Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2022

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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28 MARCH 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED per game, a high workload for an inte- rior lineman, and never wore down. 20. Chris Tyree, RB A turf toe injury essentially cost Tyree three games and lingered for more, and it came right after five games of dealing with shaky run blocking. He returned only 13 kicks this year, but one of them was a go-ahead 96-yard touchdown re- turn against Wisconsin. The reduced production might make this ranking a tad high, but circum- stances beyond his control played a part in the final numbers. 19. Avery Davis, WR Davis posted career highs in catches (27), receiving yards (386) and touch- downs (four) in nine games before tearing his ACL Nov. 6. His injury left Notre Dame with five healthy scholarship receivers. From a scholarship numbers stand- point, Davis was important. He was also a team captain who led the receivers in snaps until his injury and was steadily pro- ductive in the slot. His absence illustrated his importance as much as his presence. 18. Josh Lugg, OT Lugg started 12 games and played nearly every snap before missing the Fiesta Bowl due to a meniscus tear. He put a bumpy September behind him, allowing just five pressures in the final seven games after 16 in the first five. There's a spot in the top 20 for a tackle who plays 821 snaps. 17. Houston Griffith, S As with Lenzy, the hope with Griffith was a post-hype breakout year following his purported progress in the spring. That didn't translate into a high impact season. Griffith made 38 tackles in 13 games, a fine number, but had zero tackles for loss or passes defended. 16. Cam Hart, CB Hart emerged as needed and expected to the point where this ranking was sev- eral spots too low. He made 42 tack- les, broke up a team-best seven passes, snagged two interceptions and made four tackles for loss. Mike Singer's No. 9 preseason ranking of Hart feels most accurate in hindsight. 15. Zeke Correll, OG Here's an example of an important preseason figure because of expected opportunity who didn't emerge as needed. Correll had a starting spot locked up by the end of spring. His center-to-guard transition was bumpy, though, and junior classmate Andrew Kristofic replaced him after six starts. 14. Blake Fisher, OT If his Fiesta Bowl play was any indi- cation, this would have been too low for a rising star at a premium position. Fisher, though, played just six quarters all year due to a meniscus injury suf- fered in the opener. 13. Kurt Hinish, DT Hinish was exactly what everyone envisioned. A steady presence in the middle whose disruptive ability was un- der-appreciated. He had 28 total stops. 5.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and 10 quarterback pressures while providing his usual strong run defense and will- ingness to smash into double-teams. 12. Jack Kiser, LB Kiser was ranked here because of his move into the starting lineup at rover. As expected, he wasn't an every-down player like predecessor Jeremiah Owusu- Koramoah, but he was effective in his role. Per Pro Football Focus, he was the Notre Dame's highest-graded run defender. He played 398 snaps in 13 games, made 45 tackles, broke up five passes and returned both his interceptions for touchdowns. 11. Drew White, LB White was a valued team leader, but his production dipped a bit in 2021. His 4.58 tackles per game was his lowest figure in three years as a starter. His 4.5 tackles for loss were half his 2020 total. He reduced his missed tackles and posted better coverage numbers, but he was in the game for run defense and the occasional blitz. He had a few more bumps as a run defender than expected. All told, he's still well worth a spot in the top 20 or even the back of the top 15. 10. Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, DE The move to defensive end worked out for both parties. Notre Dame needed help at the "big end" spot and had the tackle depth to withstand moving him outside. Tagovailoa-Amosa's count- ing stats (6.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks) BGI projected that Cam Hart would have a breakout season at cornerback as a junior, and he met or exceeded those expectations with a team-high seven passes broken up and two interceptions. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

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