Notre Dame Football: 5 Players Who Will Have a Breakout 2012 Season

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Notre Dame Football: 5 Players Who Will Have a Breakout 2012 Season
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Notre Dame football season is inching closer and closer to starting, and personnel questions remain. Brian Kelly still has some very tough decisions to make, most notably at quarterback. 

That's not to say that there aren't other position battles that will make big impacts on the 2012 Notre Dame season. We're about halfway through spring practices, and races are starting to take shape with early leaders emerging out of the pack.

Notre Dame lost a bulk of its secondary, including Harrison Smith, Gary Gray and Robert Blanton. As well all know, Michael Floyd will not be back, as he'll be a first-round pick later this month in the NFL draft. Depending on how younger players can step up and fill in, the 2012 Notre Dame season could go a variety of different ways. 

If the five players I'm going to highlight have breakout seasons, as I believe they will, Notre Dame could be in for a special season. Let's look at the handful of players I'm expecting big things from, and I'll tell you what I've seen from them to back up my high expectations. 

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