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Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 28 TaRiq Bracy, fifth-year starting nickel back

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Measurements listed: 5 ft 10 ⅛, 177 lbs.
2022-23 Eligibility: A five-year veteran, Bracey can only play this season due to a universal eligibility waiver granted in 2020.
Depth Chart: Bracey will be Notre Dame’s starting nickel in 2022, a position that can no longer be seen as part of a situational package. Per professional football focus, The Irish defense has used five defenders in more than half of the snaps in the last two years. As good as Notre Dame’s midfielders are and as deep as the Irish defensive line, one of those seven front-backs will most often go off the field in favor of the fifth back, which will most often be Bracey.
Recruiting: The San Jose, California native, a three-star contender website winner, chose Notre Dame over West Coast alternatives like UC, Utah, and Washington State.

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Freshman cornerbacks who make meaningful snaps rarely Only successful. At some point they will be used by a strong quarterback and his best receiver. When Bracey moved into the Irish rotation in 2018, he ended up at USC. However, he played well enough throughout the season to help Notre Dame reach the college football playoffs.

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Such a double entender compliment can be used throughout Bracey’s career. He lost his starting position in his sophomore year and then regained it for much of the pandemic season, part of the stability for the Irish defense as various defenders moved in and out of the squad due to health and safety protocols.

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It was when Clarence Lewis began to reduce Bracey’s playing time. Now a junior, Lewis will start for Notre Dame alongside a senior cornerback. Cam Hartleaving Bracey outside to look inward…until he realized that the nickel back is also a very good start.

2018: 11 games; 18 tackles with one forced fumble.
2019: 12 games with two starts; 34 tackles with one forced fumble and seven broken passes.
2020: 8 games with six starts; 24 selections, of which two for a loss and three failures of the transfer.
2021: 13 games with five starts; 39 tackles with three missed passes and one interception.


“It’s possible Bracey mustered such a strong spring to earn a shot at the fieldback position again, but events late last season make that unlikely, and all spring Notre Dame trumpeted Hart as a likely borderline starter.

“This could leave Bracey out of nickel debt. Good news for both him and the Irish: Nickel back work should require less personal lighting, completely isolated from support. Bracey has shown dexterity and good hands, so Freeman has the tools he can work with in the nickel.”

last summer 99-to-0 Bracey’s entry then predicted his transfer to graduate school that spring. Maybe not completely, but Bracey at least gave it some thought this winter.

“I was graduating this spring and just wanted to weigh all the options,” he said in April. “But Notre Dame is where I want to be.”

Some of these are likely related to his supposed nickel-plated role. Playing time comes with him, and Bracey’s inconsistency has made him inconsistent throughout his career.

“It shows my versatility,” he said of the position. “(I) can guard receivers inside and out.”

He started showing his form last season, spending most of his playing time at the nickel club.

Bracey will play. He needs Notre Dame. But how much can be in the air.

Accordingly, the appearance of a freshman may have put this instant count of fifth years into question. Much hype followed the freshman’s early enrollment Jayden Mickey this summer – something that will dig a bit into No. 21 in this series – and if he made his way onto the field, it would most likely come at Bracey’s expense.

Lewis and Hart are clearly ahead of Bracey in the depth chart. With Mickey possibly still there, all of a sudden Bracey could be a dime more than five cents, a package used about five times more often, if not less, and one that calls for a third quarterback just as often as a fourth winger. defender. .

Bracey shouldn’t fall below that level given the stark youth of the Irish full-backs, but his propensity to get burned – both at USC in 2018 and North Carolina in 2020 are memorable – is not the kind of defensive coordinator a head coach would tolerate. for a long time.

That’s why the nickel seemed like the right fit for Bracey. Routes coming from a slot are less likely to go straight down the field, and when they do, safety assistance is readily available. He is a physically defensive quarterback who does not shy away from contact inside the tackle box. In this regard, nickel is very suitable for Bracey.

