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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame CB TaRiq Bracy Seeing Added Weight Pay Off

October 16, 2020

TaRiq Bracy knew he had to add weight when he arrived in South Bend. 

The junior cornerback has worked hard at adding weight over the last two years, and head coach Brian Kelly has seen Bracy's effort to do just that. 

"He got stronger," stated Kelly on Monday. "One of the things that was priority No. 1 was we felt like he needed to be a little bit more explosive out of his break. He got his weight up to over 180 pounds. He got stronger in his lower body and his ability to break on the football." 

Bracy has added more meals and snacks to his daily routine, which allowed him to get over 180 pounds. 

"It was a problem for me to put on weight early on," explained Bracy. "I got with the nutrition staff and Coach Balis. They really helped me put on the weight I needed and I'm looking to put on more weight. I've made a huge improvement since my freshman year." 

The added weight has translated to Bracy being a stronger player and Kelly highlighted a play against Florida State where the California native flashed his newfound strength. 

"I'll give you an example in the game, his one-on-one tackle on a big, physical back coming out of the backfield where he was able to neutralize, flatten out that back and run him out of bounds," Kelly explained. "TaRiq would have struggled with that; he probably would have went for a low tackle on that at the ankles last year. This year he feels a lot more confident in his ability to physically neutralize a bigger opponent in that instance. We feel really good about the progress that he's made from mostly a physical standpoint."

When it comes to Florida State, the Irish defense knows they didn't play to their standard. 
"We just trying to stay focused play in and play out for the duration of practice and know what our assignment is," said Bracy. "We're trying to stay on top of everything."

COVID protocols impacted the defense, but Bracy and his teammates aren't using that as an excuse, even if it might be extremely relevant. 

"When you get away from football for a few days or weeks, you're not going to play the same at first," stated Bracy. "Once we got into the game, we started to get a rhythm and we were able to win the game."

Notre Dame will now head into the meat of its 2020 schedule and Bracy will be counted on to stop explosive Louisville receiver Tutu Atwell this weekend. 

Bracy has full confidence in himself to win matchups with Atwell and other top receivers coming down the line. 

"Having a high football IQ and I like to pride myself on being able to guard receiver and become a shutdown corner," Bracy said. 

"I played baseball in high school, so I was able to flip my hips pretty fluidly playing centerfield. I think that translated to playing field corner." 

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