The offensive side of the ball is not the only place where Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has key decisions to make as far as starting roles.
With KeiVarae Russell now playing in the NFL and junior Nick Watkins still recovering from a second surgery on his arm, Kelly has an important decision to make concerning the left side cornerback spot of the defense for the Fighting Irish.
Nick Coleman is one of the Notre Dame defenders looking to start at the position during the season opener at Texas on September 4th. Coleman took the field for only 44 snaps throughout his freshman season during 2015 but doesn’t believe his inexperience will be a setback this year.
At 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, Coleman said his speed wasn’t an issue in 2015, however, he needed some time to adjust to just how physical the college game is. Colman not only spent the spring and summer addressing his level of play, but also believes he has matured as a player in every aspect of the game.
Throughout his freshman year, it was common for Coleman to fall behind on a play and then allow his head to start over thinking, creating mental lapses during the next couple of downs.
Coleman says that he learned from his mistakes last year and is ready to apply what he went through towards being a better defended as the starter this season.
The one person who may have something to say about the issue is Sophomore Shaun Crawford. Crawford missed the 2015 season due to a torn ACL after being named the starting nickel back for last season.
While Crawford will compete for the starting left corner position, his talent at nickel back was the reason coach Kelly brought the Ohio native to Notre Dame.
Crawford was a four -star prospect coming into the 2015 season, the highest ranked cornerback to play at Notre Dame under coach Kelly.
With all the youth at wide receiver trying to make a name for themselves on the offensive side of the ball, both Coleman and Crawford have had plenty of talent to go up against during practice.
Kelly believes this will be that much better for his corners and secondary on the defense and will be part of the determining factor on exactly who lines up at corner for the Irish with the season less than three weeks away.