Nov. 2, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Questions of how the defense will do next season without the likes of inside linebacker, Anthony Denman, are already beginning to spring up.

The senior is due to graduate this May and he leaves big shoes to fill for whomever follows in his footsteps.

“If it is the chemistry part of it, the leadership part of it and the knowledge part of it, I think that Anthony Denman is a guy who is probably irreplaceable,” head coach Bob Davie said about the secret so his defense’s success.

“We probably have a chance next year to have the best defense we have had here at Notre Dame,” head coach Bob Davie said. “When you look at all the guys we have coming back and some of those young players…I would say ability wise we are going to have the best defense we have had since I have been at Notre Dame.”

As a individual, however, Denman brings more than ability to this football team.

“I have seen him rub off on Tyreo Harrison,” Davie said. “He has made Tyreo a better football player.”

Anthony Denman leads the team in tackles and is a candidate for the Outland trophy, which is given to the top linebacker in college football.

“We will be talented next year, but when you lose someone like number 39 {Denman}, that is tough to replace.”


Clifford Jefferson is the only major injury heading into next weeks preparation for Boston College.

“I think he is doubtful,” Davie said. “We are not counting on him playing.”

Davie went on to list the players who may be getting extra looks next week at cornerback.

“We are working [Jason] Beckstrom, Preston Jackson and Vontez Duff,” Davie said.


Davie also stated that the team would be taking another breather over the weekend. The Irish will return to practice on Monday. Davie wants to make sure his team is healthy for a solid week of preparation for Boston College.