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Notre Dame Football

Defensive Notebook | Kyle Hamilton and Howard Cross III

October 22, 2021

Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton and defensive lineman Howard Cross III spoke following Tuesday's practice. 

Kyle Hamilton 
On the bye week:
"It was good. Everybody kind of did their own thing. Some people went home and some people went to visit friends and some people stayed here. 

"Right at the six game mark, it was important for us to have a mental and physical break. I think we really needed it. We lost to Cincinnati, but I think we're sitting pretty well at 5-1 at the bye week and I think that only charges us up to go 6-0 going forward." 

On being fresh the final six games:
"It's a long season mentally as much as physically. A lot of the young guys and the older guys need that time off to rejuvenate and have a good second half. 

"Last season, we didn't really have a bye week and everything going around us was exhausting. By the end of the season, we were all burnt out. I feel this break is really good for us and gives us energy down the home stretch." 

On USC WR Drake London:
"Someone said today it's kind of like looking in the mirror. We're kind of the same height and same weight. He's really athletic and can high point balls. He's a good route runner. He knows how to use his body - he's a big receiver and he doesn't let that slow him down. He doesn't really have any weaknesses. They love to get the ball to him and he has like 60 catches in six games. 

"He's a really good receiver and he's a problem. Hopefully, we can solve it and our game plan is definitely centered around him and how we can stop him and their offense." 

On who London reminds him of:
"He reminds me of the receiver they used to have, Michael Pittman. Maybe like a Keenan Allen. Not a burner, but he's still fast enough and he catches everything. He's someone they rely on." 

On what he's learned from the first 10 episodes of Inside the Garage Podcast:
"I think it's good for us as roommates and friends. We're all about to be seniors and it's kind of flown by. Having this time once a week, an hour to sit down with my friends to talk about stuff we won't talk about and decompress and get away from football, even though we're talking about it, is something fun we've established. That was 10 going on 11 and had some guests on. I think it can really be a long-term thing for us and I think we all appreciate the time we get to spend with each other." 

On young guys standing out:
"DBs, Philip Riley, Ryan Barnes, Ramon (Henderson) has been playing a lot for us. TaRiq (Bracy) isn't a young guy, but I think he's really stepped into his role this year. Clarence (Lewis) is really good. 

"On the offensive side, Lorenzo Styles, Deion Colzie, Jayden Thomas, all the receivers. They stepped in and they've delivered. Even if they haven't got a lot of balls thrown to them, they've been doing really well in practice and getting a lot of reps in practice. I think the future is really bright." 

On WR Lorenzo Styles:
"Lorenzo is super fast. When he first got here, I think he was really raw. He's gotten a lot more technical in his route running. Speed at the end of the day, it's really hard to keep up with him even if you know he's running a post or a go. He's really, really fast. He's really confident too. I think at that position and at DB, confidence is probably the most important thing." 

On USC game:
"We're definitely blessed to play USC again. It's one of the biggest, if not the biggest, college football rivalry in the country. Playing them at home twice and not having to go out to Cali and having them come here and it's supposed to be a little cold - we get to play them in that environment.

"I think it'll be good for everybody. Guys last year haven't been able to experience the rivalry and guys this year are looking forward to it. That's the reason they came here to play in big games like that. No matter what the two teams ranked or what everyone on the outside is saying, we know it's going to be a good game. They're going to bring their A-game and we are too. I think it'll be a good game and it'll be a cool experience for everyone on the team." 

Howard Cross III
On playing 1-Tech:

"I'm extremely comfortable. It's kind of the same as defensive tackle, so it wasn't too much of a transition. When I got through one or two games, I was 100 percent in on it." 

On learning from Kurt Hinish:
"When I first came into nose guard, I completely focused on what Kurt was doing - coming off the ball, using his hands and the sheer physicality of how and when he does that. The biggest thing with Kurt was finishing to the ball. He would hit somebody, shed them and run to the ball. It would be a full sprint to the ball and that's something I was really focused on." 

On not objecting to a move back to 3-Tech:
"No (laughs). It's a lot more freedom and not many double teams, but wherever I get to play more." 

On USC rivalry:
"A rivalry game is a new atmosphere. It's bigger and everyone is excited - fans and players included. The biggest thing is to calm down and do what you've been doing for however many games you've been playing. It's not different. Do what you've been taught and do what you can do and go and get production." 

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