Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 26, 2022*

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

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14 NOV. 26, 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY PATRICK ENGEL B raden Lenzy will not admon- ish you for thinking it, because he acknowledges it himself. His look-what-I-found magic act of a touchdown catch in Notre Dame's win over Navy Nov. 12 did, indeed, re- quire a bit of fortune. It also demanded concentration, grip strength and timing down to the mil- lisecond. But any play where a receiver pulls a football from behind a defender's back with no sight line after pinning it between the sides of his hands involves some guesswork. He had a plan of attack as he tracked the ball, and then left it to chance. "I placed my hands where I thought the ball would land," Lenzy said. "Between that and his back, I was able to kind of catch it, re-grip it and move it with my right hand. A lot of luck, but a lot of prac- tice that allowed the luck to happen. I don't know if I'll ever replicate that." Godspeed to anyone who tries. "It was the best catch I've ever seen in person," Notre Dame offensive coor- dinator Tommy Rees said. A play where Lenzy initially dusted a defensive back turned into a contested- catch situation because a free rusher on a blitz disrupted quarterback Drew Pyne's timing. Pyne evaded the rusher and lofted the throw to Lenzy, who kept running even though the play didn't go as planned. There might be no better metaphor for his graduate season. Or his Notre Dame career. The speedy wide receiver who ap- peared on the verge of stardom in 2019 but never quite took off is now a fre- quent blocker in an offense that is un- ashamedly run-first. It has left Lenzy on the periphery as an oft-impounded deep threat with limited chances. He is playing a role he may not have envisioned in another year Lenzy made a miraculous touchdown catch against Navy after two straight games without a reception. PHOTO BY TAVAN SMITH A WINNING ATTITUDE In a season of sacrifice, wide receiver Braden Lenzy has maintained a team-first approach

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