Notre Dame Football: Defensive Line Ready to Establish Itself

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Nov 2, 2013; South Bend, IN, USA; Navy Midshipmen quarterback Keenan Reynolds (19) pitches the ball as Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Romeo Okwara (45) defends in the second quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Weakside End

Romeo Okwara (6’4” 260 lbs.) & Andrew Trumbetti (6’4” 255 lbs.)

Last season senior Romeo Okwara started in 12 of 13 games and had 39 tackles, including four for losses and four sacks. He improved greatly from his sophomore to junior seasons and that improvement should increase even more this season.

Andrew Trumbetti played in 12 of 13 games as a freshman last season. He registered 21 tackles with five and a half being for losses and one sack. He has tremendous upside as a run stuffer and pass rusher. The more experience he gets, the better he’ll become.

There has been a late development. Defensive end Ishaq Williams is returning to school after being suspended last year. In a few weeks, we’ll know whether he will be added to the football team. If he is added to the team, Williams will challenge Okwara as a starter at weakside end.

The Fighting Irish return 10 of 11 starters on defensive and that includes the four starting defensive linemen. This combination should make Notre Dame a great defensive team this season. The defensive’s ability to stop the running game and provide an effective pass rush should lead to many wins and provide the team the opportunity to make the college football playoffs.

Next: Irish freshman kicker Justin Yoon ready for the challenge