Here come the Irish...
Notre Dame is once again flirting with relevancy. The Irish are off to a 2-0 start and get their first big test of the season on Saturday night against Michigan State. Both teams boast a talented group of players that will be on NFL radars throughout the fall.
Le'Veon Bell has generated the most hype for Michigan State after an incredible performance against Boise State to open the season. Quarterback Andrew Maxwell will also be one to watch.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o will be playing with a heavy heart this week after losing his grandmother and a close friend earlier this week. Te'o is an incredibly talented young man and is admirably taking the field this weekend. No one would have faulted him otherwise, but the Irish are certainly glad to have him in the lineup.
After the jump, check out the prospects to watch, matchup of the night and question of the night.
Michigan State 2013 NFL Draft Prospects
Offense: No. 51 - Fou Fonoti, RT - 6'4, 296 pounds (Senior), No. 80 - Dion Sims, TE - 6'5, 285 pounds (Junior), No. 10 - Andrew Maxwell, QB- 6'3, 212 pounds (Junior), No. 24 - Le'Veon Bell, RB - 6'2, 244 pounds (Junior)
Defense: No. 98 Anthony Rashad-White, NT - 6'2, 330 pounds (Senior), No. 2 - William Gholston, DE - 6'7, 278 pounds (Junior), No. 40 - Max Bullough, MLB - 6'3, 252 pounds (Junior), No. 28 - Denicos Allen, SOLB - 5'11, 225 pounds (Junior), No. 5 - Johnny Adams, CB - 5'11, 177 pounds (Senior), No. 31 - Darqueze Dennard, CB - 5'11, 188 pounds (Junior), No. 10 - Chris Norman, OLB, 6'1, 233 pounds
Notre Dame 2013 NFL Draft Prospects
Defense: No. 5 Manti Te'o, LB - 6'2'', 255 pounds, No. 89 - Kepran Lewis-Moore - 6'4'', 306 pounds
Matchup of the Night
Notre Dame run defense vs. Michigan State ground attack
Manti Te'o will be manning the heart of Notre Dame's defense, and the Irish have the tall task of slowing down the bruising Spartan running back Le'Veon Bell. Notre Dame has a solid defensive line, and Te'o is arguably the best linebacker in the country, so Bell will get a chance to show what he's made of.
Question of the Night
How does Cierre Wood look in his first game back from suspension?
Cierre Wood was suspended for the first two games of the 2012 season due to a violation of team rules, so Saturday night's game will be his season debut. Wood could have an NFL future, but the Spartans' defense provides a difficult first matchup. Let's see if he can begin to work his way back into the good graces of NFL talent evaluators.