Pro Football Focus unveiled its 101 best college players Monday, offering an early glimpse at some of the players that will likely give the Irish fits come this fall.
Before we look at Irish opponents, let’s look at the two Notre Dame players that made the list: Offensive linemen Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson.
Here’s what PFF’s Steve Palazzolo said about McGlinchey, who he ranked #36 overall.
McGlinchey has made great strides since arriving at Notre Dame as a high-upside freshman. Last year was his first as a starter and he responded with the nation’s highest grade for a right tackle at +23.2. He’s expected to move to the left side to replace top-ten pick Ronnie Stanley, bringing his strong run blocking that ranked ninth among all tackles in the country in 2015.
Nelson came in at #94, with Palazzolo saying:
Nelson wasn’t out of place in his first college action. He was excellent in the running game, as he was strong at the point of attack and impressive as a puller. Nelson finished with a positive grade in pass protection as well, and his debut bodes well for the future of Notre Dame’s offensive line.
Now here are the top 11 individuals who’ll play against the Irish, as determined by PFF:
- Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (#1 overall)
- JuJu Smith-Shuster, WR, USC (#21 overall)
- Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State (#23 overall)
- Zach Banner, OT, USC (#45 overall)
- Adoree Jackson, CB/WR, USC (#47 overall)
- Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech (#62 overall)
- Jaylen Samuels, RB, N.C. State (#68 overall)
- Wyatt Teller, G, Virginia Tech (#75 overall)
- Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami (#87 overall)
- Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford (#98 overall)
- Ed Davis, LB, Michigan State (#100 overall)
Here are some other Irish headlines:
- Golson Signs With CFL Team – The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have signed former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson to their practice squad. The Cats are 1-0 on the season, with former Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli going 27-for-37 with 318 yards and 3 TDs against the Toronto Argonauts. Masoli is playing in place of Zach Collaros, who played for Brian Kelly at Cincinnati. Collaros torn his ACL last September and is still recovering. Here’s video of Golson talking about his first day with the team.
- Jersey Football Field Named After Theo Riddick – Immaculata High School, the Somerville, N.J. alma mater of former Irish RB Theo Riddick, named their playing field after the Detroit Lions’ backfield specialist. Riddick ran for 4,042 yards and scored 52 touchdowns in high school career. He graduated from the school in 2009.
- Pat Connaughton Chucks It DEEEP – The former Irish basketball standout, now playing for the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers, threw a football a long, long way with what seems to be minimal effort. He says it went 80 yards on the fly, but it’s super hard to tell. I see at least 60 easy.
- Breaking down the cost of bringing Navy-Notre Dame to Jax – The city of Jacksonville is expected to invest $350,000 into operating EverBank Field during the Midshipman’s Nov. 5 matchup with the Irish. The city is also installing 3,500 seats to replace those lost during recent renovations.