- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH
Spring start: March 20
Spring game: April 20
What to watch:
1. The Irish's hunger: Cheesy or oversimplifying things? Maybe. But Notre Dame did as good as a team possibly could in 2012 without lifting up the crystal football at the end of the season. The Irish got an up-close tutorial on what it takes to be the best, and the lessons learned from the Bama beatdown should keep the chip on their shoulders heading into 2013.
2. Backfield answers: Gone are Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood. In their place, at least for now, are George Atkinson III, Cam McDaniel, Amir Carlisle and William Mahone. Four-star recruits Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston will arrive this summer and try to get on the field as well. For now, Atkinson figures to be the No. 1 guy, but plenty of depth -- albeit unproven depth -- makes this an exciting a position battle to watch.
3. QB drama? Speaking of position battles ... Everett Golson lost just one game as the starter and figures to seamlessly move into the No. 1 role this spring. Right? It's never that simple with quarterbacks and Brian Kelly -- who played as many as five in a season at Cincinnati -- and things are complicated even more by the depth that returns at that position. It will be Golson's job to lose, but he figures to be pushed hard again, especially now with the redshirt coming off prized 2012 recruit Gunner Kiel.