclassman first. Also, I can't know which player between LaBrose Hedgemon or Tommy Zbikowski will play left or right corner. I will go even deeper into my predictions at a later date.

2004 defensive depth chart

Left Defensive End Kyle Budinscak, Jerome Collins, Travis Leitko

Defensive Tackle Brian Beidatsh, Marcus Freeman, Trevor Laws

Nose Guard Greg Pauly, Derek Landri, Dan Santucci

Right Defensive End Justin Tuck, Chris Frome, Victor Abiamiri

Weakside Linebacker Brandon Hoyte, Joe Brockington

Middle Linebacker Corey Mays, Nick Borseti,

Outside Linebacker Derek Curry, Mitchell Thomas, Dwight Stephenson

Left Cornerback Preston Jackson, LaBrose Hedgemon

Free Safety Quentin Burell, Carlos Campbell,

Strong Safety Garron Bible, Lionel Bolen, Jake Carney, Freddie Parish

Right Cornerback Dwight Ellick, Mike Richardson, Tom Zbikowski

Remember that some of these players will develop into great players. Cedric Hilliard and Darrell Campbell improved dramatically over the last year. I expect a lot of the reserve players last year to really improve this coming year.

2005 defensive depth chart

Left Defensive End Travis Leitko, Victor Abiamiri

Defensive Tackle Brian Beidatsh, Marcus Freeman, Trevor Laws

Nose Guard Derek Landri, Dan Santucci

Right Defensive End Justin Tuck, Chris Frome

Weakside Linebacker Brandon Hoyte, Joe Brockington

Middle Linebacker Corey Mays, Nick Borseti,

Outside Linebacker Mitchell Thomas, Dwight Stephenson

Left Cornerback LaBrose Hedgemon

Free Safety Lionel Bolen

Strong Safety Jake Carney, Freddie Parish

Right Cornerback Mike Richardson, Tom Zbikowski

This depth chart can be scary because you have one linebacker starting as a true sophomore and three linebackers asked to add quality depth. You will also have at least one true sophomore asked to start at corner.

As you can see, the Irish are pretty thin at a few positions. Getting four linebackers was obviously needed. The Irish will likely have to sign three again next year. Corner is also thin but Ambrose Wooden or Chase Anastasio could move here as well. The defensive line will have youth but they need numbers as well. I expect the Irish to sign at least one interior defensive lineman and two defensive ends next year as well. Notre Dame will also need to sign 4 defensive backs as well, one for each position and hopefully 3 that are athletic enough to play corner if needed. With my predicted 10 offensive players and 11 defensive players that would make 21. Add the kicker certainly coming and that is a total of 22.


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