(Photo: Zach Bolinger/ Icon Sportswire)
Growing up in suburban Chicago, Notre Dame was Julian Love’s dream school and when an offer came in March of 2015 from Brian Kelly to come play cornerback for the irish, he couldn’t accept it fast enough.
Love’s impact at ND was immediate. As a freshman in 2016, his performance was one of the few bright things to come out of that season when the Irish struggled to a 4-8 record. He started 8 games and played in all 12. He recorded an interception and a forced fumble along with 45 tackles which stands as one of the top marks in school history for a freshman.
Love broke out his sophomore season with a performance that pushed him to national prominence. He recorded a school record 20 pass break ups and had 23 passes defended. Love intercepted 3 passes and returned two of them for touchdowns. Also impressive was the run defense support he provided. On the season he registered 68 tackles, fifth best on the team and against the Navy option he recorded an impressive 14 tackles.
After his great season in 2017, it became apparent that his junior year was likely to be his final one as the NFL was calling. Love once again was a pass break-up and tackling machine as the Irish rolled to the 2018 College Football Playoff. With 15 more pass breakups, he broke the all-time Notre Dame career record. In the season finale against USC he recorded 12 tackles as the Irish clinched an undefeated regular season.
Love earned consensus All-American recognition for his 2018 performance. He went on to be selected in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL draft and started for the New York Giants for 4 seasons. He became a free agent after the 2022 season and now patrols the secondary for the Seattle Seahawks.
Julian Love, ND 2016-2018, another Fighting Irish Preview, All-time Irish Hero