After graduating three multiple-year starters from the 2019 secondary, last season became a stop-gap year for Notre Dame’s defensive backfield.

Because the unit was green and not firmly established in most areas, it first needed Shaun Crawford to return for a rare sixth year just to have some reliable depth (never mind start every game at safety).

Then at the end of spring, the coaching staff had to rummage through the transfer portal in desperate search of a proven college cornerback. Fortunately, it found former North Carolina State captain Nick McCloud as a graduate transfer.

Having enough candidates at cornerback and safety in 2021 is not an issue. This spring alone Notre Dame will have seven cornerbacks and six safeties with which to work. Two more freshman corners and one at safety will enroll in June.

If Notre Dame has to enter the transfer portal again at the end of spring to find corners or safeties, that might not be a favorable sign of spring development.