Notre Dame Football: 5 Newcomers to Watch for the Fighting Irish (2022)

Notre Dame Football: 5 Newcomers to Watch for the Fighting Irish (1)

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish continue to maintain a program filled with top-level talent and plenty of depth across many positions. However, as such playmakers progress to playing on Sundays — with many selected in the early rounds of the NFL draft — a number of opportunities arise for freshly incoming talent to make plays. Those have been clear contributors to Notre Dame's consistent success, which has seen the Fighting Irish reach a New Year's Six bowl in four of the last six postseasons and win at least 10 games five straight campaigns.

A year after joining the coaching staff as a newcomer himself, defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman was named the program's head coach this past December following the departure of Brian Kelly. In just a couple of months since rising to the top, Freeman has assembled a staff featuring a blend of familiar faces like Tommy Rees (returning as offensive coordinator) and Harry Hiestand (re-joining as offensive line coach) as well as some new names including defensive coordinator Al Golden, special teams coordinator Brian Mason, and running backs coach Deland McCullough.

(Video) Notre Dame Top 5 Newcomers for 2022

That group will be one to watch as they look to make an impact in both their play-calling and player development. The group on the field will also feature plenty of impact players in their first season with Notre Dame — be they true freshmen arriving straight from high school or experienced players arriving via the transfer portal — en route to Freeman and his staff assembling a top-10 recruiting class despite being the head coach for just a few months. Here is a look at some of those incoming playmakers likely to make an immediate impact for the Fighting Irish in 2022 as Notre Dame seeks its sixth straight season with at least 10 wins.

Jaylen Sneed, LB

Coming to Notre Dame as one of the nation’s top recruits at linebacker with that first name — spelling aside — and a last initial of S appears quite promising for Jaylen Sneed… just ask Jaylon Smith.

Smith was one of just two 5-star prospects in Notre Dame's 2013 recruiting class, and Sneed enters as the Fighting Irish's lone 5-star in this year's crop. A top-3 recruit at his position and the No. 2 recruit from the state of South Carolina, Sneed enrolled this winter as the Irish's only top-100 enrollee (per Irish Illustrated/247Sports).

(Video) Notre Dame Fighting Irish TOP 10 Football Players for 2022

Named the 2021 winner of South Carolina's Mr. Football award — while playing both linebacker and quarterback at Hilton Head High School — and a semifinalist for the Maxwell Football Club's National High School Defensive Player of the Year Award, Sneed totaled 101 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, eight quarterback hits, one sack, two blocked punts, and two interceptions. With new head coach Marcus Freeman's extensive play-calling and player development experience on the defensive side of the ball, keep an eye on Sneed as someone with the potential to be making plays early and often while learning from experienced and talented upperclassmen including Bo Bauer, Jack Kiser and JD Bertrand.

Brandon Joseph, S

Two years after safety Isaiah Pryor joined Notre Dame as a graduate transfer from Ohio State, Joseph will similarly leave the Big Ten to join Notre Dame after three seasons with Northwestern. Joseph made a sizable jump from his four games played as a freshman in 2019 to his team-leading six interceptions as a redshirt freshman in '20. He parlayed that leap into his selection as a team captain and a preseason All-American and award watch list nomination in 2021. His in-season performance didn't quite live up to the hype, but with multiple seasons of eligibility remaining he'll aim to bounce back and prove why he was named a captain and leader on defense after just 13 career games played with the Wildcats.

One interesting note: Joseph became the first Wildcat since 2012 to collect at least 100 punt return yards in a game when he totaled 111 against FCS Indiana State last September. With Freeman indicating earlier this offseason that he intends to fill many of the roles on special teams with his starters on offense and defense, Joseph may be a name to watch, both on defense and in the return game.

(Video) Notre Dame 2022 Newcomer Latin Cha Cha First Round

Jon Sot and Bryce McFerson, P

Even if Brandon Joseph does see some playing time in the return game, he'll hardly be the only new face to watch on special teams. Retooling after the transfer of starter Jay Bramblett to LSU andthe upcoming graduation of senior walk-on Jake Rittman, Notre Dame landed a pair of punters in Sot — a Harvard graduate transfer who will be walking on — and McFerson, an incoming freshman.

Last season, Sot placed 42 percent (24 of 57) of his punts inside the 20-yard line, and eight of his punts traveled beyond 50 yards with a season-long of 67 at Holy Cross. Sot was an All-Ivy League first-team selection in 2018, '19, and '21 (2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19) with conference-leading marks in average punt distance in two of the three seasons while finishing his Harvard career as the school’s all-time leader in career punting average.

