The Notre Dame football program has a special talent in Jaden Mickey, but could he really start as a true freshman in a veteran-laded group?
Looking at the roster for the 2022 Notre Dame football team, it is clear that they have some elite talent on both sides of the ball. On defense, defensive end Isaiah Foskey has the talent to be a first round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and a veteran group of linebackers could be the best in college football.
In the secondary, the Irish have to make up for the loss of Kyle Hamilton, a dynamic safety who was the first Notre Dame football player to be selected in the first round since 2019. At cornerback, Cam Hart and Clarence Lewis return, both starters from a year ago, and Hart also has the talent to challenge to be a Day 1 pick next year.
When it comes to the cornerback position group, we have seen some players step up in a big way this offseason, and one is true freshman Jaden Mickey. In fact, Mickey has played so well that some believe he could end up starting as a true freshman, which is incredible considering Lewis is going into his third season as a starter.
Mickey was a four-star recruit coming out of California, a top-30 cornerback in the country, so the talent is there. With a few more strong weeks of practice, based on what we have seen, there is no reason why he cannot be a legitimate contender to start at least at some point during his true freshman season.
Notre Dame football to be elite on defense in 2022
The 2022 Notre Dame football team should be elite in all three levels of the defense, but against the likes of Ohio State, Clemson, and USC, all teams they play in the regular season, they have to be strong in the defensive backfield. The addition of Brandon Joseph at safety is a crucial one, as he will step in for Hamilton and is an All-American himself, but cornerback is a bit of a question mark right now.
There is still some time to figure this all out, and in the end, it would not surprise anybody if Mickey was playing with the 1s heading into the Ohio State matchup in Week 1.