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

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM PRESEASON 2022 23 Dame's passing game afloat this fall. He set program records for a tight end in single-season catches (71), receiv- ing yards (840) and touchdowns (7) as a sophomore. He could be the Irish's all-time leader in all three categories at the end of his junior season, which will likely be his last in blue and gold. The NFL is calling. 3. DE ISAIAH FOSKEY Foskey came back for his senior sea- son in part to improve his draft stock from the Day 2 projection he had last year. His stated goal is to be a more complete defensive end this year and create more havoc against the run. If he does and puts forth similar pass- rush production to 2021 (11 sacks), he's likely looking at an All-America season as part of a dominant Irish defensive line. 4. WR LORENZO STYLES The highest-ranking underclassman on this list, Styles could have just as much of an impact on the Notre Dame passing game as Mayer. He flashed that potential in the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State, when he reeled in 8 receptions for 136 yards and a score. Styles fin- ished the season with 2 4 c a tc h e s f o r 344 yards and 1 to u c h d o w n despite start- ing just four ga m e s a s a true freshman in 2021. He is expected to be a starter from Game 1 in 2022, so imagine how much those numbers could inflate with 12 games worth of first-team reps. The 6-1 1 /8, 195-pound sophomore is primed for a big season. 5. S BRANDON JOSEPH The former Northwestern safety isn't here to be Kyle Hamilton. That's an unfair expectation even for a senior who's a former All-American. But Notre Dame needs Joseph to be its best playmaker. The Irish lost that when Ham- ilton declared for the NFL Draft last winter. Joseph's 9 inter- ceptions in 19 games the last two sea- sons are proof he has playmaking po- tential — probably more than anyone else in the secondary. 6. OG JARRETT PATTERSON Three-year starting centers are rarely asked to vacate their post. But the Notre Dame coaching staff requested Patter- son slide from center to left guard this offseason, and he happily obliged. Patterson has not allowed a single sack in 1,306 career pass-blocking snaps per Pro Football Focus. That might be a harder streak to maintain at left guard, but if anybody is up for the task it's the graduate student from Laguna Hills, Calif. Patterson is on pace to be the first Irish offensive lineman to surpass 40 career starts since Zack Martin (52 from 2010-13). 7. OT JOE ALT Alt established himself as Notre Dame's blind-side protector as a fresh- man last year, starting the final eight games and surrendering just 9 pressures in that span. He has high-round NFL Draft pick potential. How close he gets to it this season will help determine how much Notre Dame's line improves from its bumpy 2021. If he goes from good to great, chances are Notre Dame's line will be great too. 8. CB CAM HART According to The Athletic's Bruce Feldman, Hart is one of college foot- ball's top 100 "freaks" in 2022. He's a player who generates " buzz" for his "unique physical abilities" per Feldman. At 6-foot-2½, Hart is the tallest cor- ner on the Notre Dame roster. He pos- sesses length NFL scouts yearn for. The senior from Baltimore paced the Irish with 7 passes broken up last season, and he also picked off 2 passes. Fully dis- playing his "freakish" potential, he led all Notre Dame defensive backs with 4.5 tackles for loss. 9. RB CHRIS TYREE This might be high for a running back who isn't likely to occupy the every- down role Kyren Williams had last year, but Tyree is Notre Dame's best home- Sophomore left tackle Joe Alt provided an element of stability along the offensive line in 2021 when Notre Dame desperately needed it. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

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