Last weekend, Notre Dame senior Braxton Cave found himself at the ultimate job interview. Cave was at the Senior Bowl, meeting with professional teams and practicing among the other top seniors in the country. Cave had a great season for the Irish anchoring their offensive line and will look to have that same success as he prepares for the NFL Draft.
“I’m just trying to focus on doing the right things to get myself in the position to go to the next level,” said Cave, during Senior Bowl preparation week.
As Cave prepares for his next steps after Notre Dame, the Irish have big shoes to fill to replace Cave. Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly named Matt Hegarty, Nick Martin and Mark Harrell are some of the possible replacements for Cave during his press conference earlier today.
Hegarty was mentioned as one of the possible replacements for Cave despite having his season ending prematurely last season. Hegarty suffered a mini stroke in November and was shut down for the season, but Kelly said he is optimistic about his return and he is a possibility to replace Cave.
Martin, highly recruited from Indiana, did not see any action in his freshman year, but could work his way into the starting lineup and he would have a very familiar teammate on the line. Nick’s older brother Zack Martin is already a starter at tackle and is returning for his fifth season.
Harrell, a sophomore who also was highly recruited from North Carolina, will compete with Hegarty and Martin for the starting center position. Whether it is Harrell, Martin or Hegarty that get the nod at center, all three will have their hands full trying to replace Cave, who had a great career at Notre Dame.