Saturday, April 20, 2013
Which rookies will play for Irish?
By Vince Verhei
Brian Kelly, like most coaches, would rather not stick his freshmen in the starting lineup, and with so many starters back from a team that reached the national championship game, it's not as if there's a lot room on the field for first-year players anyway. None of that, however, has stopped Lou Somogyi of Blue and Gold Illustrated from predicting which freshmen are most likely to see the field for the Irish in 2013.
“We’re going to bring in a number of freshmen that I’m certain are going to be involved in special teams, especially some of those bigger-bodied guys,” Kelly tells Somogyi.
"Among the first three he mentioned were the linebacker trio of Michael Deeb, Doug Randolph and Jaylon Smith," Somogyi writes. "Last year, outside linebacker Romeo Okwara turned only 17 on June 17 but still started on special teams coverage, demonstrating just how cherished first-year, big-bodied and swift linebackers are on the special teams unit.
"Also mentioned on special teams by Kelly were safety Max Redfield and cornerbacks Devin Butler and Rashad Kinlaw. That’s not even including another cornerback, Cole Luke, who might have a legitimate opportunity to work into the two-deep on defense the way [KeiVarae] Russell did last year. Naturally, five-star defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes, along with running backs Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston, will have their opportunities to make their presence felt right away."