Notre Dame spring predictions: No. 5

Notre Dame opens spring practice one week from today, so we will take a guess at five potential happenings during the next month-and-a-half in South Bend, Ind.

Prediction No. 5: Kendall Moore will step up

The light seemed to finally click on late in the season for Moore, who, like many players on last season's defense, was forced into extended action because of injury. Moore finished with a career high 17 tackles, a tackle for loss, an interception and a pass defended.

The 6-foot-1, 251-pound linebacker showed enough promise and maturity to warrant an invite back for a fifth season. With Jarrett Grace still recovering from a broken leg, there is now a big opportunity for the redshirt senior to make an impact under new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and possibly take the first big step to shoring up a starting spot for 2014.

Notre Dame loses its top two tacklers from last season in Dan Fox (95) and Carlo Calabrese (93). And if Moore continues to build off his ascent from late last season, he can help fill the void and become another veteran leader for a linebacker corps that is lacking in healthy bodies on the inside.