This may not be enough to get ahead of Mickey for long. On the flip side, at some point, a strong quarterback and his top wide receiver will set their sights on that freshman – Notre Dame couldn’t have a more difficult start to the season in that regard – and it will take a seasoned veteran to stop the imaginative bleeding before it stops for good. rookie growth. growth.

Bracey has a lot of physical tools, but it’s still hard to imagine him having a chance in the NFL. He will certainly get the necessary combined training, and perhaps a successful day of testing will push him towards the coveted status of an undrafted free agent.

From Blake Groupe to Braden Lenzi, the off-season countdown begins anew
No. 99 Blake Group, kicker, transfer of the State of Arkansas
No. 99 Riley Mills, junior guard, player who now plays more in the end.

#98 Tyson Ford, early freshman, quarterback hired as a four-star endgame.
No. 97 Gabriel Rubio, sophomore, quarterback, still “wide like a Volkswagen.”
No. 92 Aidan Keanaaina, a young defender who tore his cruciate ligament in March.
#91 Josh Bryan Sophomore Kicker
#91 Aiden Gobaira, Freshman Early Enrollment Guard, Four-Star Recruit
No. 90 Alexander Ehrensberger, junior defender, the German project is nearing completion.
No. 88 Mitchell Evans, sophomore tight end
No. 87 Michael Mayer Jr. Tight End, Likely All-American
No. 85 Holden Stace New Rookie Tight End
No. 84 Kevin Bauman, Jr. Tight End
#83 Jayden Thomas, Sophomore Receiver, Four-Star Former Rookie
#80 Kane Burrong, sophomore who suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
No. 79 Tosh Baker, one of four young Irish strikers.
#78 Pat Coogan, sophomore at center, recovering from a meniscus injury.
No. 77 Tai Chan, offensive tackle starter, former four-star rookie.
No. 76 Joe Alt, Sophomore, Beginning Left Tackle
#75 Josh Lagg, year six, offensive lineman, likely starting right back.
#74 Billy Shrout, early enrolled forward freshman after foot surgery.
#73 Andrew Christophic, senior forward turned defenseman.
#72 Caleb Johnson Sophomore Offensive, Former Auburn Bail
No. 68 Michael Carmody, junior offensive line mate.
No. 65 Michael Vinson, Long Bass, “Milk”
#65 Chris Smith Defensive Tackle Harvard Transfer
No. 59 Aamil Wagner, an established four-star freshman forward.
No. 58 Ashton Craig New Freshman Center
#57 Jason Ademilola, fifth-year quarterback, after shoulder surgery.
#56 Joey Tanona, early-listed hitter with a concussion.
No. 56 Howard Cross, senior quarterback with heavy hands, and that’s good.
No. 55 Jarret Patterson, Year Five Offensive Linesman, Three Year Starting Center, Captain
No. 54 Jacob Lacy, senior quarterback, is now lighter and in the starting lineup.
#54 Blake Fischer, Sophomore, Starting Right Tackle, “Huge”
No. 52 Zeke Correll Senior Center or Possibly Left Back
No. 52 Bo Bauer, Fifth Year Linebacker, Ironman
No. 50 Rocco Spindler Sophomore Shooting Guard
#48 Will Schweitzer Sophomore Turned Linebacker
No. 47 Jason Oin, Sophomore, Defensive Tackle
No. 44 Junior Tuihalamaka, early enrolled freshman linebacker, a common four-star recruit.
No. 44 Alex Paich, Junior Trucker
No. 42 Nolan Ziegler, freshman midfielder, early enrollment, Irish heritage.
#41 Donovan Hinish, freshman starting quarterback, Kurt’s brother.
No. 40 Joshua Burnham Early Enrolled Freshman Midfielder Who Was Last
#34 Osita Ekwonu, senior player at Vyper, pulls out with an Achilles injury.
No. 31 NaNa Osafo-Mensah Senior Guard
#29 Matt Salerno Fifth Year Receiver Punt Returner Former Walker
#20 Jadarian Price, early freshman…


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