Notre Dame Football: Young Core Returns With Experience

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Last season, the Notre Dame football team had one of the youngest teams in school history. This year they return with experience.

It was no secret last season when you watched Notre Dame football. There were some young guys who made many rookie mistakes.

When the Irish took the field in 2016, they returned just seven starters. It marked the fewest returning starters at Notre Dame since 1972. That was the year freshmen were eligible to play varsity sports, with the exception of WWII when freshman were first allowed.

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Last season, 14 true freshman were among the 21 players who played in their first year of eligibility. A record amount in the Brian Kelly-era.

Last season, we saw the Irish staff seeking answers while throwing players through the revolving door of starters. 17 different players made their first career start last year, including five true freshmen.

 It was a young and inexperienced team, but now they are back. 

The Irish return 19 players who made at least seven starts last year. This includes big names on the defensive side like Te’von Coney, Nyles Morgan and the well-anticipated position shift of Drue Tranquill. With these players coming back as leaders and healthy, Irish fans should be ecstatic.

However, the biggest name on the roster with a lack of experience is Junior Quarterback Brandon Wimbush.

A lot of Wimbush’s success is going to rely on Josh Adams, the team captain who rushed for 933 yards and 5 TDs. It should not be hard to repeat numbers like that as the Irish return one of the most experienced Offensive Lines in the nation.

The experience of Equanimeous St. Brown will also help Wimbush.

Brown returns as Notre Dame’s leading receiver with 9 TD’s totaling for 961 receiving yards on the season. He will be looking for a big campaign too as he was named to the Biletnikoff Watch List.

Notre Dame struggled last year, but they will look for answers as their young core returns with experience.

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