2016 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

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2016 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football
Notre Dame Fighting Irish logo.svg
ConferenceIndependent
Record4–8
Head coach
Offensive coordinatorMike Sanford Jr. (2nd season)
Offensive schemeSpread
Defensive coordinatorBrian VanGorder (3rd season: 1–4, fired)
Greg Hudson (1st season: 5–12)
Base defense4–3 multiple
Captains
Home stadiumNotre Dame Stadium
(Capacity: 80,795)
Seasons
← 2015
2017 →
2016 NCAA Division I FBS independents football records
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
BYU           9 4  
Army           8 5  
Notre Dame           4 8  
UMass           2 10  
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2016 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 2016 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team was coached by Brian Kelly and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. They competed as an independent. They finished the season 4–8, Notre Dame's worst record since 2007. Despite the disappointing season, athletic director Jack Swarbrick found the 2016 Irish to be a remarkable bunch, citing the team's "enthusiasm" and "willingness to practice".[1]

Before the season[edit]

Previous season[edit]

The 2015 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team finished the regular season with a 10–2 record. They lost to the Ohio State Buckeyes 44–28 in the Fiesta Bowl.

2016 NFL draft[edit]

The following former Notre Dame players were selected in the 2016 NFL Draft:

Round Selection Player Position Team
1 6 Ronnie Stanley Offensive Tackle Baltimore Ravens
1 21 Will Fuller Wide Receiver Houston Texans
2 34 Jaylon Smith Linebacker Dallas Cowboys
2 50 Nick Martin Center Houston Texans
3 74 KeiVarae Russell Cornerback Kansas City Chiefs
3 90 C. J. Prosise Running back Seattle Seahawks
4 103 Sheldon Day Defensive tackle Jacksonville Jaguars

Transfers out / departures[edit]

Notre Dame lost FS Max Redfield and CB Devin Butler in the offseason for violating team policies.

Coaching changes[edit]

Brian VanGorder was relieved of his duties as defensive coordinator. Defensive Analyst Greg Hudson took over as the Irish's Defensive Coordinator. Kelly said, "I have the utmost respect for Brian as both a person and football coach, but our defense simply isn't where it should be and I believe this change is necessary for the best interest of our program and our student-athletes.[2]

Recruiting class[edit]

Brian Kelly and the Notre Dame coaching staff accepted 23 commitments for the 2016 recruiting cycle, including two 5-stars: Daelin Hayes and Tommy Kraemer. The class included student-athletes from 11 different states, and one Canadian province.[3]

US college sports recruiting information for 2016 recruits
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Ian Book
QB
El Dorado Hills, California Oak Ridge High School 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Aug 14, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 79
Parker Boundreaux
OL
Winter Garden, Florida Bishop Moore High School 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 300 lb (140 kg) Jul 2, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 80
Chase Claypool
WR
Abbotsford, British Columbia Abbotsford Senior Secondary 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 215 lb (98 kg) Jul 10, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 82
Liam Eichenberg
OL
Westlake, Ohio St. Ignatius High School (Cleveland, OH) 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 280 lb (130 kg) Apr 19, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 85
Jalen Elliott
DB
Richmond, Virginia Lloyd C. Bird High School 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 189 lb (86 kg) Jun 19, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 78
Daelin Hayes
DE/LB
Belleville, Michigan Skyline High School 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 240 lb (110 kg) Dec 10, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:5/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 81
Jamir Jones
LB
Rochester, New York Aquinas Institute 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Jun 23, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 72
Jonathan Jones
LB
Ocoee, Florida Oak Ridge High School 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 200 lb (91 kg) Feb 3, 2016 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 78
Tony Jones Jr.
RB
St. Petersburg, Florida IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL) 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 219 lb (99 kg) Mar 22, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 79
Khalid Kareem
DE
Pontiac, Michigan Harrison High School 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 245 lb (111 kg) Oct 23, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 83
Tommy Kraemer
OL
Cincinnati, Ohio Elder High School 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 310 lb (140 kg) Oct 4, 2014 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 83
Julian Love
DB
Westchester, Illinois Nazareth Academy 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 175 lb (79 kg) –- Mar 21, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 79
Deon McIntosh
RB
Pompano Beach, Florida Cardinal Gibbons High School 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 180 lb (82 kg) Nov 16, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 79
Javon McKinley
WR
Corona, California Centennial High School 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 205 lb (93 kg) Jan 9, 2016 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 79
D. J. Morgan
DB
Norwalk, California St. John Bosco High School 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Sep 27, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 79
Adetokunbo Ogundeji
DE
West Bloomfield, Michigan Walled Lake Central High School 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 216 lb (98 kg) Jul 16, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 78
Julian Okwara
DE
Charlotte, North Carolina Ardrey Kell High School 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 216 lb (98 kg) Apr 14, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 80
Spencer Perry
DB
Newnan, Georgia IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL) 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 204 lb (93 kg) Jun 29, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 80
Troy Pride
DB
Greer, South Carolina Greer High School 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Dec 24, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 73
John Shannon
LS
Lake Forest, Illinois Loyola Academy 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Mar 21, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:2/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 68
Kevin Stepherson
WR
Jacksonville, Florida First Coast High School 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 171 lb (78 kg) Jun 18, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 78
Devin Studstill
DB
Riviera Beach, Florida Palm Beach Garden High School 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 189 lb (86 kg) Dec 15, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 77
Donte Vaughn
DB
Memphis, Tennessee Whitehaven High School 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Oct 12, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 80
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 13   Rivals: 12  ESPN: 16
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • "2016 Notre Dame Football Commitment List". Rivals.com. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  • "Scout.com Football Recruiting: Notre Dame". Scout.com. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  • "2016 Player Commitments – Notre Dame". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  • "Scout.com Team Recruiting Rankings". Scout.com. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  • "2016 Team Ranking". Rivals.com. Retrieved 2016-02-06.

