Irish retool offensive line during spring ball
NOTRE DAME —
Notre Dame football completed their twelfth practice of the spring this afternoon and in doing so have solidified who will be starting up front on the offensive line.
Head Coach Brian Kelly had the tough task of replacing two future first-round NFL draft picks in Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey, leaving a big hole on the left side of the offensive line.
But after some experimentation, Coach Kelly seems to have settled on a solution to stopping that gap.
6-foot-6 junior Liam Eichenberg will likely start at left tackle this season and returning starter Alex Bars will move from right guard to left guard.
Kelly said, "What we really like about Liam is his strength, his size, his physicality. He's learning. So, why not move a veteran next to him where he can communicate with him and help him to pass off twists, give him some cues prior to the snap, and settle him into a confident and consistent basis."
Eichenberg has the physical tools to start and Kelly believes adding the veteran presence of Bars to that side will bolster not only Eichenbergs performance, but the line as a whole.
"Having Alex Bars on the left side definitely helps me out a lot because he's seen a lot of stuff that I haven't seen yet. I mean he's obviously a lot better at calling out when we have stunts coming at us," Eichenberg added, "But Coach Quinn is doing a good job of coaching us, getting us prepared at all positions. It doesn't matter where everybody is, as long as they are giving it their all."