Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2022

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

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12 AUGUST 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED UNDER THE DOME Notre Dame might not find itself featured on a preseason All-America team more prominently all summer than the one put out by Sporting News. Sporting News, one of the five NCAA-recognized All-America team selectors — named four Irish play- ers as preseason honorees — three to its first team one to the second. Junior tight end Michael Mayer, graduate student center Jarrett Patterson and senior defensive end Isaiah Foskey were first-team selections. Senior safety Brandon Joseph was a second-team pick. Only Alabama had more first-teamers (five) than Notre Dame. The Irish's four All-Americans across the two teams are third most of any FBS program, behind Alabama (six) and Ohio State (five). Most preseason All-America teams released as of late July have given the first-team tight end spot to Georgia's Brock Bowers over Mayer, including Athlon Sports and the Walter Camp Football Foun- dation. Bowers led all Power Five tight ends in yards (882) and touchdowns (13), while averaging 15.75 yards per catch. "Mayer and … Bowers are the top returning tight ends, but we're giving the slight edge to the Notre Dame leader who put up 71 catches for 840 yards and 7 TDs last season," Sporting News' Bill Bender wrote. "Mayer was especially dominant in the Irish's last four games last year, with 26 catches on 32 targets for 347 yards and 4 TDs." Patterson has started 34 games at center over the last three seasons. Guard might be his new home this fall, but wherever he plays he is one of the coun- try's most accomplished and consistent returning interior linemen. "Patterson is arguably the most reliable offensive lineman in the FBS," Bender wrote. "He logged 918 snaps at center for the Irish, and the three-year starter has not allowed a sack for his career." Foskey's 11 sacks last season are more than all but four returning FBS defen- sive players. He also tied for the national lead in forced fumbles. "Foskey bypassed the NFL Draft for one more season with the Irish, and that's a problem for opposing offensive lines," Bender wrote. "Foskey, at 6-4 and 257 pounds, has a massive frame and used that to compile 11 sacks and 6 forced fumbles in 2021. That disruption will continue with new coach Marcus Freeman and defensive coordinator Al Golden." NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL ON AWARD WATCH LISTS As of July 26 AFCA Good Works Award: JD Bertrand Biletnikoff Award: Michael Mayer Butkus Award: Bertrand Doak Walker Award: Chris Tyree Lott Trophy: Bertrand and Brandon Joseph Mackey Award: Mayer Maxwell Award: Mayer Nagurski Trophy: Joseph and Isaiah Foskey Outland Trophy: Josh Lugg and Jarrett Patterson Rimington Award: Patterson Thorpe Award: Joseph Love them or hate them, they're coming back. Notre Dame football will wear green jerseys against Cal on Sept. 17, according to a video re- leased by the program's main Twitter account June 30. The video showed Fighting Irish head coach Marcus Freeman sitting at his desk inside the Guglielmino Athletic Complex on Notre Dame's campus. He read tweets from fans complaining about how Notre Dame does not wear green jerseys often enough. The first one read, "My favorite part about #IrishWearGreen is that the Irish don't wear green." Freeman chuckled, nodded his head, smiled and looked at the cam- era. "Good point," he said. Freeman read nine more similar tweets then shouted down the hall- way, "Hey Bass! Can we wear green jerseys for the Cal game?" The video then showed a graphic advertising green jerseys for the 2:30 p.m. ET kickoff for the Irish's second home game of the season. It's been settled. The Irish will indeed wear green. "For the past four seasons, when we've said, 'Irish wear green' it's been a celebration of you — the fans," Freeman said in another social media video. "And you understood the assignment. You showed up in all green, brought the energy and made Notre Dame Stadium the place to be every time we called on you. But we can't let you have all the fun." Notre Dame has a longstanding tra- dition of wearing green, of course. Of late, though, the football team has only worn them for special games such as the Shamrock Series. Green jerseys were a staple of previous generations. A 2015 article states for- mer Notre Dame coach Dan Devine's team wore them 42 straight times be- tween 1977 and 1980. Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz preferred the typical blue and white tops most commonly seen during the Brian Kelly era. If Freeman has shown anything about himself since taking over for Kelly in De- cember, though, it's that he's not afraid to push the status quo. Fans have been calling for green jerseys for quite some time, and Freeman is delivering them in what will be his fourth game overall as head coach, third of the season and second at home. It remains to be seen just how often Notre Dame will wear them. But just once is more than last year, or the two years before that. The last time Notre Dame wore green jerseys in a home game was in a 42-13 victory over Florida State on Nov. 10, 2018. If they're a hit this fall, they could become a common part of the home uniform rotation. Irish do wear green after all. — Tyler Horka SPORTING NEWS NAMES FOUR IRISH PLAYERS PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS Junior tight end Michael Mayer has consistently been recognized as a preseason All-American this summer. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER The last time the Fighting Irish wore green jerseys was during a 42-13 vic- tory over Florida State on Nov. 10, 2018. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA NOTRE DAME TO WEAR GREEN JERSEYS FOR CALIFORNIA GAME

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