Notre Dame football has sent some pretty incredible players to the NFL over the last few years, with safeties being among the most prominent.
Notre Dame football: Current NFL safeties
The Notre Dame football program has around 50 players representing the school in the NFL at any given time; not many are more notable than Harrison Smith, Kyle Hamilton, and Julian Love. Also joining them at safety are 7-year NFL veteran Matthias Farley of the Raiders and Alohi Gilman of the Chargers. Alohi Gilman has been outstanding when given opportunities this year for Los Angeles. While typically playing a lot of special teams, this past weekend against the Cardinals, Gilman played 100% of the defensive snaps. He combined for 10 tackles and added a pass deflection against Kyler Murray and the solid passing attack of Arizona.
Matthias Farley has had an outstanding career in the NFL with 183 total tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions, and 4 tackles for loss. Farley has bounced around a bit the last couple of years but still has appeared in 11 games for the Raiders. Also, let’s remember that Gilman was noticed at Notre Dame thanks to his transfer to the program from Navy. His career may not have come to fruition had he not made such a bold move for his success.
Harrison Smith has by far had the best numbers of the group. Given his consistent play at such a high level, it’s not all too surprising. Smith has 926 combined tackles, 33 interceptions, 9 forced fumbles, and 4 touchdowns. He has been named a first-team All-Pro once and has attended the pro-bowl a whopping 6 times. In his first year in the NFL, Kyle Hamilton has been graded by PFF as the top safety in the league. He’s well on his way to an incredibly successful career.
Julian Love, a converted cornerback at Notre Dame, is also a safety on the rise in the NFL. He’s in his 4th season but is primed to play a long time more, given his success. As a captain for the New York Giants, Love has tallied 250 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 17 pass breakups. Love still has some room to grow, but he’s the leader of one of the best young up-and-coming teams in the league.
Notre Dame football: Current safeties with NFL potential
Brandon Joseph seems primed to join the long list of highly successful Notre Dame safeties in the NFL under the tutelage of safeties coach Chris O’Leary. Even though he transferred from Northwestern, Gilman was in the same situation. Joseph is betting on himself to continue to be that All-American playmaker he was at Northwestern, just on a bigger stage.
Joseph hasn’t had quite the impact yet at Notre Dame you’d expect, but if he sticks around for another year, he’ll propel himself to the next level. Of course, you couldn’t blame him for declaring for the draft if he gets positive feedback but persistent injuries this year prevented the gaudy numbers you came to expect.
We all know Peyton Bowen is a current Notre Dame commit, and there are rumors of a potential exit. But will he stay committed and be the next great Notre Dame safety in a long line of extremely talented players? Only time will tell. If he does stay, he’d be setting himself up for success past college in more ways than one.