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Notre Dame Football

Irish Have Skill Position Speed to Soften the Blow of Losing Price

June 28, 2022
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It feels strange to suggest that losing a player who hasn’t played a game for Notre Dame is a significant development for the season, but that could be the case with JD Price.

Price had people buzzing in spring as an early enrollee with his big-play ability. One of my five favorite prospects that the Irish signed in the 2022 recruiting cycle, I had him rated as a top-100 prospect in the class (no service had him higher than 166). Especially after the shoulder injury that Logan Diggs suffered in the Blue-Gold game, Price was going to play a role this year and likely one that would have seen him create explosive plays.

Adding Gi’Bran Payne helps with the depth until Diggs is able to come back at some point this fall, but it will be difficult to replace Price’s speed. Not having it now puts more pressure than ever on the one back who is faster than him, junior Chris Tyree.

Tyree had plenty of exciting moments as a true freshman, but didn’t have much of an opportunity to build on it because of the offensive line struggling early in the season and then dealing with a turf toe injury which severely limited him until late in the year. He wasn’t fully healthy again until the Fiesta Bowl, which is why his workload was far less than when he was a freshman.

He did showcase that electric potential as the RB1 against Oklahoma State. He had 115-yards receiving and averaged 19.2 yards per reception in the game. It gave a glimpse of what might come from him if healthy in 2022. While he still has plenty to prove when it comes to being a lead back, including durability after dealing with an ankle injury in the spring, he has always been a threat to produce an explosive play.

Tyree has had 10 rushes or receptions that have gone for 20-yards or more. Four of those have gone for 40-yards or more. That doesn’t even include his kickoff return he took to the house against Wisconsin. They need more of that and they’re going to have to rely on him as the primary player to produce them out of the backfield.

Tyree and Price could have been a nice one-two punch doing that and it may have even been more of 1a and 1b. Tyree is going to be relied upon even more now with Price out. He looks like the only option at running back with the kind of speed that can break a game open.

Notre Dame will need game-breaking ability at the receiver position as well. They’ll look to Lorenzo Styles Jr. to provide quite a bit of that. Styles only touched the ball 25 times as a freshman. He averaged 15.2 yards per touch and the majority of those touches came in the last seven games of the season.

A healthy Avery Davis can be more of an explosive threat from the slot than he has been and if Notre Dame can get the kind of production they did from Braden Lenzy in the 2019 season, then that completely changes the dynamic for their 2022 offense.

The speed that Price brought to the offense was going to be a factor for the Irish this fall. They do have other skill players who can make the loss feel negligible, though. It will be big for Tyree to provide a lot of those big plays, but Styles, Davis, and Lenzy can be a big help as well. Men’s Notre Dame UA Freedom Polo

 
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