Of all the players making a name for themselves in the Notre Dame blue/gold game, freshman Aaron Lynch stood out from the pack. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound defensive end, an early enrollee this semester in South Bend, was the talk of the Fighting Irish spring game. Lynch was spectacular in the first half and ended the game with six tackles, 1 1/2 for a loss, and a quarterback rush. He also delivered several of the hardest hits in the game.
There will be lots of impact freshman across the national college football landscape this autumn; Lynch will be among the cream of this crop, so get to know this name now.
“He’s a good football player. You know, we’ve got to go slow with him. The one thing that he did today is he went against our first offensive linemen, he went against Trevor Robinson and Taylor Dever, and that would tamp down the expectations too,” Coach Brian Kelly said.
“I’d also like to give him credit for what he did. But it’s going to be a process with him. We’ve got to keep doing little things right with him in terms of where he’s playing. But you saw, we moved him around. He played inside; he played outside. He’s going to be a great addition.”
“I told Aaron, I can’t wait to see him do that to other quarterbacks, because that was pretty painful,” said sophomore Andrew Hendrix.
Lynch comes in with huge expectations, as he is one of the jewels of a highly rated recruiting class. ESPNU rated him the 3rd best defensive end, and 15th best player overall. He was rated the sixth best player by 24/7 sports. Rivals ranked him the third best strong-side defensive end and 28th best player overall.
It will be interesting to see where he fits in overall. The Irish have two upperclassmen starters situated at the DE position in their base 3-4, and both of them are pretty good. Ethan Johnson is very solid, and Kapron Lewis-Moore has some NFL potential. Still, you know Lynch is going to see loads of playing time.
“He is a beast. I haven’t seen anybody yet who could block him,” said fellow freshman early enrollee Everett Golson.
“He also has a lot of work to do in the film, and he understands that. He’s a good guy and knows what he needs to do to be the best that he can be.”