Frosh numbers official
Nyles Morgan might look familiar when he steps into the middle of Notre Dame’s defense. The rest of the freshman class probably won’t when it hits the field for training camp.
The unveiling of freshman jerseys is a perfunctory right of summer as another rookie class prepares for its first preseason, now less than two weeks away. For the four-star linebacker, that means slipping into the No. 5 jersey Manti Te’o made iconic and Everett Golson duplicated. With the exception of punter Tyler Newsome, who will attempt to fill out the No. 85 vacated by Troy Niklas, the rest of the freshman class can create new reputations for their digits.
Quarterback DeShone Kizer will wear No. 14 as he projects into a supporting role behind Golson and Malik Zaire. The number follows Luke Massa and Devin Butler, who switched in spring. In terms of former Notre Dame quarterbacks, Gary Godsey wore No. 14 more than a decade ago.
Justin Brent grabbed No. 11 during spring practice, a duplicate with Ishaq Williams and a replacement for Tommy Rees. Corey Holmes rounds out the receiver depth chart with No. 15, which Will Fuller wore last season before flipping to No. 7 during spring. At tight end, Nic Weishar will wear No. 82 after Alex Welch departed for Miami of Ohio. Tyler Luatua will wear No. 13, formerly held down by Danny Spond.
The four-man offensive line haul will get a chance to build reputations for its jerseys as they’ve taken on recently obscure digits. Alex Bars will wear No. 71, vacant among scholarship players since Bartley Webb almost a decade ago. Quenton Nelson will wear No. 56, held down by deep reserve defensive end Anthony Rabasa. Same goes for Sam Mustipher at No. 53, held by reserve defensive tackle Justin Utupo.
As for Jimmy Byrne at No. 67, it was last seen on a scholarship player when Louis Nix wore it during his red shirt season.
Along the defensive line, Grant Blankenship will wear No. 92, last held by Tyler Stockton. Jonathan Bonner has No. 55, vacated by Prince Shembo. Daniel Cage will be No. 75, a duplicate of reserve guard/center Mark Harrell. Pete Mokwuah will be No. 96, replacing Kona Schwenke. Jhonny Williams will be No. 33, a duplicate of running back Cam McDaniel. Jay Hayes will get No. 93, vacant among scholarship players since Bruce Heggie wore it as a freshman.
At linebacker, Morgan has No. 5, Kolin Hill will be No. 43, Drue Tranquill will be No. 23 and Greer Martini will be No. 48. For Tranquill, he fills the jersey vacated by transfer cornerback Lo Wood, although it’s better known as Golden Tate. Martini replaces Dan Fox on the numerical roster. Hill’s choice might be the most offbeat in the class. Josh Atkinson wore No. 43 early in his career. Before that Rashon Powers-Neal did as an underclassman.
Cornerback Nick Watkins will wear No. 19, which Doug Randolph had as a red shirt last season before grabbing No. 44 from Carlo Calabrese. Watkins probably would have grabbed his high school number but will have to wait to get No. 6 from KeiVarae Russell.