Notre Dame's top players: 6-10

Notre Dame's top players: 6-10
August 8, 2014, 7:15 pm
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Inside the Irish -- Counting down the Irish: Others receiving votes
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Over at Inside the Irish, Keith Arnold rolled out the latest installment of his annual top 25 Notre Dame players countdown with Nos. 6-10. Here's how the panel voted:

No. 10 TE Ben Koyack
No. 9 RB Greg Bryant
No. 8 C Nick Martin
No. 7 WR DaVaris Daniels
No. 6 LT Ronnie Stanley

My ballot:

No. 10 RB Greg Bryant
No. 9 RG Christian Lombard
No. 8 C Nick Martin
No. 7 S Max Redfield
No. 6 LT Ronnie Stanley

First thought

Three offensive linemen in the top 10 is a nod not only to the skill possessed by Christian Lombard, Nick Martin and Ronnie Stanley but also to the work put in by offensive line coach Harry Hiestand. Even without left-side stalwarts Zack Martin and Chris Watt, it seems to be a pretty good bet Notre Dame will have a good offensive line this coming fall.

[MORE: Notre Dame's top players: 11-15]

Lombard, Martin and Stanley are all experienced and should provide the talent and know-how to lead the Irish offensive line, along with Steve Elmer (right tackle) and Matt Hegarty (left guard).

Upon further review

I'm buying Greg Bryant this fall, but given how I hedged on guys with experience in the rest of my rankings putting him as my highest-ranked running back may have been a little aggressive. Tarean Folston has shown he can be an impact player at the college level, while all we have with Bryant is an impressive spring game showing and five-star hype.

[MORE: Notre Dame's top players, 16-20]

Bryant very well may wind up being the best running back Notre Dame has this fall, but until he gets a decent number of carries under his belt at the college level he's still somewhat of a question mark.

Breakout candidate

All last fall, we waited for Max Redfield to finally crack Notre Dame's safety rotation...and he didn't until the Pinstripe Bowl. But if spring practice and the early goings of fall camp are any indication, Redfield will open the season as a starter in Brian VanGorder's defense.

[MORE: Notre Dame's top players, 21-25]

Redfield came to Notre Dame with a five-star pedigree and has the kind of skill and intangibles to be an impact player in Notre Dame's secondary. But like Bryant, the collegiate sample size we're basing that belief off isn't large.