Sep 15, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish safety Elijah Shumate (22) breaks up a pass intended for Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Bennie Fowler (13) in the third quarter at Spartan Stadium. Notre Dame won 20-3. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Since 2010, Inside The Irish’s Keith Arnold has ranked Notre Dame’s Top 25 players. He has already began counting down the 2013 version of the Fighting Irish. Arnold and his panel of voters have ranked 25-16 already:
25. Max Redfield (S, Fr.)
24. Elijah Shumate (S, Soph.)
23. Jaylon Smith (OLB, Fr.)
22. Ishaq Williams (OLB, Jr.)
21. Greg Bryant (RB, Fr.)
20. Christian Lombard (RT, Sr.)
19. Amir Carlisle (RB, Jr.)
18. Carlo Calabrese (LB, Grad.)
17. Jarrett Grace (LB, Jr.)
16. Matthias Farley (S, Jr.)
15. George Atkinson III (RB, Jr.)
14. Dan Fox (LB, Grad.)
13. Sheldon Day (DE, Soph.)
12. Danny Spond (OLB, Sr.)
11. Tommy Rees (QB, Sr.)
10. Davaris Daniels (WR, Jr.)
9. Troy Niklas (TE, Jr.)
8. KeiVarae Russell (CB, Soph.)
7. TJ Jones (WR, Sr.)
6. Chris Watt (LG, Grad.)
Slap the Sign will be taking a crack a ranking the Top 25 Notre Dame players. Based on the comment section of Arnold’s post, there are some strong opinions about who is better than whom. However, how can someone quantify what an Offensive Linemen does over a Running Back. It is an impossible task. But, that is what is so fun at attempting to rank each player. Today, players #20-16 will be unveiled. We will continue to review Arnold’s list and make a final comparison to this one.
25. Jaylon Smith-OLB-Freshman
24. Max Redfield-S/WR-Freshman
23. Greg Bryant-RB-Freshman
22. Connor Hanratty-OL-Junior
21. Nick Martin-OL-Junior
20. Amir Carlisle-RB-Junior
The potential and lack of experience of Amir Carlisle makes him one of the most difficult players to rank on Notre Dame’s team. He could end up being the top player or an unranked player on this list. Carlisle will move between the Running Back and “Z” Wide Receiver position. He is one of the most likely to hit a home run for the Fighting Irish in the fall. The only question will be if he can stay healthy.
19. Elijah Shumate-S-Sophomore
Shumate contributed as the 5th Defensive Back last season. He had several deflections last year when he came in on 3rd downs. He was slightly exposed against Alabama. Playing Safety will allow Shumate not to be exposed as much in one-on-one coverage. Although he is not guaranteed a Starting spot, he will play frequently.
18. KeiVarae Russel-CB-Sophomore
Russell started in all 13 games last year for the Fighting Irish. It was unbelievable considering he was recruited to play Running Back. With a full year of playing the position under his belt, does he blossom into a great player or will Senior Lo Wood take his spot?
17. Matthias Farley-S-Sophomore
Farley is an unbelievable story. Five years ago, he was preparing for his high school soccer season. Now, he will be one of the starting safeties for Notre Dame. It is clear that Farley has a pure athleticism that others do not possess. Many times people suggest that athleticism means that someone can run run fast and jump high. However, there is a different type of athleticism that people have. It is the ability to pick up things immediately on the field or court.
16. Troy Niklas-TE-Junior
Niklas is slated to be the next great Notre Dame Tight End. The Fighting Irish have had an NFL Tight End on their team since 2002. The line of Fasano, Carlson, Rudolph and Eifert has served the Irish well. Niklas is more in the mold of Carlson and Rudolph. Niklas is a physical specimen. He did show that he has been able to catch the ball last season and in the spring. What will he do when more passes are directed to him?
Andrew Hall is the lead editor of SlaptheSign.com. Consistent site updates are Andrew's top priority. Andrew is proud to be a member of the FanSided team, and looks forward to continued professional success.