Irish Two-Deep Depth Chart

Five first-time offensive starters highlight the season's first depth chart.

Notre Dame released the season's first official depth chart. Specific to the matchup with Purdue, the depth chart is considered fluid on a week-to-week basis.

Offensive Depth Chart: Game One

Position battles not decided until camp's final weekend included the X receiver, left guard and backup quarterback.

Quarterback:

  1. Junior Dayne Crist
  2. Freshman Tommy Rees
  3. Note: Junior Nate Montana is listed among 20 "Key Probable Non-Starters" in the media's Game Notes, distributed weekly.

Tailback:

  1. Senior Armando Allen
  2. Sophomore Cierre Wood
  3. Note: Both Jonas Gray and Robert Hughes are listed in the week's Game Notes.

"W" Receiver:

  1. Junior Michael Floyd
  2. Junior John Goodman
  3. Note: One of the few cases in which there's a true starter and backup.

"X" Receiver:

  1. Freshman T.J. Jones
  2. Senior Duval Kamara
  3. Note: Consider Jones 1A and Kamara 1B. Expect both to see ample playing time for the foreseeable future.

"Z" Receiver (slot):

  1. Sophomore Theo Riddick
  2. Sophomore Robby Toma
  3. Note: Riddick is the man, but Toma brings a necessary skill set (possession receiver) as well.

Tight End:

  1. Junior Kyle Rudolph
  2. Sophomore Tyler Eifert
  3. Note: Senior Mike Ragone is also listed in the Game Notes

Left Tackle:

  1. Sophomore Zack Martin
  2. Senior Matt Romine
  3. Note: Martin is one of five first-time starters on Brian Kelly's offense.

Left Guard:

  1. 5th-Year Senior Chris Stewart
  2. Sophomore Chris Watt
  3. Note: Watt reportedly challenged Stewart, an assumed lock to start at left guard since early spring, through camp's final week.

Center:

  1. Junior Braxston Cave
  2. 5th Year Senior Dan Wenger
  3. Note: Both Chris Watt and Mike Golic (below) can serve as emergency centers this season.

Right Guard:

  1. Junior Trevor Robinson
  2. Junior Mike Golic
  3. Note: Golic apparently beat out sophomore Alex Bullard with a late camp push.

Right Tackle:

  1. Senior Taylor Dever
  2. Senior Andrew Nuss
  3. Note: Dever and Nuss are both expected to play; either will have their hands full with Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan (13 sacks last season).

Defensive Depth Chart: Game One

Three true freshmen ascend to the two-deep for Game One.

Defensive End:

  1. Junior Kapron Lewis-Moore
  2. Junior Hafis Williams
  3. Note: No other DE is listed in the Game Notes as a "Key Non-Starter"

Defensive End:

  1. Junior Ethan Johnson
  2. Senior Emeka Nwankwo
  3. Note: Expect the four listed DE to rotate regularly.

Nose Guard:

  1. Senior Ian Williams
  2. Junior Sean Cwynar
  3. Note: It would help the Irish defense if sophomore Tyler Stockton could earn playing time in a No. 3 role over the 12-game set.

"CAT" Outside Linebacker:

  1. Junior Darius Fleming
  2. Freshman Prince Shembo
  3. Note: Shembo's ascension to No. 2 (apparently over Steve Filer) is the surprise of the Game One depth chart. Look for Filer to fill in at both Cat and Dog linebacker Saturday.

"DOG" Outside Linebacker:

  1. Senior Kerry Neal
  2. Senior Brian Smith
  3. Note: While we expect to see Filer, it is relevant he's not listed in the distributed Game Notes as a "Key Non-Starter." (Then again, neither is Shembo).

MIKE Linebacker:

  1. Sophomore Manti Te'o
  2. Freshman Danny Spond
  3. Note: Spond's status could be the result of a knee injury suffered by senior Steve Paskorz late last week. Kelly was complimentary of the freshman's special teams skill set throughout camp.

WILL Linebacker:

  1. Sophomore Carlo Calabrese
  2. Junior Anthony McDonald
  3. Note: McDonald is likely in a true No. 2 role as he continues to recover from a hyperextension in his knee.

Free Safety (Field):

  1. Junior Jamoris Slaughter
  2. Sophomore Zeke Motta
  3. Note: Motta will see ample playing time in the team's Nickel defense.

Strong Safety (Boundary):

  1. Senior Harrison Smith
  2. Junior Dan McCarthy
  3. Note: McCarthy missed some time late in camp with a hamstring injury.

Field Cornerback:

  1. Senior Darrin Walls
  2. Freshman Lo Wood
  3. Note: With only four scholarship cornerbacks on the roster, what you see is what you get. The staff has been complimentary of the freshman Wood's work ethic.

Boundary Cornerback:

  1. Gary Gray
  2. Robert Blanton
  3. Note: Consider Blanton starting cornerback No. 3 – a necessity in today's game.

Special Teams

One surprise: walk-on Bill Flavin won the short-snapper job over incumbent Braxston Cave:
  • Placekicker: Sophomore Nick Tausch
  • Kick-offs: Senior David Ruffer
  • Punter: Sophomore Ben Turk
  • Punt Return: Senior Armando Allen or Senior John Goodman
  • Kick Return: Sophomore Cierre Wood and Sophomore Theo Riddick
  • Long Snapper: Sophomore Jordan Cowart
  • Short Snapper: Senior Bill Flavin
  • Holder: Sophomore Ben Turk

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