Sweden’s Genmark Heath embracing new role at Notre Dame

By Matt Freeman

Jordan Genmark Heath entered the spring competing for a job at safety but ended the spring as a linebacker. The 6-foot, 220-pounder admitted he was a little hesitant, but trusted the coaching staff with the move.

“I’m always open for changes,” said Genmark Heath. “The coaching staff has been around a thousand different players, and they know where to put me in the best situation to succeed.”

Defensive coordinator Clark Lea told his sophomore of the change and also made sure to follow up with Genmark Heath to make sure he was handling the switch well.

“I bought in,” said Genmark Heath. “I told Coach Lea and Coach Kelly that if we’re going to try it out, I’m not going to try it out and say I don’t like it. I’m all in. I’m excited. I’m blessed Coach Lea is my position coach. Coach Lea has been awesome this whole time. He’s been supportive. I was a little down at first when he told me I was making the switch, but he’s calling me at night and making sure I’m OK, and my spirits are up.”

Genmark Heath is entirely new to the position, but he has used YouTube as a resource to help catch him up on some of the finer points of the position.

“I played it back in Sweden for like two plays,” Genmark Heath said of his history at linebacker. “It’s completely different. I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos to figure out how to do stuff. We’ll have to see how it goes. Jaylon Smith is awesome. Manti (Te’o) is awesome. Reuben Foster. I have Drue (Tranquill) and Te’von (Coney) right in front of me. They’re always there for me.”

If Genmark Heath was looking for someone to encourage him through the position switch, he didn’t have to look far as Tranquill has played three different positions at Notre Dame.

“We talked about it when they wanted to try it out,” explained Genmark Heath. “He said to be open to it and do what you think you’re best at. One of my strengths is playing downhill and tackling. He said I’d pick up the defense but don’t get frustrated.”

The move has allowed Genmark Heath the chance to soak up as much as he can from Coney and Tranquill.

“After every practice, we try to sit down and talk about things we can work on whether it’s on or off the field stuff,” stated Genmark Heath. “It’s great to have someone to mentor you and someone you can look up to.”

As far as his Blue-Gold Game performance, Genmark Heath was pretty happy with his first live reps.

“I think I did pretty good,” said Genmark Heath. “We’ll have to see when the film comes out. I feel like I did pretty well. I had a couple of tackles.

Read the original story by Matt Freeman in irishsportsdaily.com.

Reposted by permission from author.