Notre Dame has really upped its defensive line recruiting in recent seasons, and it’s a big reason why the Irish front four has fueled a defensive resurgence in South Bend the last three seasons.

It wasn’t that long ago that a talented freshman defensive lineman would have to play right away, but as we head into the 2020 season the depth chart is such that you have to be really good to get action playing for Mike Elston. There are two first-year players, however, that are doing just that.

Freshman defensive tackle Rylie Mills and freshman end Jordan Botelho were the two highest ranked members of what was a talented four-man defensive line haul in the 2020 class. Despite having talented players returning at their position, head coach Brian Kelly said both are pushing for immediate action.

“I think the guy that probably stands out is Rylie Mills,” Kelly said when asked about his freshmen big men. “He’s ready to play this year. Really good pass rusher at his size … he’s got some unique traits to him. He can make an impact, he’s a really good football player.”

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