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Notre Dame Football

Jordan Faison Sticking to Plan & Thriving at Notre Dame

April 17, 2024

Fall camp often has many storylines, but after Notre Dame’s training camp concluded last August, Jordan Faison was a hot topic. 

The 5-foot-10, 179-pounder had impressed in various ways for three weeks. In fact, the only question was when Faison would make his Notre Dame debut. As a walk-on, the guidelines are tricky because the first snap he took in a game would put him on scholarship with Faison also playing lacrosse. 

Faison stepped on the grass for the first time in week seven against Louisville and never looked back. The Florida native caught two passes for 48 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown.

“You get on the field and it’s like the nerves are going,” Faison recalled. “As soon as the play starts, it’s like everything goes quiet. It’s kind of crazy. Being able to make the play when the ball was in the air when Sam (Hartman) threw me the ball, it was kind of like everything was in slow motion. Then you’re just saying to yourself, ‘Don’t drop this ball.’ But then after you catch it, yeah, it’s cool.”

The night might have been long for the Irish, but it catapulted Faison into the receiver rotation and the opportunity to continue to impress the staff. 

Faison capped off his freshman campaign by catching five passes for 115 yards and a score against Oregon State in the Sun Bowl. For his efforts, he was named the Sun Bowl MVP. 

That momentum has carried into the offseason. Well, Faison doesn’t really have an offseason as he’s in the middle of lacrosse season. Faison has scored 15 goals on the year, which is tied for the third-most on the team - the No. 1 ranked team in the country. 

The only downside with Faison starting for the lacrosse team is he hasn’t been able to practice as much with the football team. Marcus Freeman has made it clear he doesn’t want to overwork him, but that doesn’t mean it’s not driving Faison crazy he’s not catching passes with his guys.

”I’m itching,” said Faison. “Watching my guys make plays, I love watching them. That kind of family we have in our receiver room. Of course, being an athlete and being competitive, you want to be out on that field every second you can.” 

Faison, who has been mentioned as the fourth-best freshman in college lacrosse this season hasn’t necessarily been surprised by his success, but at the same time, he might not have been expecting to have this kind of impact. 

“I didn’t have a stick in my hands throughout the fall, so I came out there for the first practice and it was almost like I forgot how to play the sport,” Faison explained. “The guys helped me get back on track and kind of developed me. That development kind of happened rapidly. I’m very grateful for them.”

The transition to college lacrosse might look easy, as he scored three goals in his first game, but Faison is still adapting to a new level of competition, especially given the fact Florida isn’t known as an LAX hotbed. 

“The development of the game and the speed of the game is very different,” stated Faison. “For my summers, I would go up to Long Island to play my summer ball. So that definitely helped grow the game and develop the game for me. Then, obviously, getting to the D-1 level, it’s different than anything. Everything’s faster.

“The development of the game’s different. You’re going against different defenses with different schemes, so it’s a little bit harder. Coach definitely helped with the transition and being able to teach me through film.”

Faison’s ability to learn schemes and apply them to the field is important as it relates to football. Notre Dame is installing a new offense under Mike Denbrock and while Faison isn’t getting a ton of reps, he can watch and learn from observing practice or watching film. 

“It’s definitely high-powered,” Faison said of the new offense. “New playbook. Dealing with that is definitely a little difficult, but it’s a great offense. A heavy pass offense, 11 personnel a lot, which as wide receivers we can’t complain about. We’re kind of loving that.

“At slot, we’re moving around all the time with the motions, getting different matchups. I can’t complain. I’ve loved it so far.”

With his success in both sports, Faison has no plans of slowing down in the coming years. 

“At first, I didn’t think I could,” Faison explained. “After the football season, I was like, ‘Dang, this is going to be hard, especially with school.’ Going through this spring process has kind of changed my mind.

“The way the coaches are making a modified schedule for me and kind of taking a load off. Also working with the trainers to keep my body right. It’s been a big help.”

The plan has gone so well that he won’t be the only two-sport athlete at Notre Dame in his own family. Faison’s younger brother, Dylan Faison‍, committed to the Irish to play football, but he’s also the nation’s top-ranked lacrosse player by some services. 

“He’s his own player,” stated Faison. “He’s a very gifted individual. He’s coming up very well. When he was given the opportunity to come to Notre Dame, he couldn’t pass up on it.” 

And yes, there is a great deal of big brother pride as the two will be reunited in South Bend, but Faison also made it clear who the best athlete in the family is at the same time. 

“I would say so, yes,” laughed Faison when asked if he was still the best athlete between the two. “But he’s coming up.” 

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