Notre Dame football: Houston Griffith returning big for Irish defense

Houston Griffith(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Houston Griffith(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Notre Dame football team could have an elite unit on the defensive side of the ball, and the return of Houston Griffith is a big reason why.

The Notre Dame football team has one of the best defensive players in the entire country in their secondary, as All-American Kyle Hamilton returns for his likely final season in South Bend. A tremendous player who is projected to go in the top-5 picks of the 2022 NFL Draft, Hamilton will lead the Irish defense in 2021, and he will have a familiar face next to him this season.

That familiar face is Houston Griffith, a player who looked to be on his way out for the Irish, entering the transfer portal early on this offseason. However, he decided it was best to come back for another go-around with this Notre Dame football program, and the defense as a whole is going to be happy he did.

Griffith returning gives the Irish a dynamic tandem at the safety position and two players who know each other’s tendencies. That is going to prove huge for the Irish this season, as it is a position group that new defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman does not have to worry about.

In fact, the Irish have veteran players all over this defense, which is a first-year defensive coordinator’s dream.

Notre Dame football a veteran-laded group on defense

Whether it is upfront along the defensive line with guys like Kurt Hinish or Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, or at linebacker with Drew White and Jack Kiser, Freeman has a lot of veteran guys to work with. During his time at Cincinnati, Freeman was able to take a Group 5 team and make them a national power, so you can imagine what he is going to be able to do with this kind of talent in Year 1 in South Bend.

If the Irish are to get to ten wins once again, and possibly fight for a spot in the College Football Playoff, the defense may have to lead the way. This is a group that is loaded with guys who have been in big games before, and with an offense with so many question marks, Notre Dame football’s 2021 season could come down to how well this side of the ball plays.

Luckily, they have players like Griffith who have been here before.