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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame WR Braden Lenzy Looking to Show Growth

October 9, 2020

The lack of production from Notre Dame's receiving corps has been discussed to death over the last two weeks, but Braden Lenzy isn't worried about it. 

The junior receiver is confident the Irish offense has its best days ahead as the unit is becoming healthy, which includes himself getting back to 100 percent from a hamstring injury. 

"I see great things," stated Lenzy. "I'm not really concerned about numbers. We're 2-0. That sounds like a real good number to me. We have people coming back. This little break has gotten everyone healthy. I expect a lot and although not everyone's gotten too many touches in that connection with Ian (Book) yet, we've had many practices, a lot of us had years, and I'm excited to see what's going to happen because I think with an elite quarterback and an elite group, we should have the numbers.

“Right now, we're 2-0, so I'm not concerned at all." 

Lenzy isn't the only Notre Dame receiver itching to show what he can do as classmate Kevin Austin Jr. will return to the field this weekend. 

"You're going to see a star," Lenzy stated. "That's all I'm going to say."

The Oregon native has high hopes for himself in 2020 as he wants to show he's a complete receiver and not just a speed guy. 

It's been a two-year process to get to this point and Lenzy will be the first to tell you it's been tough. 

"I would say freshman year, in truth, it took me about three days to realize I wasn't ready," explained Lenzy. "I called my mom and dad and I was like, 'I'm doing the best I can. It might not happen this year.' 

"Then came into year two, didn't play in the opening game and my parents came and I was really frustrated because I thought I was going to play. At that point, my whole goal was to do whatever I can right now to play. 

"In the offseason, I wanted to become a true wide receiver. I haven't really been able to display that through spring ball, where I missed the first game and I wasn't fully healthy for USF, but my hope and my goal is for one, to see us win, but two, that I can show my development and kind of grow into myself and advance as a football player."

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has seen Lenzy's drive to improve his game and respects the work the 5-foot-11, 181-pounder has put in. 

"What I'm proud of Braden is that he has embraced the fact he wants to be more than just a guy that gets handoff sweeps," said Kelly. "He wants all of the complete passing tree. He wants to run every route that we have. 

"He's working towards that. I give him a great deal of credit for wanting to be that complete receiver. He's not there yet and he knows that, but he's working towards that. To have that kind of mindset that he wants to be that complete player, that's who I want to coach. We all want to coach guys that are aware of where they want to go and how to get there."

There isn't a lack of motivation for Lenzy and he's benefited from the advice of some of his father's colleagues, including the late Kobe Bryant. 

The Black Mamba passed on several lessons throughout the years, but Lenzy got a tip from Bryant he still uses today.

"My dad worked for him and with him for a long time," Lenzy said. "Many great stories I've heard from him. I'd say the biggest moment that I remember probably talking with him, I forget the age, but we were talking about a basketball tournament that I just had. I went over to a family friend's house and Kobe was there. 

"He asked me about the tournament. I said I was sore. He said, 'Well, did you take an ice bath?' I was like, 'No, I can't. It hurts too much. I can't take an ice bath.' He goes, 'My youngest daughter takes an ice bath.' He said, 'If you don't take an ice bath, you won't be great.' And I've taken a lot of ice baths ever since."

Irish Sports Daily
Braden Lenzy and Kobe Bryant


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