Notre Dame football: Five potential breakout players on defense in 2020

Notre Dame football (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Notre Dame football (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Notre Dame football
Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

5. Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa

It used to be defensive tackles were somewhat of an afterthought on defenses. They were viewed as guys who just plugged the middle for defensive ends and blitzing players to have time to get to the quarterback in the pass rush or as the catalysts to plug any open lanes in run defenses.

That mindset changed when big, athletic defensive tackles like Aaron Donald began dominating the defensive landscape of the National Football League. The Notre Dame football team is fortunate enough to have an excellent defensive tackle on their roster who can wreak havoc on opposing offenses in Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa.

The 6’3″ and 285-pound Tagovailoa-Amosa is a force up the middle for the Fighting Irish defense. The former 3-star recruit out of Hawaii has played all three seasons since coming to South Bend. While his playing time was limited in his freshman and sophomore seasons, he saw his playing time increase last season with the Irish.

Last season, Tagovailoa-Amosa recorded 22 total tackles, a half-sack, one pass deflection, and a fumble recovery in twelve games played for Notre Dame. Coming into the 2020 college football season as a senior, Tagovailoa-Amosa will likely be leaned on for his veteran leadership and is poised to take a step forward with his production.

The talented defensive tackle comes from solid football pedigree, as he is the cousin of former Alabama quarterback and 2020 first-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins, Tua Tagovailoa and his older brother Adam played football at Navy.

Tagovailoa-Amosa has drawn a lot of comparisons to former Notre Dame and current Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Jerry Tillery. If Tagovailoa-Amosa can put together a season like Tillery did his senior year (29 total tackles, eight sacks, three forced fumbles) the talented defensive tackle would not only position himself well heading into the 2021 NFL Draft (should he choose to declare, as he has two years of eligibility left due to a broken foot sustained one game into his sophomore season), but the Notre Dame defense will likely be vastly improved with such a strong performance.