Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 10, 2022*

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

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12 SEPT. 10, 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED UNDER THE DOME Six Notre Dame players will wear the "C" on their jersey this fall. Four of them will do so for the first time. Graduate student wide receiver Avery Davis, grad- uate student center Jarrett Patterson, graduate stu- dent linebacker Bo Bauer, senior linebacker JD Ber- trand, senior defensive end Isaiah Foskey and junior tight end Michael Mayer were named team captains, the Irish announced Aug. 26. Davis and Patterson earned the honor for the second straight year. It's also the second straight season that Notre Dame has named a junior a captain. Safety Kyle Hamilton served as a captain during his junior sea- son last year. Mayer is the sixth junior captain since 2014, following Hamilton, offensive tackle Robert Hainsey (2019), running back Josh Adams (2017), linebacker Jaylon Smith (2015) and defensive tackle Sheldon Day (2014). Mayer led Notre Dame in catches (71) last season, notching 840 yards and seven touchdowns. Tight ends coach Gerad Parker said he has noticed Mayer lean into a leadership role as the most experienced player at his position and a centerpiece of the of- fense, particularly since the summer. That can be tied to Mayer's June trip to Nashville to attend Tight End University, a three-day skills camp and seminar started by three current and for- mer NFL All-Pro tight ends: the Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce, the San Francisco 49ers' George Kittle and recently retired Greg Olsen. More than 80 cur- rent NFL tight ends attended this year. Mayer was one of three college tight ends invited. There, he saw up close how pros carried themselves. "He has been outspoken in a good way," Parker said. "Of course, his play helps that. But he has really made a point to be a more vocal leader and help this offense grow." Patterson's 34 starts from 2019-21 were the most among Notre Dame's returning offensive linemen. He has made all of those at center, but shifted to left guard at the beginning of preseason camp. Davis is keeping his captain's role even after a torn left ACL suffered in practice Aug. 12 ended his season and his career. He was placed on medical scholarship shortly after. He tore his right ACL last November, but recovered faster than expected and was ready for the start of camp. Davis totaled 51 catches for 708 yards and 6 touchdowns as the Irish's primary slot receiver from 2020-21. He settled in there after two seasons filled with position moves and absent much production. "You're not going to find a guy that's more respected than Avery Davis," offensive coordinator Tommy Rees said. "You want to talk about heartbreak for a program, everybody has felt that for Avery. For him to fight through everything early in his career, to find a role, own that role, be voted a captain, tear his knee, decide to come back and then for it to happen again, you can't ever justify it. "There's not a guy in this program that wouldn't do any- thing for that kid. We're going to love him and support him, and be there for him." Bertrand made a team-high 101 tackles as the Will line- backer last year after stepping into the starting lineup when Marist Liufau was lost for the season late in preseason camp. He and Bauer are splitting snaps at Mike linebacker. Bauer has been Notre Dame's nickel linebacker the last two years. He finished sixth on the team in tackles (47) last season despite playing just 354 snaps. He has been a special teams staple since his freshman year and has appeared in all 52 Irish contests the past four seasons. He entered the 2022 season needing to play 10 games to break the program record set by Kurt Hinish last year. He and Hinish used the COVID-19 bonus year to return for a fifth full season. Foskey led Notre Dame with 11 sacks last year and needs 9.5 to break the school's record, held by Justin Tuck. He bypassed the 2022 NFL Draft and Day 2 projections to return for his senior year. This is the fourth straight season Notre Dame has named at least five captains. The Irish had seven last year, five in 2020 and six in 2019. — Patrick Engel Notre Dame Football Names Six Captains For 2022 PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS

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