Notre Dame DL Isaiah Foskey announces NFL Draft: How will the Irish replace the sack leader?

Entering the 2023 NFL Draft, Notre Dame defensive lineman Isiah Fusky has announced that he will not play in the Irish Gator Bowl against South Carolina. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Foskey had 45 total tackles (23 solo) this season and is fourth-best for the Fighting Irish.
  • During the regular season, he collected 11.0 sacks, the fourth-highest total in the FBS and the same number of sacks he had in 2021.

Scout report

An active player off the rim, Isaiah Foskey leads the Irish in tackles for loss (9.0) and sacks (7.0) and also has a pair of kicks blocked this season. He tends to rely overly on his long arm techniques and must improve his block-destroying skills, if he is going to smash the first round. There are also questions about his best NFL position, but his high-energy style of play is an attractive part of his game. – Dean Bruegler

How would the Irish line up without Foskey in the Gator Bowl?

After the defensive line has grown into a strength for the program over the past five years, Foskey’s departure could signal the beginning of a significant rebuild. The Irish don’t have another body type like Foskey (6-foot-5, 265 lbs.) on the roster right now and won’t add one in recruiting this cycle unless he comes through the transfer gate. The simple answer is that Justin Ademilola will start in Foskey’s place against South Carolina, but the fifth-year senior has his own decision to stay or go. He’s up for his sixth season at Notre Dame, but will play it without his twin brother, Jayson Ademilola.

After those two, the Irishman soon came down to Jordan Botelho Jr., a four-star prospect who didn’t quite click in his three seasons at South Bend. Freshmen Josh Burnham, Junior Tuilamaca and Aiden Gubera feel they are at least a year away from being candidates for the Viper. Five-star Keon Keeley’s summer commitment might be ignored at the time, but in spring training it’s going to hurt.

Bottom line, with Foskey gone and Justin Ademilola likely leaving, Notre Dame may need to take a quick spin at the transfer gate to balance the roster. – Sampson

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(Photo: Matt Kashore/USA Today)


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