Notre Dame football: Will the Irish have a top-10 defense in 2022?

The Notre Dame football team has elite talent on both sides of the ball, but will they be good enough on defense to be a top-10 unit?

We have officially reached the start of the 2022 college football season, as the Notre Dame football team will kick off fall practice on Friday. Hope springs eternal for the Irish, who saw many possible 2022 NFL Draft picks turn their back on the pro ranks for one more season in South Bend.

That had to be music to the ears of Marcus Freeman, a first-year head coach who is looking to continue to move the program in the right direction. He has already done a remarkable job in recruiting, and now, it is time to start stacking wins on the field.

To do so, he is going to have to get great play from his defense, as the Irish schedule is a tough road against some elite offenses. Playing the likes of Ohio State, Clemson and USC are never easy, especially not when all three could have top-10 offenses in 2022.

To counter, the Irish have to be elite on the defensive side of the ball.

Notre Dame football ranked a top-10 defense.

Over at 247Sports.com, the talented Brad Crawford put together a list of the top-10 defenses in all of college football this season. In his piece, the Irish came in at No. 10 overall, thanks to their rare blend of talent on the field, and an elite coaching unit on the sidelines.

Freeman is a former defensive coordinator who was ranked as one of the best in the game, and now as head coach, he has brought in Al Golden to run the defense. That is a terrific tandem on the sidelines, and with elite talent on the field, you have to think this is going to be a tough and dominant Irish defense.

Rankings do not mean much right now, but it is clear that if the Irish want to do something special, the defense is going to have to be one of the best in the country. Guys like Isaiah Foskey, Jayson Ademilola, and Brandon Joseph are just some of the names to watch in 2022 on a unit that could help this Irish team to a College Football Playoff berth.