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Let the Kids Play: Why the Sun Bowl Should be Full of the Irish's Young Talent

Written by Liam Farrell|Senior Staff Writer|Twitter/X: @LiamFarrell_IT


Via The Irish Tribune


As Notre Dame fans were left waiting for their bowl game on Selection Sunday, the ACC ultimately landed the Irish in El Paso, Texas, to face Oregon State in the Sun Bowl. With Notre Dame's 9-3 regular season record, the College Football Playoff and New Year's Six Bowls were out of the question. This landed the Irish in a multitude of possibillities from the Poptart Bowl to Duke's Mayo Bowl, but the Sun Bowl was a blantant sign of disrespect on many fronts. This lackluster bowl game has led many Irish players to already hit the transfer portal, or opt in for the NFL draft. With a low profile bowl game being the sole postseason game for Notre Dame, the Irish should see what they have in their younger talent. This would be a perfect test for Notre Dame quaterbacks, Steve Angeli and Kenny Minchey, to get productive in-game reps. Also key defensive figures such as Jaylen Sneed, Jaden Ausberry, and Drayk Bowen would benefit from meaningful minutes in this one. Let's see why Freeman should "Let the kids play."



Angeli and Minchey


While Sam Hartman hasn't made an official announcement about whether or not he is participating in the bowl game, I'd hope that the coaching staff strongly urged Hartman to opt-out and focus on his development toward the NFL. With Notre Dame not securing Riley Leonard quite yet in the transfer portal, the Irish are still without a game-experienced QB. This is why Steve Angeli should receive the starting nod in this one. Personally, after Hartman and the Irish celebrated Senior Day against Wake Forest, I thought Angeli should have started the regular season finale at Stanford. Nonetheless, this Sun Bowl game should be a good indicator about the talent that Notre Dame has in its QB room, or if the Irish need to intensify their puruit at a transfer QB.


Both Offensive Tackles


Besides quarterback, the offensive tackle position has become one of the biggest question marks going into the 2024 season for the Fighting Irish. Junior Right Tackle Blake Fisher announced on on Friday that he is foregoing his senior season and is entering the Draft. As for the Left Tackle position, it would be crazy if Joe Alt chose to return back to Notre Dame for his senior season considering he is a projected top-10 pick. With that being said, the Irish will be starting two completely new tackles in this bowl game, along with an inexperienced, but proven center in Aston Craig. Look for Aamil Wagner and Tosh Baker to be the ones starting at tackle for the Irish in this one. The Irish have also made it clear that they will be looking into the portal to potentially grab an experienced tackle after the news of Fisher became public.


Linebackers


While the entire Notre Dame defense is extremely old and filled with vetrans, the linebacker unit will be the most inexperienced in the 2024 season. With Marist Liufau opting for the NFL, JD Bertrand out of eligibility, and Jack Kiser not making a decision yet, the Notre Dame linebacker room will be fueled with young talent. Jaylen Sneed will be the biggest impact player next year for the Irish at the linebacker position along with contributions from Drayk Bowen and Jaden Ausberry. The Irish are also expected to sign recent 5 star recruit Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa out of St. John Bosco to help the linebacker core. The Sun Bowl game will be great to see these younger, faster, and more explosive linebackers get starting playing time against quality competition.


Wrap-Up


Do you want to see Sam Hartman and other Senior leaders play in the bowl game and potentially risk getting injuried as we saw with Jaylon Smith back in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl? Do you want to see what young talent Notre Dame has on their roster heading into the 2024 season? Which player do you want to see make the biggest impact in the Sun Bowl? Let me know below.


6 Comments


Guest
Dec 12, 2023

play angeli to see if he is good enough to start...if he isn,t let him transfer

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Guest
Dec 11, 2023

100%agree! Ild even go so far as to say, entice seniors to stay and play but tell them they won’t start and won’t play much! Let those who opt out opt out! As much as I want a 10 win season I can honestly say Ild rather be ready for a potential undefeated 2024!!! play the guys who will be here next year! Let’s GO

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Guest
Dec 11, 2023

Oregon State has more class than the dirty Buckeyes?

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Guest
Dec 10, 2023

Completely disagree with all of this.

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Guest
Dec 10, 2023

Let’s go with Angeli …. Let’s forget about Leonard … was Hartman really worth it in the end … had Buchner played this year where would the program be ?? … I’d say better than where it is today

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Guest
Dec 11, 2023
Replying to

Or Pyne!

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