Personnel[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

Name Position Year at Notre Dame Alma mater (Year)
Brian Kelly Head coach 7th Assumption (1982)
Mike Denbrock Associate head coach/wide receivers 7th Grand Valley State (1987)
Mike Elston Linebackers/recruiting coordinator 7th Michigan (1998)
Harry Hiestand Offensive line/run game coordinator 5th East Stroudsburg (1983)
Scott Booker Tight ends/special teams coordinator 5th Kent State (2003)
Brian VanGorder Defensive coordinator 3rd Wayne State (1980)
Greg Hudson Interim defensive coordinator 1st Notre Dame (1988)
Mike Sanford Jr. Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks 2nd Boise State (2005)
Autry Denson Running backs 2nd Notre Dame (1999)
Keith Gilmore Defensive line 2nd Wayne State (1981)
Todd Lyght Defensive backs coach 2nd Notre Dame (1991)
Paul Longo Director of football strength and conditioning 7th Wayne State (1981)

Roster[edit]

2016 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team roster

Quarterbacks

Running Backs

  •  2 Dexter WilliamsSophomore (5'11, 210)
  • 11 Justin Brent – Junior (6'1, 220)
  • 25 Tarean FolstonSenior (5'9, 214)
  • 28 Austin Ross – Senior (5'10, 206)
  • 33 Josh AdamsSophomore (6'1, 219)
  • 34 Tony Jones Jr.Freshman
  • 38 Deon McIntosh – Freshman
  • 46 Josh Anderson – Graduate Student (5'9, 205)
  • 49 Bailey Ross – Senior (5'10, 202)

Wide Receivers

  •  3 C. J. SandersSophomore (5'8, 185)
  •  6 Equanimeous St. BrownSophomore (6'4, 205)
  • 15 Corey Holmes – Junior (6'0, 190)
  • 16 Torii Hunter Jr. – Senior (6'0, 195)
  • 26 Austin Webster – Junior (5'11, 195)
  • 27 Chris Finke – Sophomore (5'9, 175)
  • 29 Kevin Stepherson – Freshman (6'0, 181)
  • 35 Grant Hammann – Junior (6'0, 192)
  • 37 Omar Hunter – Senior (5'9, 195)
  • 81 Miles BoykinSophomore (6'3, 225)
  • 83 Chase ClaypoolFreshman
  • 86 Javon McKinley – Freshman
  • 87 Keenan Centlivre – Junior (6'5, 225)
  • 89 Buster Sheridan – Senior (6'3, 200)

Tight Ends

  • 10 Alize JonesSophomore (6'4, 240)
  • 80 Durham SmytheSenior (6'4, 245)
  • 82 Nic Weishar – Junior (6'4, 245)
  • 84 Ben Suttman – Senior (6'2, 240)
  • 89 Jacob Matuska – Senior (6'4, 275)

