Staying or going? Sean Cwynar

This week we are taking a look at each of Notre Dame's fourth-year scholarship players with eligibility remaining and examining whether he will likely return to the Irish next season. Here, we look at nose guard Sean Cwynar.

Before Notre Dame: From Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock, Ill., Cwynar entered Notre Dame as ESPNU's No. 16 defensive tackle.

At Notre Dame: Cwynar has played in 35 games the past three seasons and was the Irish's season-opening starter at nose guard this year. He missed one game this season and was limited in four others after breaking his right hand, which forced him to play with a club on it. Splitting time in the middle with sophomore Louis Nix, Cwynar has 21 tackles this season and 57 for his career, including three tackles for loss. He has also forced one fumble.

What's next?: Having already graduated with a degree in management consulting, Cwynar is currently in Notre Dame's accelerated MBA program. This season, he was named to the Capital One Academic All-District V team. Clearly, the future is bright for him beyond football.

The verdict: Staying. Nix, impressive so far, is still only in his first year on the field. Defensive end Ethan Johnson is gone after this year. Cwynar provides plenty of stability in the middle, and Nix has clearly benefited from having him back in there at full strength. Cwynar has been a veteran presence in the middle of a defensive line that has been forced to rely heavily on its youth because of injury, and he should be a valuable piece moving forward.

Previous players:

Braxston Cave

Lane Clelland

Dayne Crist