After a COVID-19 year that saw Notre Dame snap defending national champion and No. 1 Clemson’s 36-game regular season win streak, go undefeated in its only regular season as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference and lose to eventual 2020 national champion Alabama in the College Football Playoff, the 2021 Irish are poised to establish a new identity.
Gone is three-year starting quarterback Ian Book, the winningest signal caller in program history with 30 victories. Gone is a veteran offensive line that saw three of its members — four if you include run-blocking specialist TE Tommy Tremble — taken in the 2021 NFL Draft. Gone is unanimous All-American rover Jeremiah Owusu-Karamoah, considered a second-round steal by the Cleveland Browns.
Back, as currently planned, will be a Notre Dame Stadium full of fans, a conference-independent status and a team filled with hope as new players prepare for their shot under the Golden Dome.
Over the next week ND Insider will roll out its 2021 Notre Dame Football season preview. Here is what you can expect: