Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Defensive Squad Enters Spring Practice Healed

April 13, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – In a season where a team goes 5-7, a revamping is necessary.

Head football coach Bob Davie is looking to revive his team this spring. The Irish are back at work with the majority of the defensive roster fully healed. With the numbers up for the drills and others returning after suspensions from the team, the defense appears ready to focus on the task at hand, improving.

CORNERBACKS – This could be one of the deepest positions for the Irish on defense. Junior Brock Williams returns after a year long suspension for disciplinary reasons. He will compete with Clifford Jefferson who saw lots of minutes last fall. Irish soccer convert Shane Walton also is in hot contention for this spot not too mention a group of talented sophomores in Jason Beckstrom and Albert Poree. Look for all five to see plenty of playing time this fall.

DEFENSIVE END – Darrell Campbell did not see a bit of playing time last season but he might just earn the starting spot this year. Campbell will most likely get the okay for one end while Grant Irons should be the starter at the other end. Ryan Roberts and Him Molinaro will most likely be the backups for those positions. This fall, things may change when two freshman come into the mix. Freshman Greg Pauly and Kyle Budinscak will enter being touted as two of Notre Dame’s most talented players. Both could compete for some serious playing time.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE – Anthony Weaver will probably get the nod at the starting position with Cedric Hilliard hot on his heels. At the other spot, Lance Legree will get the starting spot. Backing up Legree will most likely be BJ Scott.

DROP LINEBACKERS – Irish coaches will let Rocky Boiman get the starting position. Boiman gets the nod after the early departure of Joe Ferrer. Ferrer left Notre Dame before all of his eligibility finished, citing too strict of policies at the University. Backing up Boiman will most likely be Justin Thomas. Things may change at this position as well when the freshmen come in. Jason Sapp comes in with exceptional speed and a thorough defensive knowledge, so he could challenge for the starting spot.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS – This position is another one of depth for Notre Dame. Tyreo Harrison should assume the vacancy left by Ronnie Nicks. Anthony Denman returns, having seen action in 12 games and registering 60 unassisted tackles.

FREE SAFETY – This safety position is a hotly contested one for the Irish. Tony Driver is the standout at this position. Although, Gerome Sapp has added strength and speed to his game so he is a close second. Driver will play all of the action this spring with a cast on his arm. He cut a tendon in his finger while doing the dishes.