3 biggest questions surrounding Notre Dame football this spring

Notre Dame quarterback Riley Leonard (13) passes to Jack Larsen (85) as quarterbacks coach Gino
Notre Dame quarterback Riley Leonard (13) passes to Jack Larsen (85) as quarterbacks coach Gino / GREG SWIERCZ / USA TODAY NETWORK
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We're at one of the more exciting points of the offseason in which spring ball is underway and the nation's top teams try to figure out what they have for next season. That includes Notre Dame football.

The Irish are fresh off a 10-3 season which ended with a Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl win over Oregon State in which Steve Angeli shined at quarterback. But Marcus Freeman still went into the portal for the second straight offseason and landed an elite gunslinger in the form of Duke transfer Riley Leonard. Will we see a competition this year? Doubtful.

But there are a ton of question marks surrounding this team in spring ball. Here are my biggest questions for the Irish.

1. Did the defense reload?

Let's face it, losing guys like JD Bertrand, Cam Hart, DJ Brown, Thomas Harper, Javontae Jean-Baptiste, and Marist Liufau on the defensive side of the ball is going to hurt. The Irish fielded one of the top-five defenses in the country last season and they're going to have some big shoes to fill at essentially every position.

Fortunately, Marcus Freeman can recruit.

The third-year head coach brought in five-star defensive lineman Bryce Young to help out right away along with top-50 linebacker Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa. These two guys could have an immediate impact, but they're not the only newcomers who could help reload the defensive side of the ball. Transfers like RJ Oben, Rod Heard II, and Jordan Clark should ease those aforementioned losses.

And Notre Dame is bringing back guys like Jack Kiser, Drayk Bowen, Jaylen Sneed, Jaden Mickey, Xavier Watts, and Benjamin Morrison to a defense that was stacked last year.

Did the defense really reload or will we see a "rebuild" this season?