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Notre Dame Football

Chris Tyree Confident, Hungry & Ready to Lead Notre Dame RB Room

August 19, 2022
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Chris Tyree has never been one to say too many words. 

As a recruit, the Virginia native didn’t say much, but Tyree always was genuine and his words had meaning. 

Tyree has a quiet confidence about him as he enters his junior year and the 5-foot-9, 197-pounder expects year three to be a significant one as he’s now the veteran in the room.

"I've been through a lot like most people have, but I haven't had the career I wanted to have my first couple years,” said Tyree. “There have been some ups and downs. I understand I have to come in and basically be the same guy every day to uphold that standard we want in the room.

“I think I've been doing a pretty good job of being a good leader from the spring through this summer and throughout fall camp." 

Leadership has been a focus as Tyree brings experience to the room, but he has also made sure to focus on his game over the last eight months following an impressive Fiesta Bowl that him record over 130 yards of total offense.

"All over the place,” Tyree said of where his game has improved. “Being able to understand what I'm looking at, being disciplined with my reads, understanding what the defense is trying to do pre and post-snap. Making better decisions throughout the play - I think I've done a really good job with that throughout camp." 

And it’s not just Tyree stepping up in the room as a leader as sophomores Audric Estime and Logan Diggs have also become more vocal.

"We've been as close as we've ever been as a running back room,” Tyree said. “We understand everyone is going to have a job and role in the room. We're making sure we bring everyone along and we're all ready for week one." 

Tyree didn’t necessarily need a fresh slate coming out of 2021, but he and the other running backs got one as Deland McCullough took over for Lance Taylor. 

McCullough’s task has been to develop Tyree’s game beyond just being a player with elite speed and there has been growth in the eyes of the Notre Dame running back coach. In fact, McCullough sees parts of one of his former NFL players in Tyree. 

"Chris has a little bit of Clyde Edwards-Helaire,” stated McCullough. “He has more straight-line speed, but as far as in the box quickness, route expertise, overall feel for the game - I would put him in that Clyde category. Great contact balance, but that speed is a premium. That's something that's different." 

The expertise McCullough brings to the running back room is something Tyree has appreciated as the group is pushed every day mentally and physically. 

"With him being a running back, it's a lot easier to go through film and understand where he's coming from - even when he's asking us questions, we're explaining the questions to him,” explained Tyree. “It's really transparent because he's played the game as well. He's been good for us." 

Tyree also went to work in the weight room in the offseason as he put on good weight, which has led to him being a more efficient pass blocker, but also will make him more durable and have some pop. 

Oh, and Tyree feels he’s gotten faster with the added weight. 

"That's something I talked to my track coach back home about,” said Tyree. “He understands no matter how heavy you get, you're actually getting stronger as you get bigger. I think I've actually gotten faster even though I've gotten a little bit heavier. That's exciting for me because I can bring the speed, but I also have a little bit more force to bring as well." 

When it comes to his specific role, Tyree is open to anything and everything offensive coordinator Tommy Rees throws his way. 

Tyree will enter 2022 with 718 rushing yards, 323 receiving yards and eight total touchdowns and the chance to line up in multiple spots. 

"As a playmaker, I know I'm going to have to be all over the place,” Tyree stated. “I know Coach Rees is going to put me in positions where I can use my abilities to the best of my ability. No matter where I'm at, I'm going to be competing to the best of my ability." 

Notre Dame’s offensive line will also play a significant factor in Tyree being productive. The unit lacked consistency a year ago, but Tyree has seen significant growth under Harry Hiestand, which has him excited for the fall. 

"They've been really aggressive as you can see for yourself,” smiled Tyree. “They've been really consistent as well and I really appreciate that from the players, but Coach Hiestand as well. They also have a standard they want to uphold throughout the season and they've done a great job of setting the tone for the season." 

It’s clear Tyree’s dialed in at Notre Dame, but he’ll also have an eye back home as his twin brothers, Jon and Nick, as they enter their junior year at Thomas Dale High School. Both hold early Division I offers and Tyree expects to see their offer lists expand in the coming months. 

"It's really different in comparison to my recruitment,” said Tyree. “I started really early, but they're doing a really good job of keeping their heads down, staying persistent and knowing their time will come. I think this year is going to be really good for them. I'm really excited for them." 

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