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Athlon Sports Names Notre Dame’s Team MVP Ahead of 2024 Season

Notre Dame enters the 2024 college football season with extremely high expectations.

The Fighting Irish are coming off a 10-3 campaign that saw them demolish Oregon State in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl last December, but also saw them put out a couple of major road duds in losses to Louisville and Clemson.

If Notre Dame is going to reach their potential and not just make the College Football Playoff and make some noise when they get there, they’ll need their stars to play like stars.

Athlon Sports has their annual college football preview magazine out and broke down the Fighting Irish for 2024 and named defensive tackle Howard Cross III their MVP ahead of the season.

Despite lacking typical stature for a nose tackle (he’s 6-1, 284 – a typical defensive tackle in about 1975), Cross makes plays all over the field.  His 66 stops were second on the team in ’23 and his 99 tackles over the 2022 and ’23 seasons ranks third among Irish players in that span.  Over the past two years he also had 12 quarterback hurries and six passes broken up. – Athlon Sports

You can debate who Notre Dame’s biggest star is ahead of 2024 as cornerback Benjamin Morrison projects as a future first round NFL draft pick.  However, with Cross playing in the middle of the defensive line and having a bigger impact on more plays than Morrison makes me agree with this call.

Notre Dame should have an improved offense in 2024 but they’ll ultimately go as far as their defense can take them and that starts up front, with Cross being a big reason they’re thought so highly of.

Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire