Back in May, news broke that Navy safety Alohi Gilman wanted out of Annapolis and in to South Bend. It was initially reported that it would be an immediate transfer, making Gilman eligible this season. However, that ship has sailed, according to ESPN; Gilman will not be eligible until next year.
At that time, this brought a smile to my face for several reasons; for one, Gilman had just finished up his freshman year, so he still has three years of eligibility remaining. He played safety, while mixing in a little bit of linebacker, which were both positions of need for the Irish heading into this season. Finally, he’s productive, as he totaled 76 tackles, forced two fumbles, and defended five passes last season.
Obviously, this news comes heading in to Week Two, so it’s not like Irish fans would’ve enjoyed Gilman’s services for a full season to begin with. However, he would’ve been a very welcome addition. He has great anticipation, and he’s always swarming the ball carrier. While he doesn’t yet have an interception in his collegiate career, I’ll go ahead and say it’s impossible that he would’ve been worse than what the Irish had at their disposal this year.
I know they played Temple, who isn’t expected to do much of anything this season, but the Irish D looked good. I think Georgia, even without quarterback Jacob Eason, poses a more realistic standard of how far this defense has come under Mike Elko in one offseason.
Having Gilman would’ve been huge for the Irish this year, who are determined to return to some sort of relevancy after finishing 4-8. That being said, the kid still has a long future in South Bend, and he makes next year’s secondary look even better as they continue to get more in-game experience along the way.
Cover photo from Notre Dame Insider.