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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame Fall Camp Preview | Running Back

August 2, 2022
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Notre Dame went from a potential embarrassment of riches in the backfield to a razor thin depth chart in the span of a couple of months. It’s an unfortunate situation for fall camp, but one that could have been worse if they didn’t decide to add Gi’Bran Payne to the 2022 recruiting class earlier in the spring.

Despite looking very good moving around in some clips he shared, Logan Diggs isn’t someone who is likely to see any kind of contact in camp or early in the season until his shoulder is fully healed. He’ll be back during the season and that will help the depth chart a lot.

The Irish unfortunately won’t have JD Price in the backfield this fall after he tore his Achilles earlier this summer. He was looking like he could make an instant impact, but it will have to wait until 2023.

With no Diggs and no Price, that leaves three scholarship backs for fall camp with Chris Tyree leading the way. Now is the time for Tyree to prove he can be an RB1, but the staff has to also be careful to not overwork him.

Will that mean we see a little bit less of Tyree in the Kyren Williams role as a receiver? It could be the case in camp, though, that is something he will likely be doing a lot of when they start playing on Saturdays.

The line has improved. He should be healthy. It would be a great sign for the offense if Tyree is one of the stars of camp.

It’s almost impossible to find a Notre Dame who isn’t excited about Audric Estime’s potential. Like Robert Hughes, Estime is getting the inevitable Jerome Bettis comparisons because of his size and physical style as a runner.

Those comparisons are a bit unfair, Jerome Bettis has proven to be one of one as a runner, but Estime should get plenty of carries in camp to show whether or not he can justify being mentioned with such a great player. How Estime does in blitz pickup and other areas will be just as important because he could be one snap away from having to play an even bigger role.

No one can be sure what to expect from Payne, a player whose talents earned him elite offers as a recruit. He hasn’t been healthy the last two seasons in high school and Notre Dame needs him to be, even if it’s just until Diggs is back.

Payne was a late addition to the class who would have been fifth on the depth chart to start camp. He’s now third by default. Though it might not seem likely he stays there or ascends this season, he could even get some looks with the ones this summer to prove whether or not he can contribute in 2022.

Fans will be on pins and needles hoping that the backfield in general can stay healthy throughout camp, but Tyree and Estime emerging as a thunder and lightning combination would be a massive development for Notre Dame’s offense heading into the season. Notre Dame 20oz Tumbler

 
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