Skip to main content

Notre Dame LB Te'von Coney, DL Jerry Tillery Returning For Senior Seasons

A general view of Notre Dame's football stadium.

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 01: General view of the Notre Dame campus during the game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on September 1, 2007 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Fighting Irish defense received a major boost tonight.

Linebacker Te'Von Coney and defensive tackle Jerry Tillery are both returning to Notre Dame for their senior seasons, the program confirmed tonight.

Coney is coming off a monster junior season, during which he led the Fighting Irish in tackles (116) and tackles for loss (13). He also added three sacks, and put these numbers up despite making only seven starts.

Tillery led Notre Dame with 4.5 sacks and 11 quarterback hurries, and his 56 tackles were sixth-best on the squad.

"We talk about the mission everyday: graduate our players and win a national championship," Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly wrote on Twitter. "While I’m excited to have Jerry and Te’von return from a football standpoint, I’m proud that they both believe in this mission and value the significance of the ND degree."

Both players will be critical pieces for new defensive coordinator Clark Lea, who was promoted from linebackers coach after Mike Elko left for Texas A&M.

Coney and Drue Tranquill will lead the linebacking corps, while Tillery and Daelin Hayes project as the leaders along the defensive line.

Here's the official announcement from Notre Dame:

Notre Dame finished the 2017 season with a 10-3 record, including the program's first January bowl win since 1994. This was the Irish's third 10-win season under Brian Kelly.

Notre Dame will open its 2018 season at home against Michigan on Sept. 1.