Notre Dame did not sign a linebacker in the 2020 recruiting cycle and added only two this winter: high school Butkus Award winner Prince Kollie from Tennessee and Hawaii’s Kahanu Kia, both of whom will enroll in June.

The small numbers are because Notre Dame had quality and quantity linebacker hauls in both 2018 and 2019 that will make competition for playing time fierce this year among a legion of upperclassmen.

Notre Dame’s 2022 linebacker harvest also is expected to rank among the nation’s best, receiving verbal commits already from Michigan products Nolan Ziegler and Joshua Burnham, and anticipating at least two more.

For 2021, though, it will be a time for numerous juniors and seniors to emerge as reliable, consistent performers.