Notre Dame football gets SI cover; Ohio State, Auburn top rankings

SHARE Notre Dame football gets SI cover; Ohio State, Auburn top rankings
SHARE Notre Dame football gets SI cover; Ohio State, Auburn top rankings

This week’s Sports Illustrated offers four different regional covers, featuring Notre Dame, Mississippi State, TCU and Ohio State.

Jaylon Smith and Ronnie Stanley share the cover for Notre Dame, which ranks fourth in SI’s preseason top 25. Ohio State, Auburn and TCU are the top three, in order.

SI also released season previews of all the top-25 teams, including this one on Notre Dame.

Opposing coach’s take: If quarterback Malik Zaire is accepted by teammates, and there isn’t any lingering effect from Everett Golson’s leaving, that will be key. Golson was probably a better runner, but Malik is a better passer … Ronnie Stanley is a legitimate pass protector at left tackle. He’s a long-armed guy, he’s got good knee bend, and he’s the best athlete on that front group … At some points running back Tarean Folston was able to get his pads down and become a difficult target at the second and third level. I don’t know that he’s a home run hitter, but he should be a 1,000-yard rusher … Receiver Will Fuller runs good routes; he’s got good hands. He will attempt to block … Cornerback KeiVarae Russell has good hips, good feet. He’s got explosive movement and good body control. My biggest concern would be the safeties. They played a good amount, but they weren’t particularly good.

Here’s a look at the other three regional SI covers:

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