Slaughter's absence puts redshirt freshman Matthias Farley -- a guy who's only been playing football for four years, and a guy who was recruited as a wide receiver -- in a key starting role for the Irish at safety. Fellow safety Zeke Motta thinks Farley's up to the task.
"His preparation has been great, it's all feel and Matthias isn't going to have a hard time, I don't think, at all," Motta said. The best thing I could tell him would be just to focus on each play and mentally prepare for anything that can happen. And move on to the next play if there is a bad play."
For Motta, Slaughter's absence means an increase in responsibility, especially with former walk-on Chris Salvi and freshmen Nicky Baratti and C.J. Prosise entering the rotation.
"Having Jamoris out, not on the field next to me, is tough," Motta said. "But he was a very vocal leader and he got the defense hyped. Stepping into that role, it's going to be tough, but I'll try to fill it the best that I can."
ND coach Brian Kelly said Motta is up to the challenge, and that he's been taking on more of a leadership role since long before Slaughter was hurt.
"It's probably one of the most remarkable, I think, developments of a player from year one or year two to year three in that sense," ND coach Brian Kelly said. "He had a hard time getting himself lined up last year. He has been terrific back there. He's been physical. He's played the ball well. And his leadership skills have continued to grow."