The Fighting Irish suffered a serious loss over the weekend when starting safety Jamoris Slaughter went down with a season ending Achilles injury.
Slaughter, a fifth-year senior, suffered the torn tendon on the first snap of the second during Notre Dame’s 20-3 victory over Michigan State Saturday night. Prior to his injury, the 6-foot, 200-pounder started 19 of the 39 games he played in, has 98 tackles and two interceptions, and broke up six passes for his career.
“You lose a Jamoris Slaughter, you’re losing an ‘A’ player,” coach Brian Kelly said during his Sunday teleconference. “Matthias is certainly not at the level yet of a Jamoris Slaughter. He has to continue to develop, but we have a lot of confidence and trust in him. He’ll be getting a lot of work back there.”
Slaughter, the 11th-ranked Notre Dame’s most experienced player in the secondary, is the second starting defensive back ND has lost with an Achilles injury, joining cornerback Lo Wood on the sideline.
In Slaughter’s absence, sophomore Matthias Farley will step in take over the starting role, leaving Notre Dame to rely on yet another relatively inexperienced player.
NBC Sports notes that, including Farley, the Irish now have three first-year starters — cornerbacks Bennett Jackson and true freshman KeiVarae Russell are the other two — in the secondary, and all of them are converted offensive players.
“Those are things that coaches have to deal with all over the country,” coach Kelly said. “We’re seeing the development of some really young players that can be really good players for us. We don’t have to hide those guys.”
Notre Dame (3-0) is set to host No. 18 Michigan (2-1) on Saturday.