Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame WR Braden Lenzy Embraced Growth This Fall

January 3, 2019
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Notre Dame receiver Braden Lenzy will be the first to admit he wanted to play this fall as a freshman, but he’ll also be the first to say redshirting benefitted his game. 

Lenzy spent this fall on scout team and embraced helping Notre Dame’s defense get quality looks all fall to prepare for its opponent.

“It’s been a lot of learning,” Lenzy told Irish Sports Daily at the Cotton Bowl’s Media Day. “It’s been truly exciting being part of a 12-0 team. I came in aspiring to play, but I quickly had to change my thought of mind so I could help out the defense week in and week out. I had to study the other team to give our defense the best look to keep the undefeated season going.” 

The Oregon native will also admit it wasn’t easy not seeing the field, but Lenzy knows his patience and work ethic will pay off. 

“Looking back some nights were tough, but as a football player, I’ve grown tremendously,” Lenzy explained. “I have better route running, skills and technique.

“Getting experience in a college environment and being part of this special team has been special, to say the least.” 

Lenzy also was transparent in the fact he wasn’t perfect in fall camp and part of that was about adding weight to play bigger. He’s gained over 15 pounds since June and is looking forward to showing it off this spring.

“Weight wasn’t too much of a concern if I came in doing everything perfectly, but that wasn’t necessarily the case,” stated Lenzy. “It was impacting catching at times - just through contact. It was about contact catching and gaining weight, which was answered by maturing of the body.  

“Gaining 16 pounds and being at 182 will be helpful going into spring ball. I’ve probably gotten even faster but getting bigger will combine with my new football knowledge to be a testament to my skill development.” 

The 6-foot, 182-pounder also noticed a change in competition once he got to Notre Dame.

“The biggest change was the length and size of people,” Lenzy said. “It wasn’t even the contact but the difference of moving around on the field and the gaps that close faster than in high school, especially coming from Oregon.”

Another area of improvement from Lenzy has been on the mental side. 

Lenzy has worked hard to understand defensive coverages so he can adjust his routes to put himself in a position to get the football. 

“Reading defenses, whether it be Cover 1, Cover 2 or Cover 3,” Lenzy said of his strides mentally. “There are different ways to run a route based off the coverage. For specific routes, you need to stem. I was in a lot of Wildcat and did other things in high school, so I didn’t get a lot of the extra offensive skills that others had learned already. 

“I think I was couple steps behind in that sense. After a while, I got the hang of it and now it’s about perfecting my craft and getting better each day.” 

Lenzy’s elite speed and growth as a football player should make things extremely competitive this spring not only on the football field but also the track. 

“I feel like I’m one to reckon with my speed,” said Lenzy. “I feel like outside of probably Troy (Pride Jr.), Mike Young and (Lawrence) Keys - we’re kind of in our own speed class. I still feel like I’m the fastest on the field.

“I get a week off from football and then I’ll be back to run track.” 

 
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