Which position group will be the strongest for Notre Dame in the Fall? IrishEyes.com breaks down…
Opposition Danger Men: Notre Dame & Hawaii
Notre Dame - Louis Nix III - NG
Just like last year Notre Dame will be the most difficult opponent that Navy face all year and it all starts with a defense that was dominating all comers (bar Alabama) last season. While Manti Te'o may have had all the publicity last season the reason he was able to become a Heisman Trophy candidate was the beef upfront. Simply put Te'o could make all the tackles he wanted because no offensive line (again bar Alabama) was able to put a body on him. The biggest reason, Louis Nix III.
At 6-3 and conservatively 335 pounds Nix is the very definition of a big reason. The nose guard is a true behemoth of a man who was one of the very few Irish players to actually win his battles in the National Title game against the Crimson Tide. The future NFL first round draft pick has a ridiculously explosive first step for someone so large and generates uncontrollable power coming off of the ball. He is assignment sound and knows exactly how to dominate the center/guard channels to destroy an inside running game. He is also shows an uncommon level of hustle for a big guy. Watch how many times he is around the ball on backside runs and even screen passes. When you throw in the fact that the interior of the Mids offensive line is undersized then you have a horrible matchup for the Academy.
Hawaii - Taylor Graham -QB
The Hawaii offense was so bad last year that it only ranked outside the bottom ten in two of the 25 major adjusted categories. That is why the Hawaii danger man is actually a player who wasn't even eligible to play for the Rainbow Warriors (yes they changed it back) in 2012.
Former Ohio State quarterback Taylor Graham is a 6-5, 235 pound specimen of a human who was once ranked as the 14th best quarterback in his class. Graham has proven to be a little injury prone in his career, but he exits spring practice healthy and has already elevated himself to the top spot on the Hawaii depth chart. With Norm Chow in control, the offense should be perfectly set up for a quarterback of Graham's skill set and surely there is no way Hawaii can be that bad with the ball again in 2013.
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