Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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52 AUGUST 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED It marked the greatest coaching up- heaval in school history that didn't include the head coach being let go. FORFEITING WINS? Just when you thought the situation could not get worse for Irish football, in November 2016 the NCAA ruled that Notre Dame must forfeit all 21 of its victo- ries from the 2012 (12-1) and 2013 (9-4) seasons — a penalty that is currently being ap- pealed by the univer- sity. A final decision is not expected to be ren- dered until later this year. The decision was related to an academic misconduct case that resulted in five Notre Dame play- ers being suspended, with only safety Eilar Hardy and corner- back KeiVarae Russell returning to the program. Taking away those wins — if the appeal is denied — will make it extremely difficult for Notre Dame to get back to the No. 1 spot in regards to all-time winning percentage it had held entering last season. RECRUITING ROLLER COASTER Before the 2016 football campaign went south, the Irish were in the pro- cess of putting together one of the nation's best recruiting hauls for the 2017 class. The on-field results and the uncer- tainty about the future of head coach Brian Kelly caused that class to fall apart by December, with the Irish staff losing six publicly committed players and one silently committed prospect. The cornerback position was hit es- pecially hard, with three previously committed players signing elsewhere. Yet when the staff was overturned, the new assistants made an immediate impact. Offensive coordinator Chip Long's previous relationship with wide receiver Jafar Armstrong helped Notre Dame flip him from Missouri. The defensive staff got to work quickly, identifying defensive end Kofi Wardlow, safety Jordan Genmark Heath and safety Jeremiah Owusu- Koramoah as players it wanted. Notre Dame was able to flip Genmark Heath from California and Owusu- Koramoah from Virginia. Wardlow made a National Signing Day decision to sign with Notre Dame after having previously committed to Maryland. Notre Dame also flipped another Maryland commit, kicker/punter Jonathan Doerer. The most interesting late signee was defensive lineman Myron Tago- vailoa-Amosa. Notre Dame recruit- ing coordinator Mike Elston spotted Tagovailoa-Amosa in the tunnel fol- lowing the team's loss to USC. The Kapolei, Hawai'i, native was on a visit to see the Trojans that weekend, but the Notre Dame staff was able to get involved and ultimately landed the talented pass rusher. With all the tumult swirling around the football program, Notre Dame managed to salvage a 21-man Top Five Male Athletes 1. Sergio Perkovic (Lacrosse) Similar to Quentin Monaghan in tennis last year, this is more of a "career achievement" recognition award for consistent excellence on the field and in the classroom. Three times he has been named a first-team United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) All-American, and three times he also was on the ACC All-Academic team. Perkovic finished with the most goals by a midfielder (111) in the program's history. 2. Jon Gallagher (Soccer) The senior scored five game-winning goals for an Irish team that advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. He led the ACC in goals (14) and total points (35), earning him ACC Offensive Player of the Year honors plus second-team All-America notice. 3. BONZIE COLSON (Basketball) The junior was a first-team All-ACC selection, and also was named a third-team All- American by the Associated Press. Colson's 18 double-doubles in points and rebounds were the fourth most nationally among Power Five members, and tied for 11th overall. 4. Nathan Richartz (Track & Field) In addition to setting the school record (5.51 meters), Richartz was a 2017 first-team All- American in the indoor pole vault by finishing sixth at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March. He also placed ninth in that event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June. 5t. Anders Bjork & Cal Petersen (Hockey) The two Hockey East first-team All-Stars were selected as juniors to the United States Men's National Team for the 2017 IIHF World Championship in May. Honorable mention: Senior lacrosse defenseman John Sexton, who joined Perkovic on the USILA All-America first team. Junior forward Bonzie Colson was among the nation's leaders in double-doubles in points and rebounds (18) despite standing only 6-5. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND

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