Tommy Rees, Notre Dame alum and former quarterback.
Tyler Buchner was recently announced as the starter by Marcus Freeman, with Drew Pyne as his backup. The sophomore is not very experienced throwing the football with only 35 attempts in 2021. Of those attempts, Buchner completed 21 for 298 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. He was primarily used as a runner by the Irish with 46 attempts for 336 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is a bit on the smaller side as he is listed at 6’1” and 215lbs, but he is a capable athlete and definitely has shown dangerous legs and good athleticism. He moves well and I would say he has a good arm. We will have to wait and see how he is as a college passer, but I would expect him to improve as the year goes on. It will be a tall order for him to come out to the Shoe and win week one.
Chris Tyree will be the lead back for 2022 after the departure of Kyren Williams. Tyree, a junior, has a combined 129 carries and 718 yards with 5 touchdowns for his career. The Irish also got Tyree involved in the passing game to the tune of 32 catches for 323 yards and 2 touchdowns. I think Tyree has some quality traits and will probably have good production. I think he is probably a “good” back at a national level, but he is a rung or two below guys like Bijan Robinson and Trey Henderson. True freshman Jadarian Price has reportedly had a good camp and could steal a few carries as the season rolls.
The Irish receiver room has, unfortunately, been decimated by injuries. Avery Davis, arguably their top returning receiver, is dealing with an injury that will force him to miss the Ohio State game week one and the rest of the season. Lorenzo Styles will the one carrying the load at the receiver spot. Styles, brother of Sonny Styles, is a very good athlete with some legitimate explosion. He is probably the most talented guy in the room, especially with Davis hobbled. Beyond Styles, Braden Lenzy, Jayden Thomas, and Joe Wilkins Jr. will all be in the rotation.
The tight end room houses the headliner of the Notre Dame offense, Michael Mayer. Mayer is more than likely a first round tight end and he is probably the best the Irish have had at the position since Tyler Eifert. The junior stands at 6’4” and 251lbs and will present a big challenge to the Ohio State defense. Mayer is a big target with good speed and he is very tough to bring down in the open field. With the ball in his hands, he is very physical and it is important for teams to bang him around a bit at the line of scrimmage and play physical with him if they want to contain him as much as possible. In terms of depth and heavier personnel sets, Mitchell Evans appears to be the second tight end and will play a lot.
The legendary Harry Hiestand is back to coach the Notre Dame offensive line, and one better believe that this group will be well coached, big, and very physical in 2022. This will be a very big offensive line averaging about 315lbs across the board. Sophomore tackle, Blake Fisher, will be the starting right tackle, and while he is very highly regarded, he does not have a lot of experience. Bookending him on the left will be fellow sophomore, Joe Alt. Experienced fifth-year senior, Jarrett Patterson, suffered an injury which resulted in him moving to left guard. Junior, Zeke Correll will be the starting center. Sixth-year senior, Josh Lugg will be the starting right guard. The line is a good blend of talent and experience, and with Hiestand in charge, they will be a formidable adversary for the Buckeye defensive line.
The Notre Dame offense projects to be a good unit for 2022. Their run game will fairly strong, especially with Buchner’s ability to move and scramble. They present a good challenge to the new-look Ohio State defense, as they will try to come out and run the ball early and often, which will force the Buckeyes to answer some questions very quickly.