Notre Dame Football

Hard Work Paying Off For Tommy Kraemer

April 8, 2019

Notre Dame offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer made the move to right guard last spring and it came with much excitement as he would be able to team up with Robert Hainsey at right tackle for years to come. 

The 6-foot-6, 319-pounder admits he struggled to start the year and combined with an ankle injury, but he rebounded to finish the second half of the season with momentum. 

Offensive coordinator Chip Long challenged Kraemer to work this offseason to become a better player in space as the Cincinnati native wasn’t able to pull with consistency at times in the fall. 

“He had to move better,” Long stated. “I like to pull our guys and we weren’t very good last year. I don’t want to lose that part of our offense. If he wanted to be a guy, he needed to do it. 

“He’s much more confident. He’s stronger with another offseason in the weight room. The way he’s bouncing around out there is way better than he was when he struggled during the middle of the year. It’s been a great move for him.”

Kraemer will be the first to agree with Long’s assessment and put in the work this offseason. The former five-star prospect is heavier than last fall but is moving quicker, which is an excellent omen for the Irish.

“I actually gained a couple of pounds,” Kraemer stated. “I changed my body composition and worked on my speed. I’m able to move better. Last season, I just wasn’t able to move on the perimeter. I completely changed that this offseason with Coach (Matt) Balis and I’m pretty happy with where I’m at.”  

Putting in the work is one thing, but transferring it to the field is the true test. Kraemer was very confident his work has translated this spring and will get to show the nation on Saturday. 

“I wanted to play with speed,” explained Kraemer. “I wanted to work on my feet and hands to be confident. I want to be the guy out there. I don’t want to be timid and I just want to attack.” 

Heading into his senior year, Kraemer has also taken on a leadership role in the offensive line room. Kraemer isn’t going to be the most vocal, but he’s been tasked with bringing along four offensive line early enrollees this spring.

“It’s really impressive,” Kraemer said of the new additions. “I can’t imagine coming in when you’re supposed to be a high school senior and competing with the best in the country in the classroom and the field. It’s been impressive to see.” 

What’s the next step for Quinn Carroll, Zeke Correll, Andrew Kristofic and John Olmstead? 

“I would say continuing to get into the offense,” stated Kraemer. “Know the calls and know what will happen when defenses are lined up in different ways. Other than that, they’ve done really well.” 

Kraemer is also getting used to playing next to a new center in Jarrett Patterson, who has impressed just about everyone this spring. 

“Jarrett has been awesome,” said Kraemer. “It’s really similar to playing with Sam. He picks up the calls on the run. He knows our lingo back and forth. It’s really fun playing with him and he’s doing an awesome job out there.” 

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