Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Redshirt freshmen ready for action after year-long wait

Redshirt freshmen are becoming less common as more players contribute straight out of high school. They still can have an impact, though.

That's particularly true on the offensive and defensive lines, where players regularly need that extra year to gain the physical strength necessary for the college game.

Southern California defensive tackle Jay Tufele has shown this summer how much he's benefited from that time in the gym.

Tufele arrived on campus as the nation's No. 3 defensive tackle and No. 39 overall prospect in his class, according to composite rankings of recruiting sites compiled by 247Sports . One year later, he's a likely starter who should play a vital...