While Notre Dame is returning ten starters on defense this season, the man calling the plays won't be the same.
Clark Lea was promoted to defensive coordinator after Mike Elko left for the same job at Texas A&M.
That promotion made Lea Notre Dame's fourth defensive coordinator in three years.
Even though the defensive coordinator position has been a constant carousel for the Irish, Lea wants to keep the defense consistent with the success they obtained in 2017.
The Irish are running the same defensive system from last year and the Notre Dame football players are already seeing the similarities between Lea and Elko in camp.
“I feel like they are both great coordinators,” senior linebacker Te’von Coney said. “They care about their guys. You know they care about every unit and wants to push every unit to their highest ability. Be out here in Year 2 and have a comfortability of the system. It helps you just go out there and play fast.”
“We are learning from each other,” linebacker Drue Tranquil said. “I'm giving him feedback on what the guys are saying. If his message is clicking with them. He is obviously giving me feedback on my technique and how I'm doing. He's a consistent guy and brings it on a day-to-day basis and he expects the same out of us. Expects his linebackers to be the tip of the sphere in everything we do and so I think you see the same intensity he brought all spring out there today."