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Notre Dame Football: Questions Remain Heading Into The Summer

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Notre Dame’s 2019 spring must be considered a success. The program ended the spring in better shape than it was when it started and it came out of the spring with no new injuries.

Playmakers emerged, the lines thrived and the young players took positive steps forward. Yesterday we discussed the five answers the program had at the conclusion of spring.

Today we will discuss the lingering questions that must be answered between now and Sept. 2 if the Irish are going to make another run to the College Football Playoffs.

1. Inside Linebacker Remains A Question: I do not doubt the talent at the position, or the athleticism, or the level of coaching the unit will receive. The issue is that the unit is mostly young, mostly inexperienced and no one really grabbed hold of the position by the end of spring.

Fifth-year senior Asmar Bilal ended the spring as the lead man at the Mike position, but I believe that to be problematic. Bilal is a quality athlete, he’s a physical player and from all accounts he’s an excellent young man and a hard worker. But throughout the spring – and in the Blue-Gold Game – he continued to show himself to be a defender that struggles to show the feel for the game needed to thrive once the ball is snapped.

The issue is sophomore linebackers Bo Bauer and Shayne Simon didn’t do enough to challenge Bilal for the starting spot at Mike linebacker. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but it didn’t happen by the end of the spring.

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