September 28, 2006

Duncan pairs with Young at right tackle

It isn't often that two true freshmen enter a season as the backup offensive tackles on the major college level. It isn't often that a true freshman steps into the starting lineup at right tackle on the major college level.

Paul Duncan was a backup offensive tackle in 2005 along with classmate Mike Turkovich, and Sam Young became Notre Dame's starting right tackle in 2006. Together, Young and Duncan are sharing the right tackle spot. They represent, along with Turkovich and a couple other true freshmen, the present as well as the long-term future for the Irish on the corners of the offensive line.

Young will not be made available to the media until the bye week following the Purdue and Stanford games. The soft-spoken Duncan, who played about 20 snaps against Michigan State in the most extensive action of his career, relished the opportunity to participate in several series against the Spartans.

"I was happy to get some time," said Duncan, the 6-foot-7, 292-pound Dallas, Ga., product. "It was nice. I'm just trying to do whatever I have to do."

While the media saw fifth-year senior Brian Mattes as the main impediment in Young's quest to start right out of the gate, it was actually Duncan who provided the competition at right tackle, with Mattes sliding into the backup guard spot.

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