Houston Griffith has been an integral part of the Notre Dame football team, but 2020 might be his best chance to make a tremendous impact on the field.
Over his first two seasons in South Bend, Houston Griffith hasn’t set the world on fire. Now, maybe expecting Griffith to play on the same level as fellow underclassmen Kyle Hamilton would be too much to expect. Still, Griffith was a top 100 prospect with high expectations. Add in questions in the Notre Dame secondary for 2020, and expectations for Griffith are through the roof this year.
Now, it’s time to step up for Griffith.
Alohi Gilman and Jalen Elliott have moved onto the NFL, leaving Kyle Hamilton to pick up the slack at safety. This also leaves the corners without the same security blanket they had last season. Add in Troy Pride Jr and Donte Vaughn moving on from the corner position, and Notre Dame’s secondary is easily the biggest concern on the roster.
In all of this turnover, things have steadied for Griffith. He’s set in at the corner position, and won’t need to worry about bouncing around positions. He can focus on the task at hand. Add in his natural talent, and he should be set to break out in 2020.
With this focused energy he’ll be able to grow in his natural position, unlike past seasons where he has been asked to act as a jack of all trades for the Irish.
Of course, this won’t be without its difficulties. Just like everyone else, Griffith lost practice time due to COVID-19. However, losing practice time shouldn’t be an excuse in 2020, for the simple fact that it’s not a unique situation. He isn’t behind anyone else, in terms of practice time at least.
The secondary is Notre Dame’s biggest question mark on defense. They’re led by a new coach, Mike Mickens. There is massive turnover, and after a true sophomore there is really no one who has proved that they can play at the necessary level at Notre Dame. Graduate transfers, like Nick McCloud, are good to have on the roster, but the players who know and have grown in Clark Lea’s defense must be the one’s to step up and succeed.
Houston Griffith has the most upside, and multiple years in the defense. Now, 2020 is the season for him to step up and excel for Notre Dame.