Howard Cross returning to Notre Dame gives them one of Pro Football Focus’ best

Although the stats don’t jump off the sheet, Notre Dame football defensive tackle Howard Cross had a big season in 2023.

He may not be the most hyped returning Irish star, but he may be one of the most important. Cross has seen his production increase each season in South Bend, this past year being his best.

Cross had 66 total tackles, 28 solo, along with 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. That was enough for him to rank as Pro Football Focus’ No. 4 highest graded defensive during this past season in Power Five play. Having a disruptive and productive force in the middle of a defensive line is going to be a massive advantage for the Irish in 2024.

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Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire