Notre Dame football ready to welcome Vyper back to the field

Cole Mullins has missed quite a bit of Notre Dame football time with injuries but he's looking forward to getting back on the field in 2024.

A Notre Dame Fighting Irish football helmet is shown during a media press conference Thursday, Dec.
A Notre Dame Fighting Irish football helmet is shown during a media press conference Thursday, Dec. / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA
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While he's been a member of the Notre Dame football for over a year now, Cole Mullins hasn't been able to step foot on the field for the Fighting Irish yet. He's hoping that's going to change this fall. First he's got to show that he's ready to go when spring practice opens. Of course, that's still an open question.

The 6-foot-4, 239-pounder broke his fibula and then also injured his ankle in the back in 2022, which meant Mullins couldn’t play his final season for Mill Creek, Georgia. Some prospects might have let them get them down, but Mullins recently talked to Irish Sports Daily about the experience.

“I’m not 100 percent going full speed,” Mullins said. “You can tell it’s not the same as when I’m healthy for my ankle, but in the weight room, I’m 100 percent. I’m doing all the workouts, as much as I can.” 

Currently, he expects to be 100 percent for spring practice. He wants to play in the Blue-Gold game. But it's going to be baby steps to that moment and then baby steps afterward. He know he has to be careful and take things carefully.

Notre Dame football ready to welcome Vyper back to the field

Mullins admitted in that same interview that things haven't always been smooth. Especially when he first suffered the injury and it was clear he was going to miss some serious time.

“Mentally, it was rough for the first week,” Mullins told the site. “More disappointed because there was nothing I could do about it. Physically, it was tough for the first two or three months because I couldn’t do anything moving-wise. That was tough. I’m at a point now where I’m confident going out on the field. There is still some pain, but it’s not bad.” 

For now, Mullins is going to start his Notre Dame football career at Vyper. Should everything work out and he's able to put some weight on his frame, he'll be moving over to Edge. Either way, he's someone who can rush the passer. Mullins tallied 11 sacks and 18.0 tackles for loss over his sophomore and junior years.

Notre Dame football hopes he can contribute in 2024. If he can, he could turn into a bit of a secret weapon.