Notre Dame Football: Nyles Morgan is the Man to Watch at Blue and Gold Game

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports /

Notre Dame football will play in their annual Blue and Gold game Saturday, April 22, and Nyles Morgan is the man to watch.

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After leading Notre Dame last season with 94 tackles and four sacks, Nyles Morgan is the defensive player everyone is going to want to keep an eye on. As the leader of this defense, Morgan is ready to start his senior year off right with a big spring game in South Bend.

With new defensive coordinator, Mike Elko, calling the shots, Morgan will be looked at to guide this defense as they transition into the new scheme. With the Blue and Gold game being his first in-game action of the season, Morgan will get his first opportunity to show college football what the Irish defense is really about.

After deciding to return to Notre Dame for his senior season, Morgan instantly became a leader. As one of the top tacklers and most hard-working individuals on the roster, Morgan is loved by the coaches and looked up to by the players.

As the play-caller on defense, Morgan is going to be Elko’s go-to guy to keep this unit in check on the field. Last season, Notre Dame had one of the worst defenses in the country. With the spring game being their first chance to show they aren’t the same team, Morgan is going to have a significant duty on his shoulders. Proving the Irish are different will start with Morgan.

What’s changes about Morgan is his size. Instead of his 250-pound frame, we saw last season, Morgan is looking at 237-pounds. Now, instead of being a dominating run-stopper with little sideline to sideline ability, the senior captain is explosive and much more versatile.

Notre Dame’s defensive leader will be trying out his new body for the first time this spring. In hopes of being more of a threat in both the run and pass coverage, Morgan has spent a lot of the offseason working on speed and agility. His goal – to be the explosive playmaker Notre Dame football loves to have.

There is more than enough action to keep an eye on during the Blue and Gold game. You have the new Rover position, Brandon Wimbush, the running back core, and then Nyles Morgan. If this defense wants to win in 2017, it’ll start with their captain linebacker. Seeing how he’s performed during practice, he should be involved in just about every play.

This is the first shot to show fans this team is for real. There is a lot of hype surrounding Notre Dame this offseason, and with a strong spring game, fans will begin actually believing there’s a College Football Playoff chance.

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On the defensive end, it’ll start with Morgan. You’re going to want to make sure his incredible 2016 season gets better with a strong start to this year. The only way to do that is by making him your man to watch during the 2017 Blue and Gold game.