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Bye week grades: Linebackers

LINEBACKERS

Grade: A

Summary: Rumor has it that Manti Te'o kid at Mike is pretty good. The rest? Not too shabby. Notre Dame as a whole has not surrendered a rushing touchdown this season. Only three other schools have done that. The Irish have not gone four consecutive games without allowing a rushing score since 1992. Prince Shembo has played consecutive outstanding games at the Cat, especially at Michigan State. Dan Fox has been solid at the Will, and Danny Spond has bounced back from a terrifying migraine and had the game of his career this past Saturday. You can't ask for much more out of Bob Diaco's group, which has been led by Te'o, the best inside linebacker in the country and a guy who has drawn national attention from all over, including Heisman buzz.

The backups: Carlo Calabrese started in his return against Purdue and has been strong against the run. Ishaq Williams is seeing more and more of the field as well and has been a force outside. Ben Councell and Jarrett Grace continue to gain valuable experience. No one can replace a Te'o, but the Irish have plenty of bodies capable of stepping in when needed.

Previous report cards:

Quarterbacks

Defensive line

Offensive line