Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2022

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

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM AUGUST 2022 13 UNDER THE DOME "They called him Baby Gronk when he first came to South Bend, but Rob Gronkowski caught 75 passes in two seasons at Arizona and Mayer already has caught 113. He is a go-to guy at 6-foot-4, 251 pounds." — ESPN's Bill Con- nelly on identifying Notre Dame junior tight end Michael Mayer as one of his favorite college players "Fisher was the No. 1-ranked recruit out of Indiana in the 2021 class and earned a starting job right away as a true freshman. Unfortunately for him and the Irish, he suffered a meniscus injury in his first game wearing the Golden Dome, causing him to miss the regular season. …The 6-foot-6, 335-pounder moves exceptionally well for a man his size and possesses a strong punch. Unlike most at his age, he displayed advanced technique and processing in his short time on the field as a true freshman. Notre Dame has been known for being 'OLU,' and Fisher has the chance to establish himself as the next great blocker up front for the Irish as he starts at right tackle this fall." — Pro Football Focus writer Anthony Treash on including Notre Dame sophomore offensive tackle Blake Fisher among his 31 breakout candidates to watch in 2022 "When the caller ID said, 'South Bend,' the hair on the back of my head stood up. This is the place I've always dreamed about. This is the place that's always been in the front of my thoughts." — New Notre Dame baseball coach Shawn Stiffler "When they hired Coach Stiffler, he called me, and I really liked his message and what he was all about. He talked a lot about player development, saying how he was going to make us better players, which makes us a better team." — Freshman All-America pitcher Jake Findlay on why he decided to take his name out of the transfer portal and stay at Notre Dame "Notre Dame's independence has stood the test of time — through the BCS, multiple rounds of conference realignment, the past eight seasons in a four-team CFP field, and even a pandemic during which the Irish were a one-time member of the ACC in football. "Never before, though, has there been so much simultaneous change in college athletics while the Irish try to stay the same." — ESPN's Heather Dinich "They're the belle of the ball, but they want to have their own ball. They have their own ball. If the College Football Playoff doesn't get to the point where it's just the Big Ten and SEC having a playoff and every- one else is screwed, I think they're OK. I don't think they have to make a move. "Should they? Could they? Look, I've always been in favor of them keeping their independence because that's how they recruit so well. If they're just another school in the Big Ten, they're not going to be as good. NIL has changed some things." — Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel on the College Football Enquirer podcast "The Big Ten would take them today, tomorrow, five years from now, 10 years from now." — An anon- ymous conference commissioner on Notre Dame in a story by Laine Higgins in The Wall Street Journal "I know what independence means to Notre Dame. I know that if there comes a time that Notre Dame would consider moving to a conference and away from independence, I feel really good about it being the ACC." — ACC commissioner Jim Phillips THEY SAID IT THEY SAID IT "Foskey will be the centerpiece of a Notre Dame defense looking for a leader after the loss of All- American safety Kyle Hamilton to the NFL. He's ca- pable of stepping up and being not only the leader but also the focal point for opposing offenses. "'No one is touching [Alabama edge rusher] Will Anderson, but Foskey could push himself into the top 10 this year,' an NFC scout said. 'He's that naturally talented. You just don't hear about him because there are so many studs at defensive end.' "The 2023 class is shaping up to be great at defen - sive end, and Anderson is the clear-cut leader. After starring in his first season as a starter, Foskey could keep rising. He has the agility, length and power to be a force on all three downs. The sky's the limit on his 2022 season." — ESPN writer Matt Miller on Notre Dame senior defensive end Isaiah Foskey having a chance to be a top-10 pick in the NFL Draft PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER TOP TWEETS

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