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 19 Now, though, he's back at nose tackle — his preferred spot — and slated to replace three-year starter Kurt Hinish. More importantly, he's healthy. Correll, the likely starter at center, is not new to the starting lineup. He won the left guard spot last offseason and started six games there, but senior An- drew Kristofic replaced him midseason. The guard experiment didn't work, but Correll's chances of starting elsewhere remained intact. He played center from 2019-20 and started twice there in 2020 when Jarrett Patterson broke his foot. Succeeding Patterson in 2023 felt like the worst case. That timeline moved up when he stepped in for Patterson (torn pectoral) again this spring. He did more than fill a gap. He made his case as one of Notre Dame's best five linemen. It was convincing enough to make Notre Dame shift Patterson to guard, even he might be the country's best center. But he ought to be a high-end guard, too. Correll didn't beat out Pat- terson, per se. He simply made a case there aren't five better linemen on the roster right now and reinforced that center is his best spot. Notre Dame ad- justed the lineup accordingly. "We're going to have to find a way to get our top five on the field," head coach Marcus Freeman told Blue & Gold Illus- trated in June. SUPPLYING DEPTH Correll's resurgence means a classmate is the most likely odd man out on the of- fensive line. His play at center outshined Kristofic's at guard and poured more fuel on the idea of shifting Patterson over. It's not the start to senior year Kristofic envisioned. But he gives Notre Dame a seven-game starter off the bench who has played tackle, guard and center in his career. That's sturdy depth. He has fall camp to battle for a spot, whether that's indirectly against Correll or directly against 20-game starter and graduate student Josh Lugg. The lat- ter shifted back to guard after spending 2021 at right tackle. Like Kristofic, Cross is a backup with starting experience. He's the likely heir Defensive end Isaiah Foskey bypassed being an early entrant into the NFL Draft to take another shot at winning a national title, breaking Notre Dame's career sacks record and developing him- self into a first-round pick. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL TWITTER

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