It has been one long debate since the 2016 Fiesta Bowl with regards to who Notre Dame should start at quarterback in the season opener at Texas.
While the talk has created some great anticipation as head coach Brian Kelly decides who will be under center this year, the lack of media concern with anything else considering the fighting Irish has almost been pathetic.
One of the key issues that have received very little, if any publicity is the fact that Notre Dame will undoubtedly have one of the most talented and dominating rushing attacks in the country this year.
Despite the loss of standout running back CJ Prosise and offensive linemen Nick Martin and Ronnie Stanley to the NFL draft, Notre Dame will have a ground attack that puts opposing defenses in at least check, if not checkmate, all season long.
The offensive line will be a big factor for the running game of the Irish and coach Harry Hiestand has become known as an NFL lineman producing factory with his style of coaching and ability to recruit the country’s top high school linemen. This leads to the ability of Notre Dame to replace top lineman as soon as they have headed for the NFL.
Stanley, who was drafted in the first round of the 2016 draft will be replaced by senior Mike McGlinchey, who is making the move to left tackle. Sam Mustipher who will be a junior this year will take over at the center position, replacing Martin. After spending some time during the 2015 season filling in for Quenton Nelson, Alex Bars has been promoted to the starting right tackle position, while Bars will take over at left tackle.
While the offensive front core is more than talented enough to make a star out of any average runner, Notre Dame has filled their back field with talent equally impressive as the men who will be blocking for them.
Senior Tarean Folston will be the work horse for Notre Dame this season.
Folston has a natural ability of running through defenders, rarely going down due to first contact. His dangerously quick cutting ability combined with split-second decision making when it comes to making a read has led him to be one of the most dependable backs at Notre Dame in a number of years.
Back up Josh Adams is no joke when it comes to running the ball either. The sophomore would more than likely be starting anywhere else in the country, but is content with waiting his turn in South Bend.
While many schools lost interest in Adams after suffering a knee injury during his junior year of high school, he set the freshman rushing record at Notre Dame University last year with 835 yards and collecting over seven yards per carry.
He found the end zone six times throughout 2015, one of which set the record for the longest rushing touchdown in Notre Dame Stadium history at 98 yards.
While Folston is built to take a pounding and run through tacklers, Adams has an extra gear or two that compliment his senior counterpart perfectly.
When you factor in the natural ability both Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer have to tuck the ball and take off for daylight, Notre Dame’s running game should undoubtedly be among the top in the nation this season.
Add in a threatening passing game that coach Kelly will be sure to make available, there doesn’t seem to be a limit for what Notre Dame’s offense can accomplish this year.