Blue and Gold Illustrated


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

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24 PRESEASON 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED run threat and he will get ample car- ries. His potential receiving usage was on display in the Fiesta Bowl, when he caught 6 passes for 115 yards and 1 score. He's also slotted as the primary kick re- turner again. Even if Tyree is more of an "offensive weapon" than a running back, he will be heavily involved in the offense. His explosiveness is special. 10. OT BLAKE FISHER There aren't many players on any team who only have six quarters of football un- der their belts and could still land inside the top 10 of his program's most impor- tant players list, but Fisher is one of them. The sophomore right tackle missed almost the entirety of his true fresh- man season with a meniscus tear. He returned for the Fiesta Bowl and played all 89 snaps. The 6-6, 327-pound men- ace provides a presence on the outside of the offensive line Notre Dame can't get from anyone else. 11. DT JAYSON ADEMILOLA Ademilola was the unsung star of Notre Dame's defense last year. His workload (45.5 snaps per game) and tackle production (49, tied for fifth among Irish players) are rare outputs for an interior lineman. His 43 quarterback pressures ranked fifth among Football Bowl Subdivi- sion defensive tackles. His return for a graduate season can't be overstated. He's one of the country's better interior disruptors. 12. LB MARIST LIUFAU This might be the year Liufau finally puts it all together. No injuries, no struggles with assignments. The year he finally realizes his full potential. The 6-2¼, 235-pound senior has a ton of it. He didn't play a single snap in 2021 because of a fractured leg suffered inside of two weeks prior to the season opener, but his rehab went well and he is as physically sturdy as he's ever been. If he has mentally mastered the game, too, then this should be Liufau's season to shine at Will linebacker. 13. DE RYLIE MILLS Few players can determine Notre Dame's defensive upside more than Mills, who moved to defensive end from three-technique tackle in the spring. The junior put forth unblockable stretches during spring practice and the Blue-Gold Game and has impressive mobility for his size (6-5, 292 pounds). If those flashes turn into consistent pass-rush production, Notre Dame's defensive line might find itself firmly in the nation's elite and break the pro- gram's single-season sack record (41). 14. CB CLARENCE LEWIS Far less physically imposing than his fellow starting corner Hart, Lewis still packs a punch size-wise at a deceptive 5-11½, 203 pounds. He's the heaviest of all Notre Dame's corners. Graduate student defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola, who is returning from offseason shoulder surgery, led the Fighting Irish in quarterback pressures (43) last season. PHOTO BY BOB MYERS

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