Julian Love making plays and history for Notre Dame
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Sophomore Julian Love has been making game-changing plays on defense for the Irish.
He’s having a huge impact during this magical season and he’s “loving" every minute of it.
"Dream job would be wealth management,” said Love.
While the cornerback has champagne wishes and caviar dreams after college, the sophomore is making it rain in the here and now.
Love says, "We are just flying around and trying to make plays. So we've become the best team we possibly could be."
The 2017 season has been a complete turnaround for the defense.
The Irish scoring defense ranks 10th in the nation; allowing 16.1 points per game, holding every opponent this season to 20 points or fewer.
The Irish also rank seventh nationally on the turnover margin, scoring 101 points off 18 turnovers.
"It's just the turnover battle. We really work the fundamentals each day. Coach Elko has been very successful on our success on defense. He came in and changed our whole mindset on what defense is and how we should play it and what our goals are," he explains.
And for Love, it's been a game changer.
Not once, but twice with pick-sixes during key points of big games.
The first one was at Michigan State in the first quarter.
"I saw him about to break to the flat, so I sat on it. Quarterback was staring him down, so I jumped the route. It hit my chest and I don't remember much after that. My family was in that corner. My girlfriend was in that corner. My grandparents were in that corner, it was pretty amazing," said the cornerback.
The other interception return came in the 3rd quarter against North Carolina State when the Irish needed a spark.
Love said, "I think they tried to draw us off sides. I made a read and picked the ball off. I was waiting for a second. I thought they blew it dead. The quarterback wasn't moving to come tackle me. I was worried it didn't count. But I got some great blocks. Daylin at the end. It was a great play."
"He learns well. He bit on a double move early, got hit with a double move again later in the game, and was able to see it coming. So he's got really -- he's really a smart player. But I think the smarts and the physical tools that he has, you know, obviously put him in an elite class," said Brian Kelly, ND Head Coach.
High praise for the sophomore whose energy and smile is providing a spark for this opportunistic Notre Dame defense.
"It’s also that experience. We have a lot of guys back from last year. We had that feeling in our heart that we want and need to be better. So you can see it in everything we do," noted Love.
Love made Notre Dame history against the Wolfpack. With his pick-six, he became the eighth player to return two interceptions for touchdowns in a season.