Stayin' Sharp with Evan Sharpley. Blue-Gold Game kicks off, NFL draft continues

Blue-Gold Game kicks off, NFL draft continues

The University of Notre Dame will host its 2021 Blue-Gold Game on Saturday, May 1, at Notre Dame Stadium. The scrimmage, which will mark the final spring practice for the Fighting Irish football’s spring practice schedule, will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET. The Blue-Gold Game will stream exclusively on Peacock and fans will be able to enjoy the game for free. The Blue-Gold Game will be available on-demand following the live stream on Fighting Irish TV.

NBC Sports’ Paul Burmeister will be returning to the Notre Dame Stadium announcing booth as the play-by-play announcer for the game. He will be joined by NBC Sports analyst Corey Robinson ‘17, a former Notre Dame football student-athlete, and sideline reporter Caroline Pineda, a current Notre Dame student and Fighting Irish Media student employee.

Attendance for the Blue-Gold Game will be consistent with campus ticketing policies during the 2020 campaign (limited to the local Notre Dame community – students, faculty, staff and families of participating student-athletes). Tailgating will continue to be prohibited.

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NFL Draft

Five Notre Dame Football names were selected on the second day of the 2021 NFL Draft Friday, with three former Irish going in the second round, and two in the third.

The five picks thus far in the 2021 Draft mark the fourth-straight year Notre Dame has produced a minimum of four draft selections. And, with five draftees through the first three rounds, 2021 marks the most draft picks in those opening three rounds for Notre Dame since 2016 (six).

Offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg was the first former Notre Dame player drafted, taken by the Miami Dolphins with the 10th pick of the second round (42nd overall). He was followed by offensive lineman Aaron Banks with the San Francisco 49ers at 48th overall (16th pick of the second round) and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah with the Cleveland Browns at 52nd overall (20th pick of the second round).

In the third round, tight end Tommy Tremble went to the Carolina Panthers at 83rd overall (20th pick of the third round), and offensive lineman Robert Hainsey punched his ticket to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 95th overall (32nd pick of the third round).

With Eichenberg, Banks and Hainsey being taken in Rounds 2 and 3, 2021 marks the first time three or more Irish offensive linemen have been drafted since 2003. In addition, Notre Dame is the first program to have three offensive linemen be drafted in the first three rounds of an NFL Draft since 2001 (and before that, not since 1982).

Liam Eichenberg

A consensus All-American, Eichenberg was named to four of the five major All-America first teams (Walter Camp, AFCA, Sporting News and FWAA) in 2021. He also earned nods to the AP All-America second team, as well as first teams for The Athletic and CBS Sports.

Eichenberg won the ACC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy, honoring the top lineman in the conference, and was an Outland Trophy finalist. With the rest of the Irish offensive line, Eichenberg was a finalist for the Joe Moore Award in 2020, recognizing the nation’s top offensive line unit, and he was also named first-team All-ACC.

With his leadership, Eichenberg helped the Irish lead the ACC and rank seventh among all FBS teams in time of possession.

Eichenberg will join fellow former Irish players Durham Smythe (tight end) and Will Fuller V (wide receiver) in Miami.

Aaron Banks

In 2021, Banks joined Eichenberg as a consensus All-American, earning nods to the AFCA and Associated Press first teams. He was also selected to the second teams for Walter Camp and Sporting News. In addition, Banks noted a slot on the ESPN All-America team, and was named All-ACC first team.

With the offensive line unit, Banks and the Irish were named finalists for the 2020 Joe Moore Award, recognizing the best offensive line in college football. Banks also helped the Irish to lead the ACC and rank seventh among all FBS teams in time of possession.

Banks joins another Irish offensive lineman in San Francisco, with Mike McGlinchey already a 49er.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

Owusu-Koramoah won the 2020 Butkus Award, honoring the nation’s top linebacker. A unanimous All-American, Owusu-Koramoah was also selected to the All-America first teams for The Athletic, ESPN, CBS Sports and Phil Steele.

The linebacker was a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy, Bednarik Award, Lott IMPACT Trophy and Bowden Trophy. Named ACC Defensive Player of the Year by conference coaches, he earned All-ACC First Team status in 2020.

This past season, Owusu-Koramoah led the team in tackles-for-loss (11.0 for a loss of 40 yards) and his 62 tackles were one off the team lead.

Owusu-Koramoah will join defensive lineman Sheldon Day in Cleveland.

Tommy Tremble

Widely recognized as one of the nation’s top blocking tight ends, Tremble earned All-ACC Honorable Mention status after his true junior season in 2020. Over his career, he totaled 17 starts at tight end, including 10 in 2020.

On his career, Tremble compiled 35 receptions for 401 yards in just 25 games played, also shining in the run game, as he often served as lead blocker for Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams in a breakout, 1,000-yard rushing season in 2020.

His selection continues a long line of Irish tight ends in the NFL. With Tremble’s selection, every Notre Dame week one starting tight end since 2003 has been drafted, beginning with Anthony Fasano.

Tremble joins former Irish long snapper J.J. Jansen and cornerback Troy Pride Jr. in Charlotte.

Robert Hainsey

Hainsey, a team captain, was selected to the Senior CLASS Award All-America First Team as a finalist for the award in 2020. He was also named a semifinalist for the WIlliam V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes both athletic and academic achievement.

One of the longest-tenured offensive linemen for the Irish, in 2020, Hainsey served as a two-time team captain. Just 24 players in the history of Notre Dame Football, including Hainsey, have earned the captain role more than once.

With the Irish offensive line unit, Hainsey and Notre Dame were named finalists for the 2020 Joe Moore Award, recognizing the top offensive line in college football. With Banks and Eichenberg, Hainsey helped the Irish to lead the ACC and rank seventh among all FBS teams in time of possession.

Hainsey will join running back C.J. Prosise in Tampa Bay.

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