Julian Love: All-American Notre Dame CB Has Perfect Mentor in Todd Lyght

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julian love

2018 Notre Dame is so much more than just the sum of their parts. Junior cornerback Julian Love is the team’s only true 2019 NFL Draft first round prospect and AP All-America first team. Yet here there are- in the college football playoff, set to take on Clemson in Cotton Bowl on Saturday.

One more win and they’ll get a chance to play for the national title. In order to pull off the massive upset, they’ll need to consistently win most of the key one-on-one matchups (full game preview and prediction at this link). The Notre Dame corners versus the Clemson wide receivers is one of those critical duels.

julian love

At Cotton Bowl Media Day, Julian Love spoke of the advantage his position group will have in this game.

Love, who is listed at 5-11, goes against some very tall receivers everyday in practice at Notre Dame, and will thus be prepared for Clemson’s WR corps, which has plenty of height.

“I’m not the biggest guy, by any means, but I think it’s just really going toe to toe and really kind of applying your will to it,” the Westchester, Illinois native said.

“And so from Miles [Boykin] and me it’s kind of knowing the different releases, getting into the body — some guys don’t mind being pressed, some guys really can’t be pressed so it’s knowing your opponent.

“And then kind of taking them off their launching mark. Because if they get comfortable in their jump, they can catch a ball in a big catch radius.”

“It’s like boxing out (in basketball). They can’t jump if you’re into them,” the 2015 Chicago Sun-Times prep player of the year said.

“That’s my mindset for sure. And putting your hands on and being physical. Everybody likes that aggressive physical play…so I think it’s very similar to our team which I think is an advantage for us because we’ve been practicing it all year and this is one team we feel is very similar to our receivers.”

Love started eight games as a freshman at Notre Dame, and then all 13 contests his sophomore year. With one game left in his junior season, he’s already the school’s all-time leader in career pass break-ups.

One of the secrets to his success is a great role model; one who is very well accomplished, and well known among the Notre Dame faithful.

“I think my whole career the biggest role model and main guideline for improving my game is Todd Lyght. He’s my backs coach,” Love added.

“He’s the guy who offered me — I was his first commitment when he got to Notre Dame, and we have a good relationship. His mindset in terms of winning at the highest level is always from that, and he brings it to the table every single day.

“I know how he ticks and he knows how I tick, and I think that’s a special thing for sure. He’s helped me so much.”

todd lyght

Lyght, the Notre Dame defensive backs coach, is the perfect mentor. He was a two time consensus All-American at Notre Dame before becoming the fifth pick overall in the 1991 NFL Draft.

He had three All-Pro seasons in the NFL and won a Super Bowl with the Rams in 1999.

If Julian Love is to reach similar heights in the league one day, Lyght is the right man to teach him how to get there.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation. 

He also contributes sociopolitical essays to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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