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April 16, 2012

Defensive line lynchpin


Kapron Lewis-Moore has been around Notre Dame long enough to know everything doesn’t always go according to plan.

When sophomore defensive end Aaron Lynch left the team last week with intent to transfer, South Florida being the favored destination, it represented a serious blow to the program and the defensive line.

Lewis-Moore acknowledged the loss of talent and also precarious nature of the situation.

“He’s a heck of a player and we’re gonna miss him,” Lewis-Moore said. “Sometimes things just don’t work out how they seem. I wish Aaron the best of luck. He’s a great dude, an awesome dude. No hard feelings, no nothing like that. It just wasn’t right for him. I think wherever he’s gonna go he’s gonna do well, he’s gonna do really good.”

Lewis-Moore stepped into a starting role with the departure of Aaron Lynch.

Removing a freshman All-American that led the team in sacks last season put Lewis-Moore back in a familiar spot, running with the top group at practice.

The senior defensive end lined up with Stephon Tuitt and Kona Schwenke as starters during practice last Saturday. Right now they sit atop a unit that boasts depth with nose guard Louis Nix, Sheldon Day, Chase Hounshell and an injured Tony Springmann.

Four-star prospect Jarron Jones, who attended practice last weekend, will join in the fall.

Lewis-Moore surveys the landscape at his position and sees a group that represents perhaps the greatest depth during his time in the program.

“We’re pretty deep I think,” Lewis-Moore said. “Especially after spring and the summer when everybody gets rehabbed from their injuries I think we’re gonna be alright heading into the season.”

Lewis-Moore tore his MCL against USC last October, which ended his season.

During his time on the field Lewis-Moore collected 32 tackles, four tackles-for-loss and 1.5 sacks. His rehab has gone well enough for him to participate fully in spring drills and set him up for a bigger contribution during the fall.

“I actually feel pretty good,” he said. “The knee is doing good. I’ve just got a big, ugly scar on it. But I’m moving pretty well and I feel like 100 percent. It gets achy sometimes but that’s always gonna come with it. I’m feeling pretty good and I’m glad to be out there playing some ball finally.”

Moving into the offseason Lewis-Moore plans to work on his conditioning even more to return for fall camp prepared to take more reps than ever. He will be helping fill the considerable void left when Lynch decided to leave.

“It’s always shocking when you have somebody of that talent leaving this University,” Lewis-Moore said. “We’re gonna miss Aaron but at the same time we wish him the best. We’ve got to kind of move on from that. There’s no hard feelings. He’s a great guy and wherever he goes I think he’s gonna thrive. Wherever he goes he’s gonna be a beast. I wish him the best of luck and, like I said, he’s a great dude.”


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