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Notre Dame Football

Braden Lenzy Loving Notre Dame's New Practice Tone

December 25, 2021

Braden Lenzy has been through bowl prep at Notre Dame, but he hasn't gone through a coaching change. 

The senior receiver doesn't feel Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman has changed too much other than put his stamp on the practice plan. 

"I'd say it's been relatively similar from like an overall standpoint just with what we're doing from an everyday basis in The Gug and schedule," Lenzy stated. "The practice itself, there is a higher percentage of good-on-good, so it's been more competitive. 

"He always mentions enhancing and there is a direct correlation with that in our practices. It isn't just an on/off switch from practice to games. It really feels like we're playing ball every day."

Over the last two weeks, the good-on-good reps have been highlighted by just about everyone, which is a good sign for the program. 

"We've done a lot more of good-on-good, so I just think playing against of the DBs like Cam (Hart), TaRiq (Bracy) and all of them on a more consistent basis instead of going against the scout team or two or three," stated Lenzy. "I'm seeing the ones for half my reps in every practice now. It's good.

"It's not like we didn't go good vs. good, but there has been a statement made by Freeman. That's what he wants to do."

The opening of practice has also been talked about frequently under Freeman. Notre Dame starts practice with competition instead of the tempo drill, which gets the adrenaline flowing and relaxes the team. 

"I think it's fun," explained Lenzy. "It feels like we're playing more football. I just think the big transition from high school to college - we're serious, but we're supposed to be having fun because this is football.

"I feel that period, while it is competitive and you want to win, it's a reminder that we play this as a game growing up. It's just football. I think he's done a great job of making us feel that." 

Lenzy and the receivers also know it's important to lock in during bowl prep as Notre Dame's offense will be looking to replace Kyren Williams' production and leadership. 

"If you ask any of the receivers, we feel ready to step up," Lenzy said. "Obviously, we have a great running back room and I feel more than confident they'll do a great job. It would be naive to say there isn't a void to fill.

"I think the main focus isn't necessarily on the football portion because I think Notre Dame can reload at any position any given week. It's just what he brings as a leader and things like that. I think me and Kevin (Austin), Matt Salerno try to speak up a little bit more and actively vocal than we might have been in the past because that's the portion Kyren really brought."

As for the Fiesta Bowl, Lenzy wants to make sure the Irish come out on top as it'd be a statement sent to start the Freeman era. 

"I haven't won a New Year's Six bowl yet," said Lenzy. "I was part of the Camping World win and then we lost the two CFP games. I really want to win. It'd be huge."

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