247Sports lists McFerson — from Indian Trail, North Carolina, 30 minutes southeast of Charlotte — as the No. 5 punter nationally in this class. He stands atop the punter rankings, however, produced by Chris Sailer Kicking, a nationally renowned kicking and punting instructional camp. As a senior with Metrolina Christian Academy in 2021, McFerson averaged 46 yards per punt with a long of 62 yards, and he pinned six of his punts inside the 20-yard line.

(Video) Ranking Notre Dame Football's Top 25 Players In 2022

Blake Grupe, K

Newly hired special teams coordinator Brian Mason — hailing from Zionsville, Indiana, just 130 miles directly south of Notre Dame Stadium — joins Notre Dame after five seasons with Cincinnati, four of which came alongside Freeman. The pair will not only be welcoming new punters to South Bend but likewise a new kicker, as Jon Sot isn't the only specialist transferring to Notre Dame. Grupe is a graduate transfer from Arkansas State, and he'll compete with redshirt freshman Josh Bryan for the starting kicking job.

In 47 career games for the Red Wolves, Grupe connected on just under 75 percent of his field goals, including a career-best 20-for-25 effort with a long of 50 yards as a senior in 2021. Bryan connected on an extra point in his collegiate debut, which came in Notre Dame's final home game last season against Georgia Tech.

Tobias Merriweather, WR

Merriweather follows a similar path to Jaylen Sneed thanks to both his talent and his opportunity to grow alongside a truly skilled and veteran receiving corps featuring Braden Lenzy, Joe Wilkins Jr. and Avery Davis all returning as graduate students. Merriweather arrives at Notre Dame as the No. 2 recruit (per Rivals and 247Sports) from the state of Washington, thanks in no small part to his combination of size (6-4) and track-team speed that saw him post league-best times in the 100 meters (10.95 seconds), 200 (22.01 seconds) and 400 (49.78 seconds) as a junior.

(Video) A look at the Notre Dame freshmen to watch heading into 2022 fall camp

Related: College Football's Top 20 Impact True Freshmen for 2022

Another element in Merriweather's favor is the limited roster depth ahead of him. Only eight of the 11 returning receivers from last year’s team have seen the field, while only six — Lenzy, Wilkins, Davis, Deion Colzie, Lorenzo Styles and Matt Salerno — have caught a pass. Merriweather's frame, speed and playmaking ability will be a valuable asset for quarterbacks Tyler Buchner and Drew Pyne as they look to spread the ball around in 2022.

— Written by Juan Jose Rodriguez, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a 2019 graduate of the University of Notre Dame. Rodriguez was an intern for Athlon during summer 2017 and worked for a variety of media outlets on campus, including as the Editor-in-Chief of Scholastic Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @JuanJoseRG02.

(Video) Notre Dame 2022 Newcomer Latin Cha Cha and Samba Finals


Why did Notre Dame pick the Fighting Irish? ›

The most generally accepted explanation is that the press coined the nickname as a characterization of Notre Dame athletic teams, their never-say-die fighting spirit and the Irish qualities of grit, determination and tenacity.

What channel is Notre Dame Fighting Irish on? ›

NBC holds the rights to Notre Dame home football games, meaning all but one of those contests (seven in 2022) will broadcast on both NBC and Peacock.

Was Notre Dame always the Fighting Irish? ›

As “The Fighting Irish” nickname grew in popularity, it wasn't until 1927 that the University officially accepted and supported it. The 11th President of Notre Dame, Reverend Matthew Walsh, accepted the name on behalf of the team and the rest, as they say, is history.

Is Notre Dame Irish Catholic? ›

The University of Notre Dame du Lac, known simply as Notre Dame (/ˌnoʊtərˈdeɪm/ NOH-tər-DAYM) or ND, is a private Catholic research university in Notre Dame, Indiana, outside the city of South Bend. French priest Edward Sorin founded the school in 1842.
University of Notre Dame.
Latin: Universitas Dominae Nostrae a Lacu
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Is Notre Dame mostly Irish? ›

It's true that four of the six religious who founded Notre Dame in 1842 with French priest Edward Sorin were Irish; that nearly all of Fr. Sorin's successors claim Irish descent; and that the student body has always had a strong Irish presence.

