Evaluating the Fifth Year Candidates

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Carlo Calabrese, Inside Linebacker

Nov. 17, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons wide receiver Sherman Ragland III (26) catches a pass as Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Carlo Calabrese (44) defends in the first quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Calabrese has played significantly over the past three years. This year, Calabrese tallied 46 tackles while rotating with Dan Fox. In 2011, he had 37 tackles. Calabrese racked up 61 tackles in 2010. He has improved his pass coverage but is still not great compared to the linebackers on the rosters. If Calabrese does not return, Jarret Grace would most likely enter the starting lineup for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach Bob Diaco has raved about Grace since he has arrived on campus. The staff could be ready to move in that direction in 2013. But, it is always good to have quality veteran players who can bring leadership and stability to a team. Calabrese seems to be right on the fringe of a player who will be asked to return for the 2013 season.