Rover Linebackers: Before reports that Asmar Bilal would be making his move to the Buck linebacker position, the rover position would be all his. Bilal played very well at the rover last season, but his move leaves the position wide open.
First on the depth chart at the moment appears to be sophomore Shayne Simon. The Notre Dame coaching staff simply can not find enough good things to say about Simon. On special teams, Simon managed to break through and earn solid playing time, despite only being a freshman. He made a real impact in his time on the field, as Simon racked up a total of 4 tackles (2 solo) in 9 appearances last season. He is the best young player at the linebacker position Notre Dame has on its roster at the moment and Notre Dame fans should be very excited to see more of Simon come this fall.
Next, is junior Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. ‘JKO’ was fighting for playing time in the first 2 weeks of the season before suffering a broken foot in practice. He was playing key snaps on special teams last season and was expected to play quite a bit as the backup for Asmar Bilal in the rover position. This season, JKO is in another playing time battle, this time with Shayne Simon. Owusu-Koramoah is a tremendous athlete that will see the field one way or another. I could see him and Simon battling it out during spring ball, but I give Simon the slight edge.
Behind Simon and JKO are a pair of bright young freshman, Jack Kiser and Marist Liufau. Both Kiser and Liufau come into Notre Dame as 3-star recruits. Neither should play much this season, but have the potential to earn time on special teams. They are two to keep an eye on as we head towards spring ball and the “Blue & Gold Game”.