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Notre Dame Football

Spring Ball Preview | Running Back

February 14, 2022
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The torch is being passed this spring at the running back position in multiple ways for Notre Dame. Lance Taylor has moved on and has been replaced by the highly respected Deland McCullough. Kyren Williams is gone as well and the process to replace him already started in the Fiesta Bowl.

That was when Chris Tyree got his first start and though he didn’t have a heavy workload as a runner, he made a significant impact as a receiving threat finishing with over 100-yards in the game.

It was an important game for Tyree after the second half of the season saw him struggling with a painful turf toe injury that held him out or limited his snaps. The healthiest he was all season was when the offensive line was discombobulated and there were no holes to run through.

The blocking will be much better this spring and being fully healthy should allow him an opportunity to step forward to see if he can grab hold of the RB1 spot this season. Everyone knows he has explosive ability, but he needs to establish that Kyren Williams level consistency on every run.

He’ll have to contend with Logan Diggs who flashed in a big way last summer and proved he was ready to be featured more when given carries as a freshman. His patience, balance, and ability to make yards after contact helped make him a factor as a runner. It was only on 52 carries, but his average yards after contact was 3.31, which matched Williams’ average in 2020.

Those traits are also why it would be unsurprising if he emerged as a lead back this spring. He’s a confident young man and we may see more runs like the one where he hurdled a defender against Virginia. He did the same kind of thing in high school too.

Audric Estime only played a limited amount of snaps, but the buzz about him in the summer and what he showed in his six carries against Georgia Tech have Notre Dame fans excited about him. He’s certainly a candidate to have a breakout spring and a three-headed monster at running back could be a possibility this season if Estime makes a leap.

What should we expect from C’Bo Flemister this spring? I think many expected that he would have been exploring the transfer portal after a season where he was injured to end it and was in the coaches doghouse to begin it.

He gained fans with his running style during the 2020 season and proved he is capable of providing quality contributions in every aspect as a back, but he will need to have a great spring to enter back into the mix.

Having a new position coach will at least give him a chance to make another first impression.

Early enrollee Jadarian Price is walking into a situation where the competition is stiff in front of him, but his talent might be enough for him to enter the chat. He had a prolific senior season where he showed he could consistently produce explosive runs.

Doing the little things will matter as he evolves as a player, but if he can turn his heads with a few big runs this spring, then he might be able to force the issue and get on the field this fall.

 
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