The Notre Dame football team is only weeks away from taking on Ohio State in Week 1 of the college football season, and here are some fall practice takeaways.
We are in full swing when it comes to fall practice for the Notre Dame football program, and some things have stood out so far. The Irish have had to deal with numerous injuries, have position battles raging, and all the while, are preparing to battle it out against one of the best teams in the country in Week 1.
Here are some early takeaways from fall practice.
Notre Dame football: Early takeaways from 2022 fall practice
Wide Receiver could be a problem
We start on the offensive side of the ball, where the wide receiver group could be a real problem for the Irish this season. Sure, they have some elite talent there, including true sophomore Lorenzo Styles Jr., but do they have enough to navigate a tough 2022 schedule at the position?
Losing Avery Davis in recent weeks is a tough blow, as is leaning on a player with so few games under their belt to be the WR1. However, the group does have a lot of talent, including Braden Lenzy, Deion Colzie, and Jayden Thomas behind Styles, so let us wait until this all plays out before we start to worry.
The Offensive Line is going to be special
Even despite the injury to Jarrett Patterson, this offensive line for the Irish is going to be a special group in 2022. It remains to be seen whether or not Patterson returns in time for the Ohio State game, but even if he doesn’t, he will return soon after.
With Patterson healthy, the Irish have arguably the best offensive line in the entire country, and that is going to help them in a big way with Tyler Buchner starting at quarterback for the first time this season. If they can get the kind of push they got down the stretch in 2021, you can expect big things from this line in 2022.
The defense should be elite in the secondary
The Notre Dame football team should be outstanding on the defensive side of the ball, and the defense has a real chance to do something special in 2022. Brandon Joseph comes in via Northwestern to take over for the loss of Kyle Hamilton, and at cornerback, Cam Hart, Clarence Lewis, and TaRiq Bracy are a veteran group that should gel in a big way this season.
However, while there are solid starters, the depth is there as well, something the Irish have not had in some time. Teams are going to try and throw on this defense, but with a strong pass rush, and talented defensive backs, that could prove problematic for them in the long run.
Marcus Freeman taking the program to new heights
Since taking over as head coach, Marcus Freeman has breathed new life into this Notre Dame football program, and I believe, the sky is the limit with him. He has changed the way the Irish do business in terms of recruiting, bringing in some of the better classes in the country, and his demeanor has rubbed off on the team.
The Irish are loose, talented, and ready to take on a daunting 2022 schedule, and that is a reflection of the way Freeman presents himself every day around this team.
The Notre Dame football team is losing their feature back in Kyren Williams, but a strong group is ready to take over and lead the team into this new era.
The Ohio State matchup is less than two weeks away, and we will get a better gauge of how good this team is going to be after that one. Notre Dame football is certainly on the rise under Freeman, and it is not out of the question to feel that they could be national title contenders as soon as next season, possibly even this year.