Notre Dame Football: Andrew Nuss

Today's player is another multi-year starter who is expected to return for a fifth and final season.

No. 18: Chris Watt, LG

Making the case: A year after beating out Andrew Nuss for the starting left guard spot, Watt became an anchor on an offensive line that paved the way for seven different 200-yard rushing games, as he started all 13 games for the second straight season. The Irish surrendered just 28 sacks on the season and, after giving up seven over the first two games of the season, allowed just 11 over the final 11 games. The line was instrumental in bringing along new quarterback Everett Golson, as the two gradually got on the same page communication-wise, and it grew under new position coach Harry Hiestand. Watt was a big part of that, and his expected return in 2013 will give the Irish a very good left side up front, with Zack Martin back as well.

Preseason ranking: 18

The countdown

No. 19 George Atkinson III, RB

No. 20: Dan Fox, LB

No. 21 Matthias Farley, S

No. 22 KeiVarae Russell, CB

No. 23 Robby Toma, WR

No. 24 Kyle Brindza, K

No. 25 Chris Brown, WR

Top 25 player countdown: No. 18

August, 8, 2012
No. 18. Chris Watt, LG

2011 numbers: The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Watt beat out Andrew Nuss and started all 13 games last season, his first as a first-teamer. The redshirt sophomore helped pave the way for an Irish offense that looked on its way to having a pair of 1,000-yard rushers before Jonas Gray tore an ACL in the 11th game of the season.

Making the case for Watt: With a year playing between Zack Martin and Braxston Cave under his belt, Watt should be only better in his second year as a starter. Last year's unit helped pave the way for a ground attack that averaged 4.8 yards per carry, the school's best mark since 1996. Watt is an integral part of this year's line, which returns the entire left side and could improve upon that yards per carry average with the talented Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick back behind them.


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Darren Rovell discusses what is unique about the new Notre Dame football "Shamrock Series" uniform.


Friday, 8/29
Saturday, 8/30