Notre Dame 2022 Depth Chart: Irish loading up

Notre Dame 2022 Depth Chart
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The Notre Dame 2022 depth chart is a huge topic right now for Irish fans. With newly hired Marcus Freeman entering his first full season as head coach, Notre Dame is poised for a big year. In the days following their devastating Fiesta Bowl loss, a bevy of Irish players elected to return for an additional year. So with a few key departures, and plenty of big names returning, where does the Notre Dame 2022 depth chart look like right now. 

Notre Dame 2022 Depth Chart: Offense

Quarterback: Tyler Buchner OR Drew Pyne, Steve Angeli

This is a two-man race for the starting spot between Tyler Buchner and Drew Pyne. The two attempted near identical amounts of passes – 36 for Buchner and 30 for Pyne. However, Buchner’s contributions were more spread out, as he played a change-of-pace role throughout the year. Pyne attempted all 30 passes against Wisconsin and Cincinnati as he briefly fought for the starting position. Both are former four-star recruits and are candidates to start for the Irish next season. A four-star freshman, Steve Angeli should slot in as the #3 signal-caller. 

Running Back: Logan Diggs OR Chris Tyree, Audric Estime

At this point, there’s no reason to believe the Irish will go away from their Fiesta Bowl rotation of backs. Audric Estime could work his way into a more pivotal role, but for now, expect Logan Diggs to be the featured back, with  Chris Tyree as an outside the tackles or passing downs back. While C’Bo Flemister has yet to make a decision on his status next year, it likely doesn’t change the outlook. The running back room is just about set for 2022.  

Wide Receiver: Braden Lenzy, Avery Davis, Lorenzo Styles

The Irish are feeling a little more comfortable thanks to the returns of Braden Lenzy and Avery Davis. The loss of Kevin Austin hurts, but the Irish can replace his production. There may be no true #1 receiver in this group, but Lenzy, Davis and Lorenzo Styles are all solid power-5 starters. Davis has been their most consistent receiver for two seasons – prior to injury this season – and Lenzy and Styles improved throughout 2021 and put up career performances in the Fiesta Bowl.

The second-string of receivers is Joe Wilkins, Deion Colzie and Tobias Merriweather, with Jayden Thomas also in the mix. Wilkins returns from injury as an experienced role player in the second string. Colzie saw some key snaps down the stretch despite just three catches his freshman season. And Merriweather is a high-upside incoming four-star recruit that could compete for immediate targets. Thomas could also be in play for a spot in this two-deep. The Irish are limited in numbers, but every scholarship receiver could be a contributor in 2022. 

Tight End: Michael Mayer, George Takacs

This two-deep doesn’t change. Michael Mayer is almost certainly a 3-year player and first-round talent who will play one final season for the Irish. George Takacs proved to be a good blocker and a solid second tight end. The Irish will have four-star freshman Holden Staes, along with young talent, competing for limited roles and snaps as well. This position on the Notre Dame 2022 depth chart is relatively stable and doesn’t need much monitoring.

Offensive Line: Joe Alt, Andrew Kristofic, Jarrett Patterson, Josh Lugg, Blake Fisher

Talk about a major strength. The Irish return four of their five starters from the Fiesta Bowl on the offensive line. The fifth is Josh Lugg, who started all season before going down to injury in bowl season. Lugg likely slides to right guard so the Alt/Fisher tackle duo can be maintained. This is a big, talented and experienced group.

They also have plenty of options as far as the two-deep depth chart. A quartet of four-star offensive line recruits could all feasibly see some playing time as freshmen. Rocco Spindler, Zeke Correll, Tosh Baker and Pat Coogan also remain in the conversation. Notre Dame has plenty of options and depth to work with in 2022. 

Notre Dame 2022 Depth Chart: Defense

Defensive Line: Justin Ademilola, Howard Cross, Jayson Ademilola, Isaiah Foskey

This is basically the ideal situation for the Irish. It’s somewhat hypothetical, as Justin Ademilola and Isaiah Foskey both play vyper. However, Ademilola could feasibly switch to defensive end to replace Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa. Then, Jayson Ademilola stays in his spot at defensive tackle, and Cross slots in as Kurt Hinish’s replacement. Cross already got significant playing time in 2021 and should be well prepared for the role.

Jacob Lacey and Rylie Mills remain other returning options. Tyson Ford is a potential impact freshman who could fill in on the edge and interior. All three could see considerable playing time in various defensive packages. 

Linebackers: JD Bertrand, Jack Kiser, Bo Bauer

These are your starters at a fairly loaded linebacker position for Notre Dame. Jack Kiser and JD Bertrand started this year, while Bo Bauer should slot into the starting middle linebacker role. He was a havoc-causing role player backing up Drew White this season. Notre Dame is blessed with depth and options, something they didn’t really have this season. Marist Liufau is a potential starter, coming back from injury. Prince Kollie and Jordan Botehlo return and should be relevant contributors. And an elite recruiting class enters, headlined by five-star Jaylin Sneed and four-star Josh Burnham. Both could be factors early in their careers and may immediately crack the two-deep on the Notre Dame 2022 depth chart.

Cornerback: Cam Hart, Clarence Lewis

The starters here remain the same as in 2021. However, there are pivotal depth roles to be filled, especially if Tariq Bracy hits the transfer portal as is widely expected. Bracy played a significant role in Notre Dame’s nickel packages this past season. Ryan Barnes backs up Cam Hart, but he could be a candidate to fill Bracy’s role. 2021 recruit Philip Riley could also compete for minutes, as well as incoming recruit Jaden Mickey

Safety: Brandon Joseph, Houston Griffith

The Irish added some star talent in Brandon Joseph, and that keeps this position relatively stable in 2022. Houston Griffith and DJ Brown figure to compete for the second starting role. Xavier Watts and Ramon Henderson can also play supporting roles. The Irish didn’t land a 2022 safety, so Joseph will be the only new face here. 

Special Teams

Kicker: Josh Bryan

Josh Bryan hopes to continue the tradition of remarkable stability for the Irish at the kicking position. He spent 2021 backing up Jonathan Doerer. 

Punter: Bryce McFerson

The Irish landed one of the best specialist recruits in the nation, which positions them nicely to replace Jay Bramblett, who entered the transfer portal. 

Long Snapper: Michael Vinson

Michael Vinson earned a scholarship and is returning for a fifth year. It’s a nice dose of stability to a young special teams’ unit. 

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