Notre Dame Football: Incoming Freshmen Most Likely to Start This Season

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Notre Dame Football: Incoming Freshmen Most Likely to Start This Season
Credit: 247Sports
Linebacker Nyles Morgan

Twenty-three freshmen from Notre Dame football's 10th-ranked class of 2014 are set to don the blue and gold in the coming months.

We've already gone step-by-step through the entire class of incoming freshmen, so we'll focus this week on projecting which of those players are most likely to start for the Irish in 2014.

In 2013, six different true freshmen—linebacker Jaylon Smith (13 starts), offensive lineman Steve Elmer (four), wide receivers Will Fuller (three) and Corey Robinson (three), running back Tarean Folston (two) and safety Max Redfield (one)—logged a combined 26 starts for the Irish.

On national signing day, Irish head coach Brian Kelly was asked about the prospects of this year's crop of freshmen earning playing time.

"Physically, these guys are coming in so much more prepared," Kelly said. "It's developing them mentally to find out whether they're going to play. It's not physical."

Kelly added it's tough to determine who will be mentally ready without seeing how training camp takes its toll on the rookies, but we'll take a crack at outlining the possibilities.

In determining our choices, we'll consider the freshman's overall skill level, Kelly's scouting report on the player and the competition at the position.

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