Notre Dame Football: Fighting Irish All-Decade Team

A position-by-position breakdown of most impactful players for Notre Dame during the last 10 seasons

The past 10 years of Notre Dame football have featured plenty of wins — 92 of them, to be exact — while also featuring a significant valley in 2016 that brought with it extensive changes to personnel. All things considered, though, Notre Dame’s run through the 2010s was a wholly productive decade, comprising an appearance in both the BCS National Championship Game and in the College Football Playoff.

 

Head coach Brian Kelly has yet to bring a championship trophy back to Notre Dame Stadium, but a single losing season out of 10 and a top-five ranking at some point in exactly half of the 10 is a pretty significant accomplishment. That's the coaching side. As for the players who made that happen, here's Notre Dame’s All-Decade Team for the 2010s:

 

QB: Ian Book (2017-current)

RB: Josh Adams (2015-17)

RB: C.J. Prosise (2013-15)

AP: Theo Riddick (2009-12)

WR: Michael Floyd (2008-11)

WR: Will Fuller V (2013-15)

WR: TJ Jones (2010-13)

TE: Tyler Eifert (2010-12)

C: Nick Martin (2014-15)

OL: Mike McGlinchey (2014-17)

OL: Quenton Nelson (2015-17)

OL: Ronnie Stanley (2013-15)

OL: Zack Martin (2010-11

 

DL: Stephon Tuitt (2011-13)

DL: Louis Nix III (2011-13)

DL: Jerry Tillery (2015-18)

DL: Sheldon Day (2012-15)

LB: Jaylon Smith (2013-15)

LB: Drue Tranquill (2014-18)

LB: Manti Te'o (2009-12)

CB: Julian Love (2016-18)

CB: KeiVarae Russell (2012-15)

S: Alohi Gilman (2016-19)

S: Harrison Smith (2008-11)

 

K: Justin Yoon (2015-18)

P: Tyler Newsome (2015-18)

RS: C.J. Sanders (2015-17)

 

Toughest Position/Choice: Defensive Line

For all the talk Notre Dame gets about consistently pushing out top prospects at tight end and along the offensive line, its group of defensive linemen from the 2010s made a significant contribution. Leaving out Kapron Lewis-Moore, as well as more recent standouts like Khalid Kareem and both Okwara brothers (Romeo and Julian) means this is a talented, talented group.

 

Where's Matthias Farley?

Farley has made a name for himself in the NFL ranks with the Indianapolis Colts. If we're just looking at these players with respect to their careers at Notre Dame, however, Alohi Gilman was a lockdown defender on a pair of very strong defensive units and gets the edge here over Farley.

 

Key Stat: 5,000 Passing Yards

Only four quarterbacks who played in the 2010s — Ian Book, DeShone Kizer, Everett Golson, and Tommy Rees — eclipsed this mark for Notre Dame during their careers. Of this group, Book leads in touchdowns, completion percentage, and touchdown-to-interception ratio, and is poised to overtake Rees for the lead in yards (1,552 behind) within the first few weeks of the 2020 season.

 

— Written by Juan Jose Rodriguez, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a 2019 graduate of the University of Notre Dame. Rodriguez was an intern for Athlon during summer 2017 and worked for a variety of media outlets on campus, including as the Editor-in-Chief of Scholastic Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @JuanJoseRG02.

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