If Notre Dame is going to uphold its defensive reputation, it will have to do so without one of its returning linebackers. Last week, junior Marist Liufau was dealt a major injury in practice. It turned out to be a broken ankle, and he ended up needing surgery, which took place Monday morning. However, Brian Kelly said during a news conference later in the day that Liufau will miss the entire season.
Liufau was expected to start at Will linebacker this season. With that possibility out the window, the depth chart for the Irish’s season opener against Florida State lists junior JD Bertand as the new starter. Backing up Bertrand is senior Shayne Simon.
After seeing limited action as a freshman in 2019, Liufau played 10 games in 2020 while recording 22 tackles, six apiece coming in the ACC Championship Game and the Rose Bowl.
Bertrand played in seven games in 2020 and recorded seven tackles, while Simon had 14 tackles while starting eight of 11 games.