The Notre Dame football team gave its fan base a bit of a Christmas present on Sunday by releasing the depth chart for the Sun Bowl against Oregon State. While some of the changes were expected, Marcus Freeman did have a few surprises left under the tree.
One big change that certainly wasn't a surprise but was interesting to see was at the quarterback position. Steve Angeli is officially getting the nod.
That was predetermined since Sam Hartman announced he was sitting out. Angeli has been practicing as the starter for the last few weeks but now it's official, he's the man.
Knowing that Angeli is the starter, it's not particularly a surprise that freshman Kenny Minchey is the backup. But it's one of those things that will certainly stand out should something happen to Angeli in the game.
Quarterback is pretty much settled and has been for a while now, but there are other spots on the depth chart that might raise some eyebrows.
Notre Dame football shuffles the running backs
The Irish have Jeremiyah Love OR Jadarian Price listed as the starter. That's certainly interesting considering that Gi’Bran Payne served as the backup for Audric Estime for most of the season. Love, who ran for 346 yards this season is likely going to be the starter next season, he's getting a shot to take that job.
Wide receiver sees names added to the depth chart
One of the wide receiver slots will be taken up by Jaden Thomas, who has been battling a hamstring injury since week 4. His backup will be Deion Colzie who hasn't been listed on the depth chart since Week 3.
Slot is seeing an interesting addition on the depth chart as well. Freshman Jordan Faison moves up to starter thanks to the departure of Chris Tyree and another freshman, KK Smith is on the chart for the first time this year.
The Boubacar show
Over on the defensive side of the ball, Boubacar Traore makes his depth chart debut, though this will actually be the 5th game he plays in. Thanks to an NCAA rule, the bowl game doesn't count against the limit to retain a redshirt.
Traore didn't see a ton of playing time in the four games he appeared in the regular season, getting just 17 snaps. But he did have a sack against USC. The future is bright for Boubacar and it starts in the Sun Bowl.
X marks the spot for Notre Dame football
Fighting Irish fans are still waiting and hoping that Xavier Watts will return for the 2024 season. While he hasn't made an announcement, he also hasn't opted out of the Sun Bowl and that could bode well for one more year for the talented Notre Dame football defender.