Notre Dame Football: Alize Mack and Shaun Crawford Are Huge Returns For Irish

Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports /

Notre Dame football had two studs added back to their roster, and they’ll have major impacts in 2017.

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For entirely different reasons, Notre Dame was shy two players – one of the offensive side and one on the defensive side – for almost all of last season.

Tight end, Alize Mack, missed the entire 2016 campaign because of academic ineligibility. On the defensive side, cornerback, Shaun Crawford, missed most of last season due to an achilles injury.

Well, after a 4-8 year, almost a complete coaching staff change, and many more changes, you can add the return of Mack and Crawford to the list. After serving a year-long suspension, Mack returned to the Irish and proved he hasn’t missed a step. For Crawford, he recently informed Notre Dame fans that he’s been cleared to play. 

We have already seen glimpses of Crawford prior to him being cleared, but knowing he’s 100% just adds to the exciting spring in South Bend. With Donte Vaughn and Julian Love returning as Sophomores, and Drue Tranquill showing off his improvement during the Blue and Gold game, the Irish secondary rounds out to be a dominate unit heading into the summer.

On the other side of the ball, the Fighting Irish are thrilled to have play-making tight end, Alize Mack, returning. After missing all of 2016 because of academic ineligible, Mack was one of the biggest storylines of the Blue and Gold game.

The 6’5 pass catching end was a major contributor for Notre Dame in 2015 and didn’t miss a beat in his return to the field. Finishing with five receptions for 46 yards, including an impressive 28-yard haul in the first drive of the game, Mack showed Notre Dame what they were missing in 2016 with him off the field.

For the first time in two years, the Irish are finally giving fans a reason to be excited. With all the piecing falling into place, Notre Dame leaves spring a much stronger team with little to no holes to fill.

Instead of finding answers over the summer and putting this team together in the fall, the Irish leave campus as a serious College Football Playoff contender. With nothing but fine tuning left come summer practices, the Fighting Irish are right back to the top of the NCAA.

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Mack and Crawford may only be two additions to the roster, but they’re players who are going to make a lot of noise this season. Both of them are much more than returners – they’re superstars, looking to lead the Irish to their first-ever playoff run.