Do you have to be Catholic to go to Notre Dame? ›

All Faiths Welcome

We are a Catholic institution, but all faiths practiced within our community are welcomed and supported. Notre Dame has one of the largest campus ministry organizations in the country and our Campus Ministry serves all faiths through Masses, faith sharing groups, and retreats.

How do I watch Fighting Irish TV? ›

Fighting Irish TV is an “over the top” (OTT) video application (i.e. Peacock, Netflix, etc.) that allows you to watch on a larger screen.

Do you have to have Peacock to watch Notre Dame football? ›

This is the second year in a row one of Notre Dame's games is exclusively available on Peacock.

Where can I watch the ND game? ›

Streaming LIVE on Peacock

Catch every home game Saturdays on Peacock. Plus, get everything Peacock has to offer: hit movies and shows, tons of live sports, and more.

How many leprechauns does Notre Dame have? ›

All four leprechauns volunteer at other events to engage the Notre Dame fanbase. His favorite part of the job, though, is being a part of a team and working with the other leprechauns.

Why does nd play Navy every year? ›

To assist Notre Dame, the U.S. Navy stepped in and made Notre Dame's campus a training facility to help supplement the school's finances. Since then, Notre Dame has pledged to play the Midshipmen annually as a repayment of that debt.

What was Notre Dame called before the Fighting Irish? ›

Notre Dame competed under the nickname “Catholics” during the 1800s and became more widely known as the “Ramblers” during the early 1920s in the days of the Four Horsemen. University president Rev. Matthew Walsh, C.S.C., officially adopted “Fighting Irish” as the Notre Dame nickname in 1927.

What religion is Irish Protestant? ›

Religion. Ireland has two main religious groups. The majority of Irish are Roman Catholic, and a smaller number are Protestant (mostly Anglicans and Presbyterians). However, there is a majority of Protestants in the northern province of Ulster.

What religion is Irish Catholic? ›

The Catholic Church in Ireland (Irish: Eaglais Chaitliceach in Éireann) or Irish Catholic Church, is part of the worldwide Catholic Church in communion with the Holy See. With 3.7 million members (in the Republic of Ireland), it is the largest Christian church in Ireland.

What religion is the Irish Church? ›

The Church of Ireland is a member Church of the Anglican Communion, a family of independent Churches in full communion with each other and with the See of Canterbury.

What country has the most Irish? ›

The United States has the most people of Irish descent, while in Australia those of Irish descent are a higher percentage of the population than in any other country outside Ireland.

Where do most Irish live in France? ›

France. 30,000 Irish live in France, including more than 15,000 in Paris.

Do the Irish have Germanic DNA? ›

Perhaps the greatest shift in the DNA of Irish people happened between 500 BCE and 400 CE with the Gaels/Celts. These populations had Germanic roots, so it makes sense that the modern-day Irish would also have German ancestry.

Does Notre Dame accept Muslims? ›

We also work to provide the Muslim community with the things they need to practice their faith from prayer services to Ramadan accommodations, and learning resources. We are proud members of the Notre Dame community and we also look to create a community that is a force for good on this campus.

What is the dress code for Notre Dame? ›

No tight-fitting/ clingy pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, cargo-pants, skinny jeans, or jeans-style, low-rise pants or other external pockets are allowed. Pants should be hemmed, properly fit and worn at waist with belt. Solid dress socks (white, navy blue, gray or black) to the mid-calf or knee or tights must be worn.

Does Notre Dame favor Catholic applicants? ›

By the numbers, 80% of students at Notre Dame identify as Catholic, and 42% of students come from Catholic high schools, so being a practicing Catholic is clearly not required for admission.

How can I watch Irish TV online? ›

Best VPNs for Irish TV:
  1. NordVPN: The best VPN for Irish TV. ...
  2. Surfshark: The best budget VPN. ...
  3. ExpressVPN: Very fast speeds and consistent connections. ...
  4. CyberGhost: High-speed servers for streaming RTÉ1 and RTÉ2 lag-free. ...
  5. IPVanish: Secure all of your devices at once.
15 Jul 2022

How much is Peacock a month? ›

To access all of the content Peacock has to offer, you can sign up for a Peacock Premium subscription at $4.99 a month (+tax) or $49.99 per year (+tax).

How many Notre Dame games will only be on Peacock? ›

Notre Dame games to stream live on Peacock in 2022

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team will stream seven home games on Peacock this season.

Can I watch football on Peacock for free? ›

NBC's streaming service will give you access to several games, including all Sunday night matchups. You can get a seven-day free trial, followed by a $5 or $10 monthly charge. (The free version of Peacock does not include live sports.)

