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2018 Notre Dame Football Roster Notes: Which players made the most strides physically?

Notre Dame sophomore linebacker Jordan Genmark Heath works in a drill with a teammate this spring in a practice at the Loftus Sports Center in South Bend. Genmark Heath has added five pounds of muscle since playing defensive back as a freshman. (By Tom Davis of News-Sentinel.com)
Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly speaks with the media Thursday at the Guglielmino Athletics Complex in South Bend. (By Tom Davis of News-Sentinel.com)
2018 Notre Dame freshman linebacker Bo Bauer

SOUTH BEND – One of the advantages of enrolling a semester early for a college football player is that it allows that student-athlete to get a jump start in both his mental development, but his physical growth, as well.

During the spring, veteran Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly referred to Fighting Irish freshman Bo Bauer as a “tiger in the weight room,” and with good reason.

The heralded linebacker out of Pennsylvania came to South Bend in January and he has made an impression on Kelly with his work ethic.

“Physically,” Kelly said Thursday at his initial press conference of the 2018 season, “(Bauer) has transformed himself. His mentality, his work ethic, the way he attacks things both in the classroom, he’s been extremely impressive.”

Bauer’s diligence in the weight room has added 13 pounds since his senior season in high school to his 6-foot-2 ¾ frame and he is up to 225 pounds.

Here are some other notable weight gains and losses within the 2018 Notre Dame football roster.

• Kevin Austin (freshman, wide receiver) – gained 13 pounds (weighs 210 pounds)

• DJ Brown (freshman, cornerback) – gained 11 pounds (191 pounds)

• C’Bo Flemister (freshman, running back) – gained six pounds (196 pounds)

• Jamion Franklin (freshman, defensive line) – gained 10 pounds (306 pounds)

• Houston Griffith (freshman, safety) – gained 11 pounds (205 pounds)

• Luke Jones (freshman, offensive line) – gained 14 pounds (303 pounds)

• Micah Jones (freshman, wide receiver) – gained 10 pounds (212 pounds)

• Phil Jurkovec (freshman, quarterback) – gained 16 pounds (220 pounds)

• Jack Lamb (freshman, linebacker) – gained 15 pounds (226 pounds)

• Paul Moala (freshman safety) – gained 16 pounds (212 pounds)

• Ovie Oghhoufo (freshman, linebacker) – gained 15 pounds (223 pounds)

• Jarrett Patterson (freshman, offensive line) – gained 10 pounds (290 pounds)

• Shayne Simon (freshman, linebacker) – gained 10 pounds (222 pounds)

• Jahmir Smith (freshman, running back) – gained seven pounds (205 pounds)

• Asmar Bilal (redshirt junior, linebacker) – dropped five pounds (225 pounds)

• Shaun Crawford (redshirt sophomore, cornerback) – gained five pounds (181 pounds)

• Darnell Ewell (redshirt freshman, defensive line) – gained nine pounds (330 pounds)

• Jordan Genmark Heath (sophomore, linebacker) – gained five pounds (225 pounds)

• Dillan Gibbons (redshirt freshman, offensive line) – gained 19 pounds (313 pounds)

• Colin Grunhard (sophomore, offensive line) – gained 14 pounds (280 pounds)

• Daelin Hayes (junior, defensive end) – gained seven pounds (265 pounds)

• Josh Lugg (sophomore, offensive line) – gained 14 pounds (314 pounds)

• Alize’ Mack (senior, tight end) – dropped four pounds (247 pounds)

• D.J. Morgan (redshirt sophomore, linebacker) – gained 15 pounds (224 pounds)

• Julian Okwara (junior, defensive end) – gained 12 pounds (242 pounds)

• Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (redshirt freshman, linebacker) – gained 11 pounds (215 pounds)

• Isaiah Robertson (sophomore, linebacker) – gained 20 pounds (215 pounds)

• Myron Tagovailoa- Amosa (sophomore, defensive line) – dropped eight pounds (285 pounds)

• Kofi Wardlow (sophomore, defensive end) – gained 11 pounds (245 pounds)

• Brandon Wimbush (redshirt junior, quarterback) – dropped six pounds (222 pounds)

• Michael Young (sophomore, wide receiver) – dropped five pounds (185 pounds)

“I don’t think you can have competition unless you build it into your training,” Kelly said. “So what we did, our team is broken up into eight different teams, led by a team leader, and each and every week, they are competing in the weight room, in conditioning, in running, in the classroom, in the community, and each team accumulates points and what I can tell you for certain is that competition is one that they love to be involved in. They want to go against each other. They want to push each other to competitive greatness, both on and off the field.

“So if I didn’t see that amongst the group, it would be pretty easy to notice, and talking to our (strength and conditioning coach) Matt Balis he’s loved the competitive spirit week-in and week-out of these groups going against each other.”

For more on Notre Dame football, follow Tom Davis on Twitter at Tom101010, Facebook at Thomas Davis, and Instagram at tomdavis101010.

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