Punters

  • 80 Tyler Newsome – Junior (6'2, 210) (+K)
 

Offensive Lineman

  • 50 Parker BoudreauxFreshman
  • 53 Sam MustipherJunior (6'2, 305)
  • 56 Quenton NelsonJunior (6'5, 325)
  • 57 Trevor Ruhland – Sophomore (6'3, 300)
  • 62 Colin McGovern – Senior (6'4, 315)
  • 63 Sam Bush – Junior (6'3, 305)
  • 66 Tristen HogeSophomore (6'4, 300)
  • 67 Jimmy Byrne – Junior (6'4, 300)
  • 68 Mike McGlincheySenior (6'7, 310)
  • 69 Logan Plantz – Sophomore (6'2, 310)
  • 70 Hunter Bivin – Senior (6'5, 308)
  • 71 Alex BarsJunior (6'6, 320)
  • 74 Liam EichenbergFreshman
  • 75 Mark Harrell – Graduate Student (6'4, 306)
  • 78 Tommy KraemerFreshman

Defensive Lineman

  •  9 Daelin HayesFreshman (6'3, 257) Redshirt
  • 42 Julian OkwaraFreshman
  • 53 Khalid KareemFreshman (6'3, 270)
  • 54 Lincoln Feist – Sophomore (6'2, 315)
  • 55 Jonathan Bonner – Junior (6'3, 286)
  • 58 Elijah Taylor – Sophomore (6'3, 285)
  • 60 John Montelus – Senior (6'4, 310)
  • 64 Ryan Kilander – Junior (6'0, 310)
  • 75 Daniel Cage – Junior (6'1, 315)
  • 77 Brandon Tiassum – Sophomore (6'3, 302)
  • 90 Isaac RochellSenior (6'3, 290)
  • 92 Grant Blankenship – Junior (6'5, 278)
  • 93 Jay Hayes – Junior (6'3, 285)
  • 94 Jarron Jones – Graduate Student (6'5, 315)
  • 95 Marquis Dickerson – Senior (6'1, 285)
  • 96 Peter Mokwuah – Junior (6'3, 317)
  • 97 Micah Dew-Treadway – Sophomore (6'4, 300)
  • 98 Andrew Trumbetti – Junior (6'3, 260)
  • 99 Jerry TillerySophomore (6'6, 310)
  • 91 Adetokunbo OgundejiFreshman

Kickers

  • 19 Justin YoonSophomore (5'9, 190)
  • 29 Sam Kohler – Junior (6'0, 175)
  • 42 Jeff Riney – Sophomore (5'10, 175) (+P)
  • 43 John Chereson – Senior (5'9, 178)
 

Linebackers

  •  4 Te'von ConeySophomore (6'1, 235)
  •  5 Nyles Morgan – Junior (6'1, 245)
  • 17 James OnwualuSenior (6'1, 232)
  • 22 Asmar BilalSophomore (6'2, 230)
  • 30 Josh Barajas – Sophomore (6'1, 240)
  • 40 Kier Murphy – Sophomore (6'0, 230)
  • 42 Jimmy Thompson – Sophomore (6'0, 215)
  • 44 Jamir JonesFreshman
  • 45 Jonathan Jones – Freshman
  • 48 Greer Martini – Junior (6'2, 245)
  • 49 Brandon Hutson – Sophomore (6'2, 230)
  • 51 Devyn Spruell – Sophomore (6'1, 240)

Cornerbacks

  •  7 Nick Watkins – Junior (6'0, 200)
  • 12 Devin Butler – Senior (6'0, 200)
  • 25 Brian Ball – Sophomore (5'11, 185)
  • 26 Ashton White – Sophomore (5'11, 190)
  • 34 Jesse Bongiovi – Senior (5'9, 194)
  • 36 Cole LukeSenior (5'11, 193)

Safeties

  •  4 Avery Sebastian – Graduate Student (5'10, 200)
  • 13 Devin Studstill – Freshman (6'0, 190) Redshirt
  • 23 Drue TranquillJunior (6'1, 225)
  • 31 Spencer Perry – Freshman (6'2, 204)
  • 38 Robert Regan – Sophomore (6'2, 200)
  • 39 Drew Recker – Senior (5'11, 205)

