With Notre Dame’s summer classes commencing last Monday, 18 freshman have now officially joined the Irish football team.
All have already picked their numbers, with some announcing them through social media. Here’s the rundown:
#12 QB IAN BOOK: Book sported #11 in high school, which is currently sported by redshirt sophomore running back Justin Brent. Book said last Tuesday that he’ll be wearing #12, which was most recently worn by fellow quarterback Brandon Wimbush. Wimbush, a sophomore, will be wearing #7 this year, which was most previously worn by wide receiver Will Fuller. Fuller is now in the NFL with the Houston Texans, where he wears #15 – the same number he sported his freshman year at Notre Dame.
#50 OG PARKER BOUDREAUX: The Orlando, Fla. product wore #56 in high school, but that’s fellow guard Quenton Nelson’s number. Boudreaux said last Tuesday he’ll be wearing #50, which was defensive lineman-turned-tight-end Chase Hounsell’s number in 2014.
#83 WR CHASE CLAYPOOL: Claypool wore #21 in high school. Junior cornerback Nick Watkins sported #21 last year, although that wouldn’t preclude Claypool from wearing it on offense. The Abbotsford, British Columbia product has decided to wear #83 instead. That number was worn by Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija when he played wide receiver at Notre Dame. It was most recently worn by Jalen Guyton, who was suspended and is no longer with the team.
#74 OT LIAM EICHENBERG: Blue & Gold Illustrated’s Andrew Owens reports that Eichenberg will wear #74, but I haven’t been able to independently confirm that. (Eichberg has private accounts on Twitter and Instagram.) Eichenberg wore that number in high school and it was last worn by an Irish player – right guard Christian Lombard – in 2014.
#21 CB JALEN ELLIOTT: Elliot wore #1 in high school. Elliott’s new coach, Todd Lyght, wore than number in college for the Irish, but #1 is being reserved for special recognition this year. Elliott decided instead to wear #21, with Watkins switching to #7. No one has worn #7 on defense since Stephon Tuitt left in the university 2013 and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
DE JAMIR JONES: Jones, as far as I can tell, has not announced his number publicly. The upstate New York product wore #15 in both football, basketball and lacrosse for his high school last year. Corey Holmes wears that number on offense, but there’s no one currently assigned to that number on defense. Safety Dan McCarthy, a member of the 2012 team, was the last to sport that number as a member of the Irish defense.
LB JONATHAN JONES: Jones wore #45 in high school, which was most recently sported by defensive end Romeo Okwara. Okwara was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Giants. I’ve looked at his social media accounts, but they don’t seem to include an announcement on a jersey number.
RB TONY JONES JR.: Jones has not announced his jersey number on social media, to my knowledge. The IMG Academy product wore both #4 in football and in baseball this past year. That number is worn on offense by junior QB Montgomery “Gummy” VanGorder and on defense by linebacker Te’von Coney.
#78 OT TOMMY KRAEMER: Kraemer is looking to fill big shoes with the departure of tackle Ronnie Stanley, who was drafted by the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. What better way to get started than taking over Stanley’s #78? Kraemer, who attended Elder High School in Cincinnati, also picked the number as tribute to St. Xavier’s Matt James. James, a Notre Dame commit, died after falling from a fifth-floor balcony. Luke Massa, St. Xavier’s quarterback, wore #78 on his senior day at Notre Dame to honor James. (Stanley wore #69 that day.)
#27 CB JULIAN LOVE: Love wore #20 in high school. Again, no one is listed on Notre Dame’s spring chart as wearing #20. (RB C.J. Prosise, now with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, wore it last year.) However, Love decided on #27 instead. That means redshirt freshman linebacker Asmar Bilal is getting a new number, which is reportedly #22. (That was last worn by safety Elijah Shumate. Shumate is now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.)
RB DEON MCINTOSH: McIntosh has not announced his jersey number on social media. He wore #1 in high school, but Irish Coach Brian Kelly has already indicated a different individual will be wearing that number every week.
WR JAVON MCKINLEY: As of June 9, McKinley said he did not know what number he’d be wearing. The California product wore #88 in high school, which was worn by senior Corey Robinson last year. Robinson announced Wednesday that he will forgo his senior season after suffering multiple concussions.
#32 S D.J. MORGAN: Morgan wore #27 in high school. Did Love beat him to the number? If Morgan’s Twitter announcement is any indication, he wanted a new number for a fresh start. He picked #32 and included pictures of fellow #32s – Chargers defensive back Eric Weddle and Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu. Two walk-ons – WR Cam Bryan and S Nick Ossello – wore #32 last year.
DE ADETOKUNBO OGUNDEJI: Ade wore #80 with his high school football team and #34 with the basketball team. To my knowledge, he has not announced his number.
#42 DE JULIAN OKWARA: Okwara, the younger brother of former Irish football player Romeo Okwara, wore #8 in high school. That’s sixth-year safety Avery Sebastian’s number. Okwara has decided on #42. The most famous Irish player to wear #42 was linebacker Michael Stonebreaker, part of Notre Dame’s last national championship team in 1988. Sophomore kicker/punter walk-on Jeff Riney wears #42 on offense. Walk-on linebacker Jimmy Thompson was also listed as #42 in the spring.
CB TROY PRIDE JR.: Pride said in a May 19 interview with Blue & Gold Illustrated that he has a fondness for the number 17, which he first wore during Little League. The South Carolina speedster wore #5 in high school, but said he didn’t care what number he was assigned. “I could be a number 63, and I’ll go out there and be a lockdown 63,” he told the publication. Linebacker James Onwualu wears #17 for the Irish and #5 is worn by fellow linebacker Nyles Morgan.
#54 LS JOHN SHANNON: Shannon wore #42 in high school, which classmate Julian Okwara has already claimed. Shannon announced on Instagram that he’d be sporting #54, which is also worn by defensive lineman Lincoln Feist. It was also worn in 2011 by inside linebacker Anthony McDonald and in 2007 by outside linebacker Anthony Vernaglia. No offensive player has worn #54 in more than a decade.
- DE Daelin Hayes is wearing #9, last worn by LB Jaylon Smith. Smith was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, and is wearing #54 with them.
- DE Khalid Kareem is wearing #53, which is also worn by OL Sam Mustipher on offense and last worn on defense by DL Justin Utupo in 2014.
- S Devin Studstill was wearing #13, which was last worn on defense by outside linebacker Danny Spond, who last played in 2013. (Blue & Gold Illustrated reports he’s switching to #14.)
- S Spencer Perry is wearing #31, which was worn last year by safety John Turner. Turner graduated.
- WR Kevin Stepherson is wearing #29 in honor of a high school teammate, Johnnel Johnson, who was shot and killed by a classmate at a house party. Kicker Sam Kohler, a walk-on, is also wearing #29.
Blue & Gold Illustrated has a good rundown of the non-freshmen who are switching jersey numbers.