Notre Dame CB Julian Love falls just short of unanimous All-America honors

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame cornerback Julian Love fell one spot short of becoming Notre Dame football’s 30th unanimous All-American on Wednesday.

To qualify players must earn first-team All-America honors from five designated organizations. The fifth and final of those, the American Football Coaches Association team, was released Wednesday. Love was a second-teamer.

Combined with his first-team selections from the Walter Camp Foundation, the Football Writers Association of America, the Associated Press and The Sporting News, the 5-foot-11, 193-pound junior still garners consensus All-America honors.

He’s the 86th individual and 102nd selection (because of repeats) from Notre Dame to do so — most of any school on both counts.   

He’s also the first Irish cornerback since unanimous selection Shane Walton and AP third-team selection Vontez Duff, both in 2002, to earn All-America mention of any kind.

In the era of two-platoon football (1964-present), he’s the seventh ND cornerback to earn consensus or unanimous All-America honors.

Irish center Sam Mustipher also garnered a spot on the AFCA second team.

Love collected 61 tackles in 2018, including three for losses. He had 15 pass breakups, three fumble recoveries — including one he returned for a TD against Virginia Tech — a QB hurry and an interception.

The Irish stand fourth nationally in pass-efficiency defense, their highest ranking ever since the NCAA made that the preferred measure of pass defense in 1991.

No. 3 Notre Dame (12-0) plays No. 2 Clemson Dec. 29 in the Cotton Bowl/College Football Playoff semifinals at AT&T Stadium. The CFP National Championship Game is Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif.

Notre Dame junior cornerback Julian Love is one step away from becoming a unanimous All-American.