Where can I watch Notre Dame 2022? ›

How to Watch Notre Dame vs. Boston College
  • Game Day: Saturday, November 19, 2022.
  • Game Time: 2:30 PM ET.
  • TV: NBC.
  • Stadium: Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Live Stream on fuboTV: Start your free trial today!
6 days ago

How can I watch ND 2022 football? ›

Fans can watch the game for free via a trial of fuboTV or DirecTV Stream. Channel finder: Verizon Fios, AT&T U-verse, Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum/Charter, Optimum/Altice,Cox,DIRECTV, Dish, Hulu, fuboTV, Sling.

Is Notre Dame game on Amazon Prime? ›

Watch A Season With Notre Dame Football | Prime Video.

What happens if a leprechaun is caught by a human? ›

According to Irish legends, people lucky enough to find a leprechaun and capture him (or, in some stories, steal his magical ring, coin or amulet) can barter his freedom for his treasure. Leprechauns are usually said to be able to grant the person three wishes.

Where do leprechauns live in real life? ›

According to, the mythical leprechaun "can only be found in Ireland, in rural areas away from the general population," and is said to burrow in caves or the trunk of a "Fairy Tree." He's also an expert musician.

How much is leprechaun gold worth? ›

Based on current prices, a pot of gold is worth around $2 million USD! That is roughly six times what it was worth 20 years ago, though gold has generated more muted returns over the last decade.

Why is Notre Dame and Navy so close? ›

The US Navy made Notre Dame a training center for V-12 candidates and paid enough for usage of the facilities to keep the University afloat. Notre Dame has since extended an open invitation for Navy to play the Fighting Irish in football and considers the game annual repayment on a debt of honor.

Has Navy ever beaten Notre Dame? ›

On November 3, 2007, the Navy Midshipmen defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 46–44 in triple-overtime at Notre Dame's home field, Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

Do you have to be enlisted to play football for the Navy? ›

Army and Navy football: Are players in the military? When these two teams are playing in their annual matchup, they are not enlisted in any branch of the military. Rather, they are at the service academy universities as students.

What were the Irish called before Irish? ›

From as far back as the 16th century, historians taught that the Irish are the descendants of the Celts, an Iron Age people who originated in the middle of Europe and invaded Ireland somewhere between 1000 B.C. and 500 B.C.

What did the ancient Irish call Ireland? ›

Hibernia, in ancient geography, one of the names by which Ireland was known to Greek and Roman writers. Other names were Ierne, Iouernia and (H)iberio. All these are adaptations of a stem from which Erin and Eire are also derived.

What is a fight called in Ireland? ›

Also known asBata, Boiscín, Irish stick-fighting, ag imirt na maidí
Country of originIreland
Olympic sportNo

What is the most Protestant town in Ireland? ›

Drum (Irish: An Droim, meaning 'the ridge') is a village and townland in the west of County Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland. It is notable for being one of the only Protestant-majority settlements in the Republic of Ireland.

What is the most common surname in Northern Ireland? ›

1. Doherty. Topping this list of the most common surnames in Northern Ireland is Doherty. This hugely popular surname links back to a Donegal sept first discovered in the 14th century in Ireland.

Is Belfast more Catholic or Protestant? ›

These figures based on the 2021 census at district level mask wide variations on smaller scales. In the Belfast City Council and Derry and Strabane District Council areas, the figures at ward level vary from 99% Protestant to 92% Catholic.

What traits do Irish have? ›

So, what are the Irish really like? Perhaps the best description comes from the popular historian, Carl Wittke: “The so-called Irish temperament is a mixture of flaming ego, hot temper, stubbornness, great personal charm and warmth, and a wit that shines through adversity.

Which part of Ireland is mostly Catholic? ›

Ireland is split between the Republic of Ireland (predominantly Catholic) and Northern Ireland (predominantly Protestant).

What Bible does the Church of Ireland use? ›

Holy Bible New Standard Revised Version: NRSV Anglicized Edition - Church of Ireland.

What is the oldest Irish religion? ›

Ancient Celtic religion, commonly known as Celtic paganism, was the religion of the ancient Celtic peoples of Europe.

Whats the difference between Protestant and Catholic? ›

Generally speaking, Martin Luther and other Protestant reformers in the 16th century espoused the belief that salvation is attained only through faith in Jesus and his atoning sacrifice on the cross (sola fide), while Catholicism taught that salvation comes through a combination of faith plus good works (e.g., living a ...

Why did the Irish join the Confederacy? ›

About 20,000 Irishmen would serve in the Confederate armed forces. Rhetoric and images comparing the South's struggle with the North to that of Ireland with Great Britain were powerful motivators for joining up, more so than defense of slavery or the dire economic need of steady work in tough economic times.

Why did the Irish fight for the Confederacy? ›

This support was not guaranteed: Though most Irish immigrants lived in the North, they were sympathetic to (as they saw it) the Confederacy's struggle for independence from an overbearing government—it reminded them of their fight to be free of the British. Also, many Irish and Irish Americans were not against slavery.

Why were the Irish involved in the Spanish Civil War? ›

In August 1936 General Eoin O'Duffy, the former Garda commissioner and Blueshirt leader, announced the formation of an Irish Brigade to fight for Franco. O'Duffy claimed he was motivated by the historic links between Ireland and Spain, anti-communism and the need to defend the Catholic Church.

Why did the Irish join the Spanish Civil War? ›

In Ireland, the war was largely presented as a fight to preserve the Catholic religion in Spain from the 'Reds' or communists. Eoin O'Duffy, who led the Irish volunteers for Franco stated “It is not a conflict between fascism and anti-fascism but between Christ and anti-christ,”.

What is the motto of the Irish Brigade? ›

The Irish Brigade was an infantry brigade, consisting predominantly of Irish Americans, who served in the Union Army in the American Civil War.
Irish Brigade (Union Army)
Irish Brigade
Nickname(s)Irish Brigade
Motto(s)Riamh nár dhruid ó spairn lann "Who never retreated from the clash of spears"
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What percentage of Union soldiers were Irish? ›

Between 1861 and 1865 c. 200,000 Irishmen fought in the American Civil War: 180,000 in the Union army and 20,000 in the Confederate army. An estimated 20% or 23,600 of the Union navy were Irish-born.

Did any Irish fight for the Confederacy? ›

It is estimated that 20,000 Irish soldiers fought for the Confederate Army and 160,000 fought in the Union Army during the Civil War.

Why did Rome not invade Ireland? ›

Ancient Greek geographers depicted the Irish as a savage population living in miserable surroundings and as a result many historians maintain that Ireland was 'too poor' to warrant conquest by Rome, but this may not have been the case.

When did most Irish immigrants come to America? ›

It is estimated that as many as 4.5 million Irish arrived in America between 1820 and 1930. Between 1820 and 1860, the Irish constituted over one third of all immigrants to the United States. In the 1840s, they comprised nearly half of all immigrants to this nation.

Why did so many Irish immigrate to America before the Civil War? ›

Pushed out of Ireland by religious conflicts, lack of political autonomy and dire economic conditions, these immigrants, who were often called "Scotch-Irish," were pulled to America by the promise of land ownership and greater religious freedom.

Are Spanish and Irish related? ›

The historic links between Spain and Ireland are intellectual, economic, political, religious and especially military. However there are no racial or genetic links. The Gaelic Irish we can categorically state do not have Spanish origins.

What stopped the Irish Civil War? ›

The Anglo-Irish Treaty was agreed upon to end the 1919–1921 Irish War of Independence between the Irish Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The treaty provided for a self-governing Irish state, having its own army and police.

Did the Irish help Mexico in war? ›

A little-known chapter in U.S.-Mexican history is that of El Batallón de los San Patricios or “St. Patrick's Battalion.” In a nutshell, St. Patrick's Battalion was a group of immigrants, mostly of Irish descent, who fought alongside the Mexican Army during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848).

Who was to blame for the Spanish Civil War? ›

Who fought in the Spanish Civil War? The main antagonists were the Nationalists under Gen. Francisco Franco and the Republicans under Francisco Largo Caballero and, later, Juan Negrín. The Nationalists were supported by Mussolini's Italy and Nazi Germany.

How many Irish people died in the Spanish Civil War? ›

In all 320 Irish men served with the International Brigades, a quarter of whom were killed in action. Some were involved with underground unions, some were opposed to O'Duffy's Blueshirts and Greenshirts in Ireland, while others believed that fascism threatened Ireland.

Did the Spanish ever invade Ireland? ›

Although Ireland had featured in previous drafts of Spanish invasion plans, it did not form a part of Spanish strategy in 1588. Nevertheless, Ireland was, in the end, central to the defeat of the Armada. The Spanish fleet was blown north and west around the western Irish coast.


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