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College Football Preview: 21. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

21. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
QB Dayne Crist- Junior
WR Michael Floyd- Senior
OT Taylor Rever- Senior
LB Manti Te'o- Junior
It won't be a stretch to place the Irish here. Notre Dame returns 19 starters including 10 on offense. Quarterback Dayne Crist will improve quietly in his junior year after a decent sophomore year. Crist has good accuracy but doesn't have a great arm to longball it to senior Michael Floyd. The backfield lost Armando Allen but still returns runningback Cierre Wood. Jonas Gray is behind him and has more experience as he is a senior. Crist's options are of course led by Michael Floyd definitely the offensive star. Floyd is a home run receiver and can catch short balls also. Without good receiving tight end Kyle Rudolph the Fighting Irish are weaker. Sophomore T.J. Jones and junior Theo Reddick are okay. The offensive line is pretty talented too thanks to tackles Taylor Rever and Zack Martin. Senior guard Trevor Robinson is the anchor on the unit. Notre Dame's defense has never been their strength but it is better this year with many players back. Defensive end Ethan Johnson is good one the side and Hafis Williams is huge up the middle. Linebacker Manti Te'o is the best defensive player on the squad. He has improved dramatically in his first two years and will do the same in his third. The secondary is decent also with senior Gary Gray, Harrison Smith and others. Punter Nick Taucsch isn't too great but will do okay.

Heisman Hopeful: Dayne Crist
Independents Rank: 1st

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