Defensive Backs

  • 18 Troy PrideFreshman
  • 20 Shaun Crawford – Sophomore (5'8, 189)
  • 24 Nick Coleman – Sophomore (5'11, 190)
  • 21 Jalen ElliottFreshman
  • 27 Julian LoveFreshman Redshirt
  • 32 D.J. Morgan – Freshman
  • 35 Donte Vaughn – Freshman

Long Snappers

Schedule[edit]

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 47:30 p.m.at TexasNo. 10ABCL 47–50 2OT102,315
September 103:30 p.m.NevadaNo. 18NBCW 39–1080,795
September 177:30 p.m.No. 12 Michigan StateNo. 18
NBCL 28–3680,795
September 243:30 p.m.Duke
  • Notre Dame Stadium
  • South Bend, IN
NBCL 35–3880,795
October 112:00 p.m.vs. SyracuseESPNW 50–3362,794
October 812:00 p.m.at NC StateABCL 3–1058,200
October 157:30 p.m.Stanford[4]
NBCL 10–1780,795
October 293:30 p.m.Miami (FL)
NBCW 30–2780,795
November 511:30 a.m.vs. NavyCBSL 27–2850,867
November 123:30 p.m.vs. ArmyNBCW 44–645,762
November 193:30 p.m.Virginia Tech
  • Notre Dame Stadium
  • South Bend, IN
NBCL 31–3480,795
November 263:30 p.mat No. 12 USCABCL 27–4572,402

Game summaries[edit]

Texas[edit]

Notre Dame at Texas
1 234OT2OTTotal
No. 10 Fighting Irish 7 714973 47
Longhorns 7 1410676 50

Nevada[edit]

Nevada at Notre Dame
1 234Total
Wolf Pack 0 037 10
No. 18 Fighting Irish 0 25140 39

Michigan State[edit]

Michigan State at Notre Dame
(Megaphone Trophy)
1 234Total
No. 12 Spartans 0 15210 36
No. 18 Fighting Irish 7 0714 28

Duke[edit]

Duke at Notre Dame
1 234Total
Blue Devils 14 14010 38
Fighting Irish 14 777 35

Syracuse[edit]

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Syracuse Orange
1 2 34Total
Notre Dame 23 10 14350
Syracuse 13 14 0633

at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Game information

NC State[edit]

Notre Dame at NC State
1 234Total
Fighting Irish 0 030 3
Wolfpack 3 007 10

The Notre Dame vs NC State game was played during Hurricane Matthew[5] where the two teams combined for only 311 total yards. The only touchdown of the game was scored by NC State on a blocked punt leading NC State to win it 10–3.[6]

Stanford[edit]

Stanford at Notre Dame
(Legends Trophy)
1 234Total
Cardinal 0 098 17
Fighting Irish 7 300 10

Miami (FL)[edit]

Miami (FL) at Notre Dame
1 234Total
Hurricanes 0 71010 27
Fighting Irish 17 3010 30

Navy[edit]

Notre Dame vs Navy
(Rip Miller Trophy)
1 234Total
Fighting Irish 10 773 27
Midshipmen 7 777 28

Army[edit]

Notre Dame vs Army
(rivalry / Shamrock Series)
1 234Total
Black Knights 0 600 6
Fighting Irish 21 1760 44

Virginia Tech[edit]

Virginia Tech at Notre Dame
1 234Total
Hokies 0 14713 34
Fighting Irish 10 1470 31

USC[edit]

Notre Dame at USC
(Jeweled Shillelagh)
1 234Total
Fighting Irish 7 0146 27
No. 12 Trojans 10 14147 45

Rankings[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jack Swarbrick Talks Future of Brian Kelly at Notre Dame". Irish Sports Daily. December 2, 2016.
  2. ^ "VanGorder Relieved of Duties; Hudson Assumes Responsibilities". Archived from the original on 2016-09-27. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
  3. ^ "Notre Dame Announces 2016 Signing Class". Archived from the original on 2016-02-07. Retrieved 2016-02-07.
  4. ^ "Stanford-Notre Dame Series Extended Through 2019". gostandford.com. Stanford University. May 19, 2011. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2011.
  5. ^ Neuharth-Keusch, A. J. "Hurricane Matthew turns N.C. State-Notre Dame game into 100-yard slip-and-slide". USA TODAY.
  6. ^ Greenstein, Teddy. "Notre Dame reeling after rain-soaked, 10–3 blooper-reel loss". chicagotribune.com.