2020 Notre Dame Football Way Too Early Season Preview


The top NFL talent within the Notre Dame football program has mostly resided within the offensive line during the late 2010s and that trend will carry over into the first season of the 2020s. In looking at who’s gone, who’s back and who’s coming in, 2020 Notre Dame football will be strongest on the o-line.

Thus you can expect a really overpowering run centric team, a la the 2017 mold, to show up in South Bend this fall. Given how the team will be going through a complete overhaul in the secondary and defensive end position this summer training camp, the Fighting Irish will likely need to just outscore people this upcoming season. They could be susceptible to opponents’ passing games, and the best way to counteract that is to limit the number of times the opponent has the ball to attack the Irish inexperience.


Overall, ND figures to be in the New Year’s Six mix (a bowl bid they definitely deserved, but didn’t get, having to settle for the little reincarnation of the MicronPC.com bowl instead) as they return a lot of key talent from an 11 win team that finished 12th in the AP poll.

He’s Gone:

S Jalen Elliot, S Alohi Gillman, RB Tony Jones, DB Coach Todd Lyght, QB Phil Jurkovec, OC Chip Long, TE Cole Kmet, WRs Chase Claypool, Chris Finke and Javon McKinley, DEs Jamir Jones, Khalid Kareem and Julian Okwara, CBs Donte Vaughn and Troy Pride Jr., LB Asmar Bilal. 

He’s Back:

QB Ian Book, LG Aaron Banks, LT Liam Eichenberg, WR Braden Lenzy, RBs Jafar Armstrong and Jahmir Smith, RG Tommy Kraemer, RT Robert Hainsey, LB Shayne Simon, DT Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, DE Daelin Hayes, FS Kyle Hamilton, CBs Shaun Crawford and TaRiq Bracy, also Tom Rees (no longer Tommy Rees) has been promoted to Offensive Coordinator 

He’s Coming:

Bennet Skowronek was one of Northwestern’s best wide receivers in 2018 and 2019, but we didn’t get to really see that because of his injury. He’s a talent, and he arrives at the perfect time, given the shortage of experienced pass catchers. Another Big Ten transfer, SS Isaiah Pryor from Ohio State also arrives to provide depth in a position group where it’s lacking. 

In terms of recruiting, you’ll see the next Notre Dame football incoming class ranked in the range of 11th-to-13th nationally. 24/7 Sports has nine 4-star recruits and nine more 3-stars in this class, reflecting the depth. So while yes, there is a lot leaving, there’s also a lot coming back and coming in.

Where Notre Dame football ranks in the way too early national rankings:

Hat tip to SB Nation’s One Foot Down for pointing out that a composite of all the-way-too-early preseason rankings as ND #10. (Big shout to them on the way too early depth chart too- be sure to check that out sometime).

According to OFD, The Sporting News ranks ND “the highest at #8 and College Football News ranking them the lowest at #17.”

Notre Dame Football Gist of it All:

Could a return to the college football playoff be in the cards for Notre Dame football? Only if they beat Clemson when the Tigers come to South Bend this fall. Overall, it looks like another 10-2 season seems very likely.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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  1. When they beat Wisconsin badly in lambeau Field and only loss to Clemson by less than 10 and finish 11-1 not 10-2 then they’ll be back in the college football playoffs

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