Since 2010, Inside The Irish’s Keith Arnold has ranked Notre Dame’s Top 25 players. He has already completed counting down the 2013 version of the Fighting Irish. Here is his list of 25-1:
- 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.)
- 5. Prince Shembo (OLB, Sr.)
- 4. Bennett Jackson (CB, Sr.)
- 3. Zack Martin (LT, Grad.)
- 2. Stephon Tuitt (DE, Jr.)
- 1. Louis Nix (DT, Sr.)
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, we will unveil players #15-11.
15. DaVaris Daniels (WR, Jr.)
Daniels flashed his potential in games against Purdue, Pittsburgh and Alabama. There is no doubting his potential. However, his level of commitment has been questioned. The school published a video early this spring about how he is becoming a leader. But, rumors abounded that Daniels was mixed up in the academic integrity issue that cost Everett Golson his 2013 season. This is a “boom or bust” year for Daniels.
14. Sheldon Day (DE, Soph.)
Sheldon Day participated in all 13 games last season. He collected 23 total tackles and 2 sacks. After a full year in the Paul Longo strength training system, he should be prepared to fill in for Kapron Lewis-Moore. His ability to fill that role for Notre Dame’s defense will determine if they become elite again.
13. George Atkinson III (RB, Jr.)
The whole season seems to hang in the balance on a few players. George Atkinson is one of these players. If he becomes a “Top 5″ player then Notre Dame has a dominant running attack. Atkinson has shown flashes of brilliance in his first two years at Notre Dame. His Freshman year, he returned two kickoffs for touchdown. Last year, he had several long runs. But, he has “failed” to become an every down back according to his critics. However, he has never gotten the opportunity for consistent carries. He will get that shot this year.
12. Jarrett Grace (LB, Jr.)
Grace is a coaches favorite. Diaco has talked about him since he has a Freshman. He has huge shoes to fill in 2013. Obviously, he will most likely not have the type of season that Manti Te’o had last year. Those types of performances are once in a generation. But, Grace has shown an ability to play the MIKE position well.
11. Carlo Calabrese (LB, Grad.)
Playing along side Grace is veteran Carlo Calabrese. Calabrese is excellent against the run. This spring, it looked like he had improved on his pass coverage. If he can become he complete linebacker, he will be an every down linebacker.