It’s an annual rite of summer that signals the approach of another season.
The numbers are out for the remainder of Notre Dame’s freshman class.
With Jimmy Clausen, Armando Allen and Gary Gray already fully suited up for the Irish following their early enrollments, the remaining 15 incoming freshmen have now joined that trio. Clausen is already wearing No. 7, Allen donning No. 5 and Gray sporting No. 4. The rest of their classmates won’t join that trio in single digits, however.
On offense, Duval Kamara will wear No. 18, a jersey last worn by safety Chinedum Ndukwe. While the Cincinnati Bengal was a former wide out at Notre Dame, the most recent receiver of note to wear it was the diminutive Joey Getherall, hardly a physical match for the towering Kamara. Of course the most famous No. 18 in Notre Dame history is halfback Jim Crowley, one of the fabled Four Horsemen.
Golden Tate will wear No. 23 and Robert Hughes snagged No. 33, meaning both freshmen will keep their high school numbers. Chase Anastasio wore No. 23 for the Irish last season and No. 33 was property of walk-on kicker Nate Whitaker. Tight end Mike Ragone will wear No. 83, the jersey of All-American Jeff Samardzija last season.
The most revealing aspect of the jersey assignments might be on the two lines where Matt Romine got No. 70, Taylor Dever took No. 75 (the former jersey of All-American Aaron Taylor) and Andrew Nuss selected No. 76. Emeka Nwankwo, who was recruited as an offensive guard but figures to get a shot on defense, picked up No. 91, digits usually reserved for players trying to tackle quarterbacks rather than protect them. Ian Williams took No. 95, donned by Victor Abiamiri last season.
At linebacker, Kerry Neal will wear No. 56, Brian Smith took No. 58, Aaron Nagel selected No. 47 and Steve Paskorz picked up No. 50. In the secondary, Harrison Smith grabbed No. 30, a jersey last worn by cornerback Mike Richardson as well as All-American Frank Stams.
Kicker Brandon Walker will wear No. 14, former property of Heisman Trophy winner John Lattner.