Notre Dame's depth chart can be a bit deceiving when trying to figure out the outside linebacker hierarchy.
The starters are Darius Fleming, who will play the Cat or linebacker who plays closer to the line of scrimmage, and Kerry Neal, who is the Dog or dropback linebacker, but figuring out their backups is a little harder to explain.
Coach Brian Kelly said Neal is also Fleming's backup at Cat, and not freshman Prince Shembo as it is listed on the depth chart.
With Neal pulling double duty as a starter and No. 2 on the outside, the Irish open up their depth at the dropback spot with Brian Smith and Steve Filer.
"We tried (Filer) at the cat position, it's not the right fit for him," Kelly said. "He could play there in an emergency situation, but right now we list on the depth chart (Prince) Shembo two, but he's really three. And Filer would be in the game before (Prince) Shembo, for example."
Kelly said not to get too married to the depth chart at outside linebacker because of the deep talent pool Notre Dame has at the position.
"They're interchangeable pieces," Kelly said. "We've got two seniors in Neal and Smith. They're both going to play.
"I'm not trying to look towards next year, but Steven Filer's going to be a heck of a player for us. He's got to be ready to go because he's going to take over that drop position when those seniors graduate."