2013 Top 25 Player Countdown: No. 15

No. 15 is one of three starters returning on the offensive line.

No. 15: Christian Lombard, RT

Previous ranking: Not ranked

Making the case: Lombard started all 13 games last season for the Irish as a redshirt sophomore, his first year on the first-team after the graduation of Taylor Dever. Now he is one of three starters returning from a unit that helped Notre Dame eclipse the 200-yard rushing mark in seven different games in 2012. The Irish gave up just 18 sacks on the season, tied for 28th-fewest in the nation, and came along strongly after an early adjustment period that saw Everett Golson get sacked five times in a Week 2 win over Purdue. Lombard has the ability to play guard and can move if a second-team tackle makes his case to start. He will be counted on heavily as the Irish look to make the right side of their line as strong as their left was in 2012.

The countdown

No. 16 Sheldon Day

No. 17 Carlo Calabrese

No. 18 Jarrett Grace

No. 19 Amir Carlisle

No. 20 Troy Niklas

No. 21 Elijah Shumate

No. 22 C.J. Prosise

No. 23 Ishaq Williams

No. 24 Kyle Brindza

No. 25 Greg Bryant