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Sport Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 20 Justin Walters, early-enrolled freshman safety

13:46  18 july  2021
13:46  18 july  2021 Source:   nbcsports.com

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Listed measurements: 6-foot ⅝, 178 pounds. 2021-22 year, eligibility: The one class on Notre Dame’s roster with clear eligibility parameters, Walters has four seasons of eligibility remaining. Depth Chart: Walters spent the spring working with the Irish second-team, notable for a high school senior but with an asterisk given star junior Kyle Hamilton was held out of all spring practices. Either way, Walters appears to be in the mix for some playing time as a freshman. Recruiting: The consensus three-star prospect and the No. 37 safety in the class, per rivals.com, Walters could have gone to most Big Ten schools when the Chicagoland product instead chose Notre Dame.

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WHAT WAS SAID WHEN WALTERS SIGNED “Walters’ physical playing style and fundamental tackling form should give him a high floor to work from. Both his recruiting rankings and overall evaluations would be better filled out if 2020 had included more camps, etc., but the fact that the Irish pursued him so aggressively so quickly should speak volumes on what the coaching staff thinks of Walters.

“Walters may not start in 2021, but Notre Dame will need backup safeties to emerge, and as long as his fundamental tackling form stays true, that trust alone could push him into the rotation, trust he can certainly further as an early enrollee.”

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Inside the Irish

Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 20 C’Bo Flemister, senior running back Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 21 Caleb Offord, sophomore cornerback Four-star defenders becoming the Notre Dame norm in recruiting, CB Benjamin...

QUOTES The pandemic cost some recruits more than others, and while Walters likely would have ended up in South Bend regardless, his recruiting rankings suffered due to the lack of a senior season.

“Justin made all these athletic gains between his junior and senior year, and then lost his senior fall,” then Irish recruiting coordinator Brian Polian said in February. “If you ask these guys, ‘Would you rather stay at home and hope that you play in the winter or would you rather get to school and get started with strength and conditioning and spring practice? …’”

Walters did impress in the spring, a more important step forward than bettering his position ranking at Rivals with a final high school season. Both Polian and new Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman praised Walters throughout April.

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2021 OUTLOOK Polian, also the special teams coordinator, went so far as to describe Walters as a “fast riser” when it comes to special teams work. If Walters becomes a primary contributor on Polian’s coverage units, then that alone may push him past the four-game threshold, and that in turn could elevate him in the safety rotation.

Hamilton is unlikely to come off the field until the Irish are up by three touchdowns, and senior Houston Griffith is competing with senior DJ Brown to serve as Hamilton’s primary running mate, so the safety rotation will not run deep, but Notre Dame will win games by three touchdowns — this space is routinely hinting these days at a prediction of two blowouts in the first three weeks — and Walters may be the beneficiary of those routs.

DOWN THE ROAD Hamilton will head to the NFL after 2021. He could be a top-five pick; anyone suggesting he stay in college needs to take six steps back from the conversation.

That will leave a massive void for the Irish at safety, one anyone could step into and one that will be filled with uncertainty simply because Hamilton will leave so little room for anyone to impress this fall.

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NOTRE DAME 99-TO-0

Let’s try this again

No. 99 Rylie Mills, sophomore defensive tackle

No. 98 Alexander Ehrensberger, sophomore defensive end

No. 97 Gabriel Rubio, early-enrolled freshman defensive tackle the size of a Volkswagen

No. 95 Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, fifth-year defensive tackle-turned-end

No. 92 Aidan Keanaaina, sophomore defensive tackle

No. 88 Mitchell Evans, early-enrolled freshman tight end, a former high school quarterback

No. 87 Michael Mayer, star sophomore tight end and lead offensive weapon

No. 85 George Takacs, senior tight end, ‘152 years old’

No. 84 Kevin Bauman, sophomore tight end

No. 82 Xavier Watts, sophomore receiver

No. 81 Jay Brunelle, speedy sophomore receiver

No. 80 Cane Berrong, early-enrolled freshman tight end

No. 79 Tosh Baker, sophomore offensive tackle

No. 78 Pat Coogan, incoming freshman center

No. 77 Quinn Carroll, junior offensive lineman

No. 76 Joe Alt, incoming and towering freshman offensive lineman

No. 75 Josh Lugg, fifth-year right tackle, finally a starter

No. 73 Andrew Kristofic, junior offensive tackle, possible backup center

No. 72 Caleb Johnson, early-enrolled offensive tackle, former Auburn commit

No. 70 Hunter Spears, junior offensive guard, former defensive tackle

Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 14 Kyle Hamilton, junior safety, preseason All-American, top 2022 draft prospect

  Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 14 Kyle Hamilton, junior safety, preseason All-American, top 2022 draft prospect There is no debate about who Notre Dame's best player is, and in his final season with the Irish, junior safety Kyle Hamilton should prove that every week.Despite that late recruiting rise, the Irish pursued Hamilton relatively early in the cycle, before that ratings bump, thanks to a tip from a friend of former safeties coach Terry Joseph when he was still coaching at North Carolina, closer to Hamilton’s home of Atlanta. Joseph arrived at Notre Dame in the winter of 2017 and began his pursuit of Hamilton in earnest halfway through Hamilton’s junior year. He had shined on the field, but that camp boost had not yet occurred.

No. 68 Michael Carmody, sophomore offensive tackle

No. 62 Marshall guard Cain Madden transfers to Notre Dame, likely 2021 starter

No. 57 Jayson Ademilola, senior defensive tackle

No. 56 John Dirksen, senior reserve offensive lineman

No. 56 Howard Cross, junior defensive tackle

No. 55 Jarrett Patterson, the best Irish offensive lineman

No. 54 Jacob Lacey, junior defensive tackle

No. 54 Blake Fisher, early-enrolled freshman left tackle, starter?

No. 52 Zeke Correll, junior, starting center

No. 52 Bo Bauer, senior linebacker, #BeADog

No. 50 Rocco Spindler, early-enrolled freshman offensive guard

No. 48 Will Schweitzer, early-enrolled freshman defensive end

No. 44 Devin Aupiu, early-enrolled freshman defensive end

No. 44 Alex Peitsch and No. 65 Michael Vinson, Irish long snappers, both needed

No. 41 Kurt Hinish, fifth-year defensive tackle, eventual record-holder in games played

No. 40 Drew White, fifth-year linebacker, three-year starter

No. 39 Jonathan Doerer, fifth-year kicker, using the pandemic exception

No. 38 Jason Onye, incoming and raw freshman defensive end

No. 37 Joshua Bryan, incoming freshman kicker

No. 35 Marist Liufau, junior Hawaiian linebacker

No. 34 Osita Ekwonu, junior defensive end

No. 33 Shayne Simon, senior linebacker

No. 29 Matt Salerno, senior punt returner, walk-on

No. 28 TaRiq Bracy, senior cornerback, possible nickel back

No. 27 JD Bertrand, junior linebacker

No. 26 Clarence Lewis, sophomore cornerback, second-year starter

No. 25 Philip Riley, early-enrolled freshman cornerback

No. 25 Chris Tyree, speedy sophomore running back

Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 32 Prince Kollie, freshman linebacker, Butkus Award winner

  Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 32 Prince Kollie, freshman linebacker, Butkus Award winner Considered perhaps the next great Irish linebacker, freshman Prince Kollie arrives at Notre Dame with time to grow into those expectations.But Lea went out of his way to reassure Kollie as he put together his own first recruiting class with the Commodores, making it clear to the Butkus Award winner (best high school linebacker) that Notre Dame was where he belonged.

No. 24 Jack Kiser, junior linebacker, onetime pandemic hero

No. 23 Litchfield Ajavon, junior safety

No. 23 Kyren Williams, junior running back

No. 22 Logan Diggs, incoming freshman running back

No. 22 Chance Tucker, freshman cornerback

No. 21 Lorenzo Styles, early-enrolled freshman receiver

No. 21 Caleb Offord, sophomore cornerback

No. 20 C’Bo Flemister, senior running back, coming off an offseason with a smirch

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Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 20 Justin Walters, early-enrolled freshman safety originally appeared on NBCSports.com

Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 13 Paul Moala, senior linebacker coming off an Achilles injury .
Paul Moala suffered a devastating injury early in the 2020 season, but somehow the senior Rover may already be back at full-strength for Notre Dame.NAME, IMAGE, LIKENESS When it comes down to it, they are college athletes. This does not need to be complicated. There are best-case sponsorships.

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