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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame RB Chris Tyree Embracing Leadership Role

March 31, 2022

Chris Tyree has suddenly gone from a sophomore running back having a big Fiesta Bowl to being the veteran leader in Deland McCullough's room. 

It's a role that's challenged Tyree as he's typically soft-spoken, but the Virginia native has also embraced it.  

"I think it's just been up to me to be more vocal," Tyree stated. "Leading by example is just one thing that a leader does. It's not what we do here. I've been pushed to become more vocal and just hold people accountable. It's been good for me so far."

Another challenge has been a sprained ankle, which has led to Notre Dame being cautious with Tyree. 

Notre Dame head football coach Marcus Freeman isn't overly concerned with it as he admitted Tyree could have practiced on Saturday, but held him out due to the number of live team reps on the schedule. 

"It's getting better," explained Tyree. "The first couple of days were really frustrating just because it's an ankle and it's really sore and swollen. It's been a process for me just getting back. I'm almost there, so that's a good thing." 

In fact, it might be a good thing for the running back room long-term as it's led to Tyree stepping up in that vocal role. 

"I think honestly being out and not getting reps has helped me a lot just because I'm not getting reps and I can't just lead by example," said Tyree. "I had to find a way to stay in that leadership role and being vocal and holding people accountable has been a few of those things. So honestly, it's been pretty easy for me because I'm not getting reps."

Notre Dame has four quality backs as early enrollee Jadarian Price has impressed halfway through spring drills. 

Tyree isn't too far removed from being a freshman and adjusting to college football, which has made him appreciate what he's seen from Price. 

"I feel like he's done a really good job of picking it up so fast," Tyree said. "He just got here a couple of months ago and he's already getting reps with the ones and playing really fast. I think it just came down to him being competitive and withholding the standard like everyone else."

And no, there isn't any jealousy in the running back room as four backs fight to replace Kyren Williams. 

It's healthy competition and there is support from Tyree down to Price. 

"I think we've grown a lot, especially the past couple months with Kyren being gone," explained Tyree. "I think we understood that everyone had to step up a little bit and now we're at the point where no matter who's in or no matter what the situation is, I think we're all gonna be good to get the job done. So, it's been good for us."

Tyree has also appreciated the ramped-up competition in practice under Freeman as it sets a strong tone for the entire year. 

"I think his standard is based on competitiveness," said Tyree. "No matter what we're doing, we're always competing against each other. I mean, it's crazy. But one big thing is competitiveness. I think another thing is just looking out for your brothers, the people next to you." 


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