Depth Chart: Irish Defense

Junior linebacker Danny Spond

A look at Notre Dame's defensive starters and listing of backups available for tonight's contest in East Lansing.

(The number in parenthesis represents each player's remaining eligibility entering the 2012 season.)

- 5th-year senior Kapron Lewis-Moore, 6'4" 306 pounds (1)
- Sophomore Chase Hounshell, 6'4" 275 pounds (3)
- Senior Tyler Stockton, 6'0" 285 pounds (2)

Notes: Lewis-Moore left Saturday's win over Purdue during the game's first series with a calf injury and did not return. He was pronounced ready early this week. Hounshell and Stockton have yet to play this season; Stockton did not play in 2011.

- Sophomore Stephon Tuitt, 6'6" 303 pounds (3)
- Freshman Sheldon Day, 6'2" 286 pounds (4/5)
- Freshman Jarron Jones, 6'5" 299 pounds (4/5)

Notes: Day will likely backup the left defensive end spot (listed above) as well. Jones is expected to redshirt in 2012.

- Junior Louis Nix, 6'3" 326 pounds (3)
- Junior Kona Schwenke, 6'4" 290 pounds (2)
- Sophomore Tony Springmann, 6'6" 300 pounds (4)

Notes: Springmann played extensively last week vs. Purdue and should see ample rotation time again, especially in 4-man defensive fronts.

- Junior Prince Shembo, 6'2" 250 pounds, (2)
- Sophomore Ishaq Williams, 6'5" 255 pounds (3)
- Sophomore Anthony Rabasa, 6'3" 240 pounds (4)

Notes: Shembo and Williams both play extensively as defensive ends in the team's nickel and dime packages while Shembo has earned more snaps as an end in the team's 4-3 base defense preferred through two games this season. Rabasa has yet to appear, the only red-shirt freshman who has not accrued playing time this season.

- Sophomore Ben Councell, 6'5" 240 pounds (4) OR
- Junior Danny Spond, 6'3, 248 pounds (2)
- Freshman Romeo Okwara, 6'4 239 pounds (4/5)

Notes: Spond is expected back after missing half of August camp and the first two weeks of the season with migraine-related ailment. He practiced Tuesday for the first time during the 2012 regular season. Okwara is a member of the Irish kick return and coverage units.

- Senior Manti Te'o, 6'2" 255 pounds (1)
- Sophomore Jarrett Grace, 6'3" 240 pounds (4)
- Junior Kendall Moore, 6'1" 242 pounds (3)

Notes: Te'o remains on the field in both the nickel (5 defensive backs) and dime (6) defensive packages.

- Senior Dan Fox, 6'3" 240 pounds (2)
- Senior Carlo Calabrese, 6'1 255 pounds (2)

Notes: Calabrese returned from a one-game suspension last week and started in the team's base 4-3 defense, his first start since suffering a hamstring injury in Week Eight, 2010. Fox has started 15 consecutive games entering Saturday's contest.

- Junior Bennett Jackson, 6'0" 185 pounds (2)
- Sophomore Jalen Brown, 6'1" 199 pounds (4)
- Freshman Elijah Shumate, 6'2 200 pounds (4)

Notes: Jackson recorded the first two interceptions of his career last week vs. Purdue. Brown serves as Russell's backup more often than in relief of Jackson, though he's the No. 3 cornerback, regardless of boundary/field designation. Shumate debuted as the team's nickel defender last week, playing nine snaps against Purdue. He's unlikely to man either the field or boundary spot entering Week Three.

- Freshman Keivarae Russell, 5'11" 182 pounds (4/5)
- Sophomore Jalen Brown, 6'1" 199 pounds (4)
- Sophomore Josh Atkinson, 5'11" 185 pounds (3)

Notes: Brown appears to be a in a rotation with Russell with the latter receiving the bulk of the duty. A starter on the kick and punt coverage units, Atkinson did not play from scrimmage last week vs. the Boilermakers.

- Senior Zeke Motta, 6'2" 215 pounds (1)
- Freshman Nicky Baratti, 6'1" 206 pounds (4/5)
- 5th-year senior Dan McCarthy, 6'2" 205 pounds (1)
- Sophomore Eilar Hardy, 5'11" 185 pounds (4)

Notes: Motta rarely leaves the field; McCarthy and Hardy are unlikely to play from scrimmage vs. the Spartans while Baratti could see a snap or two in dime packages pending game developments.

- 5th-year senior Jamoris Slaughter, 6'0" 200 pounds (1)
- Sophomore Matthias Farley, 5'11" 200 pounds (4)
- Senior Chris Salvi, 5'10" 190 pounds

Notes: After starting at Dog linebacker in the opener vs. Navy (special to the opponent's triple-option offense) Farley played extensively in Slaughter's stead last Saturday after the latter left the game with a shoulder injury. Salvi is unlikely to play from scrimmage this week; he's a starter on both the kick and punt coverage units as well as the kick return team. Recommended Stories

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