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2019 NFL draft: Introducing Julian Love, Notre Dame’s competitive cornerback prospect

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

South Bend and top NFL prospects have become a tradition over the years. Julian Love is the latest in a long line of Notre Dame’s top talents.

A complete corner with all the physical and mental tools to survive on an island at the next level, Love recently spoke exclusively with MCM about why he’s the best cornerback in this draft, the best receivers he’s ever covered and why Alohi Gilman was the teammate he needed.

JM: Many feel that you’re one of the best cornerbacks in this draft. To be honest, I think things are pretty muddy at the top. I’m not sure that anyone has distanced themselves as the clear cut top corner of this class. Do you feel like you have a chance to be that guy?

JL: Yeah, I honestly do. Football is an interesting game. I’m a well balanced player and that’s very important at the next level. I can play inside or outside. I’m aggressive. I have good ball skills and play-making ability. Looking at the big picture outside of football, I’m a great person to represent your organization. I’m a trustworthy guy. I’m very dependable both on and off the field. My personality and passion for the game really set me apart.

JM: Do you think there’s a scheme at the next level that best suits your style of play?

JL: I’m someone who can easily adapt to anything. I feel like I can play in any scheme really. I’m a quick learner. I can adapt to whatever’s asked of me. I can become one with any scheme. I’m comfortable playing in any scheme.

I love the way Love attacks the run game. No hesitation to get dirty here.

JM: Which aspects of your game are you hoping to improve on at the next level?

JL: I would definitely say the technical side of the game. You can never be too advanced in this area. I’d like to become more of a technician at the next level. I think I’m a natural athlete and I’m a play-maker. Any defensive back should always strive to be more technical. That’s my goal. The technicians play this game for a long time. They’re the guys that can play well into their 30’s.

JM: Which combine drill or drills do you think best translate to what defensive backs actually implement on the field?

JL: It’s tough to say. Part of me wants to say the 40 yard dash. I wanna run a good 40 for sure. But we’ve seen cornerbacks that struggled in the 40 over the years turn into really good players. And some of them are amazing athletes as well. Desmond King is a name that comes to mind for me. He ran a 4.60 and he’s an exceptional cornerback. He’s an All-Pro player for the Los Angeles Chargers. I’m sure he loves to tell that story. I think the position drills are very important. They can be very telling for us defensive backs in terms of measuring potential success.

JM: Who are some of the best receivers you’ve ever covered throughout your time at Notre Dame?

JL: That’s tough. I’ve covered so many great receivers. USC were our rivals during my freshmen year (laughs). My job was to shadow Adoree Jackson when he was in the game on offense. That was tough (laughs). I had to guard him. He’s obviously an unbelievable athlete. He went to become a first round pick as a corner for the Titans. When he wasn’t in the game, I was covering Juju Smith-Schuster. He’s a very powerful guy. That was quite the task as a freshmen. I learned a lot that year. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside at Stanford is a load to handle. He’s a tough cover for sure. He’s a bigger guy and you can’t let him win positioning. He got me a few times though. I really respect him as a player.

JM: You had some great teammates throughout your time at Notre Dame, but if you were headed to war tomorrow and could only bring one with you, who would you bring and why?

JL: There’s so many guys that I’m close with but I’m gonna have to go with Alohi Gilman. He played safety for us this past season. Here’s a guy who transferred here after his freshmen year. He had to sit out a year to satisfy the transfer rules. He came in and had a phenomenal season for us. He was a guy that I knew I could rely on throughout every game this year. We didn’t even have to say anything to each other. I knew where he was gonna be and he knew where I was gonna be. We had that sort of special relationship. I appreciated playing next to him.

JM: In closing, when a team uses one of their picks on Julian Love, what kind of guy are they getting?

JL: You’re getting a great all-around guy. I’m unique in that sense. You’re getting a competitor on the field and a great man off the field. I’m somebody that’s gonna go out there and compete on every single rep. I don’t take plays off. Competition is what drives me to be great. You can trust me with anything. That’s what I bring to the table.