If the Notre Dame football team is going to do anything special in 2022, new safety Brandon Joseph needs to be more productive than his predecessor.
Looking at the 2022 Notre Dame football team, one key name you will not see in the starting lineup is safety Kyle Hamilton. Despite having eligibility remaining, Hamilton made the jump to the NFL this offseason, and for good reason, as he was the program’s first first-round draft pick since 2019.
Now, the Irish have to move on without their All-American safety, but luckily for them, they are replacing Hamilton with an All-American in his own right. Brandon Joseph came over to the Irish as a transfer, and when all is said and done, he could be the difference between this team being good and being CFP-worthy.
At Northwestern, he was a ball-hawking safety who terrorized Big Ten opponents. Now, with Marcus Freeman as his head coach, the sky is the limit for him.
Notre Dame football needs a major impact from Joseph
With Hamilton gone, and questions at cornerback, Joseph will need to make an even bigger impact than Hamilton did in his final season in South Bend. Remember, Hamilton missed a ton of time due to injury and did not play in the Fiesta Bowl, where the defense was shredded by Oklahoma State.
Joseph has done it before, racking up nine interceptions across the last two seasons, including six during the 2020 campaign. Hamilton had eight interceptions across three seasons, but in all honesty, that was because teams shied away from him.
The Notre Dame football program is seemingly landing elite talent every day, this time, they bolstered the 2024 class with a DL from New Jersey.
The truth is, Joseph is on a one-year rental, as he is projected to go in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, and could be the first safety off the board. For the Irish, he needs to stay healthy and be the captain of this secondary, because this defense could be special, and will have to show in Week 1 against Ohio State that they can stop any potential threats.
To do so, Joseph has to have a major impact.