3 Notre Dame football players who should be replaced on the depth chart for 2024

FanSided college football writer Josh Yourish believes that the Fighting Irish still have a few weak-spots on their roster and should look for an internal or external upgrade at these three spots.
Duke Blue Devils running back Jaquez Moore (9)
Duke Blue Devils running back Jaquez Moore (9) / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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So far this offseason, Marcus Freeman has aggressively turned over his roster. The defense was excellent in 2023, but the offense held the Fighting Irish back in big games, so Freeman dove headfirst into the transfer portal and came back with a new starting quarterback, Riley Leonard, and three new wide receivers. 

Freeman also saw some quality talent leave through the transfer portal, but with Mike Denbrock back in South Bend and calling plays for Freeman’s offense, the Irish look like they’ll be a College Football Playoff contender in 2024. In 2023, they finished 9-3 in the regular season, and No. 16 in the final CFP rankings, so they’re knocking on the door of the top 12. 

Yes, Chris Tyree, Rico Flores, Tobias Merriweather, and Braylon James have transferred away, but Beaux Collins, Kris Mitchell, and Jayden Harrison are a much better trio than Sam Hartman was throwing to last year. The holes on the offensive side have mostly been plugged, so two of my three potential replacements are on the defensive depth chart. 

The roster isn’t perfect and there are a few positions where Freeman should look to make a change, either internally or externally. The transfer portal is cooling off again after the coaching changes at Alabama, Washington, and Arizona, but there is still plenty of time to make some final tweaks before next season. 

Clarence Lewis. DB. player. Senior. . 6. Clarence Lewis. 443. . Clarence Lewis

In his fourth season at Notre Dame in 2023, Lewis wasn’t technically a starter like he was in 2021 when he played 832 snaps, but he was one of the primary options at slot corner, playing 191 of his 236 snaps there. Lewis’s snap count has dropped each season since 2021 and it should continue to fall in 2024. 

Lewis survived in coverage, only giving up 14 catches on 24 targets. He allowed just one touchdown, only 9.6 yards per catch, and had four pass breakups and one interception, but his weaknesses show up in the run game. 

He primarily played on pass downs, but still was on the field for 92 snaps against the run and finished with just eight tackles and missed five. A player who is constantly near the line of scrimmage, even if it’s a 6-foot 200-pound nickel like Lewis, needs to help in the run game and he just didn’t do that consistently enough.