When edge rusher Brian Thomas Jr. came to South Carolina over the summer, he probably didn’t think he would start at Gamecock, as he had plenty of seasoned veterans who had proven themselves in the Power 5 competition ahead of him. would not have been
With Jordan Strachan’s early-season ACL tear and Gilber Edmund’s portal entry, Thomas is set to play most snaps on the edge.
That’s certainly a set of situations that defensive coordinator Clayton White and staff wished to avoid.
Notre Dame definitely has one under-mentioned name when it comes to their Fighting Irish offense. The Minnesota native was not only the best offensive lineman at Notre Dame, he was one of the best offensive linemen in the country. He was named a First Team All-American by his AP and was rated as his top tackle in college football.
Alto’s skill certainly presents a potential problem for Thomas, but his 6-8 and 317 lb. frame poses another. White said last week that Notre Dame will likely try to establish a strong run game, and may choose to do so using Alt.
“They will have archetypal sizes all over the front in every position. We expect them to try. They’re not going to change their entire identity because of us.”
Fighting Irish to keep the ball in the hands of running backs as tight end Michael Mayer opted out and quarterback Tyler Buchner likely hasn’t taken a live snap since early September. are likely to be selected frequently.
Dealing with all these factors may sound like a daunting task, but Thomas sees the rigors of playing a full 60-minute ball game against a formidable opponent like Fighting Irish. You have a chance to show the coaching staff that you can handle it. If he can do so, he’ll help other Box Defenders and move forward into Spring with a chance to play an even more prominent role in 2023.
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