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Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 29 Matt Salerno, fifth-year receiver, punt returner, former walk-on

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Measurements listed: 6 ft⅝, 199 lbs.
2022-23 Eligibility: A five-year veteran, Salerno is technically eligible after this season, but using this season would be highly unexpected.
Depth Chart: If the receiver of the sixth year Avery Davis returns fully healthy pre-season after suffering an ACL tear in November, as it should, Salerno could be Notre Dame’s backup wide receiver. Wherever he ends up, the former sophomore won’t be far behind in the depth table, given the Irish have a total of eight scholarship recipients, including Salerno and an aspiring freshman. Tobias Merryweather.
Recruiting: The former Salerno striker received a scholarship from the new head coach of Notre Dame. Marcus Freeman shortly after the Fiesta Bowl.

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Salerno first participated in the Irish New Mexico bombing in 2019 and then became Notre Dame’s main punt returner in 2020, though this rarely included an actual punt return. He reprized the role for episodes in 2021.

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As a receiver, Salerno lost four yards in one career.

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2019: 1 game.
2020: 11 games, 45 return yards on 10 return kicks.
2021: 11 games, 13 return yards on 5 returns, 33 return yards on 2 hits, -4 return yards.

Salerno, finding his way to a scholarship, appears to be more compensation than he ever expected.

“Salerno is a well-known and trusted product. The Irishman can do worse than rely on him to get the punts clean. At least he won’t give the opponent a golden opportunity to score a goal like (Lawrence) Keys did against the Seminoles.

“But these other possibilities remain more enticing, and if anyone can garner the trust of the coaching staff – be it (Chris) Tyree, Keys, (Lorenzo) Styles or even a senior wide receiver. Braden Lenzi – then Salerno can become a backup blanket of security.

“When Notre Dame handed the work over to Salerno, it was this dichotomy that led to a human taking over, but it had to wait a few weeks.

“He was effortlessly back there,” the Ireland head coach said. Brian Kelly said in September, two weeks into the season. He was there the whole camp. We also had Kyren (Williams) and with Kyren’s load and everything he did, it made sense to go with him. [Salerno] because, as I said, he effortlessly caught the ball.

“No, maybe he doesn’t have the explosive energy that Kairen has, but you feel very comfortable with him from behind. That’s why we went with him.”

A punt returner that doesn’t jeopardize upcoming ball possession is not taken for granted. as dynamic as Kyren Williams was, even he sometimes risked the ball. Salerno is not.

Northwest Safe Transfer Brandon Joseph could take the place of punt returner, if not sophomore wide receiver Lorenzo Stiles, but that’s both uncertain and somewhat risky. With Salerno, Notre Dame will know there is no risk, even the new coordinator of the Irish task forces. Brian Mason of course he sees it.

If this is the Salerno scholarship fee, so be it. Notre Dame will be better.

He will probably also add some catches to the ledger. The Irish are far too ignorant of the receiver for anyone to scoff at the performance of a former parishioner. Lenzi’s legs became rubber towards the end of the Fiesta Bowl, when Notre Dame fielded only four fellows.

Imagine doing this all season long. This is the danger that the Irish pursue. Lenzi, Styles and the sophomores Deion Colzy as well as Jayden Thomas the only things available. Davis must be healthy and, after all, a fifth year. Joe Wilkins can join him (Lisfranc injury). Merryweather arrives with a lot of hype, but few freshmen should be treated as absolutes.

Salerno cannot be a superstar. Actually, scratch it. The tense of the indecisive verb is inaccurate. Salerno is not a superstar. But he’s a pure trail runner who understands what’s worth taking and what most risks shouldn’t be. He can save Lenzy, Stiles, Colzy and Thomas from getting tired. Whatever the catches and tricks, just keeping these receivers fresh will be a beneficial asset to Notre Dame.

Salerno may need double-digit catches, triple-digit yards and at least one touchdown for the Irishman to even vaguely consider bringing him back in 2023. agreed four-star Braylon James (Del Valle High School, Texas)No. 31 receiver rating in its class by opponents. com, but the Irishman should add a big name next to James by the end of the weekend.

Notre Dame will still be shallow. Let’s say the recruiter pool grows to three receivers and the Irish find one more on the transfer portal over the winter, and that would be a depth chart of eight names.

The ninth and tenth pair of hands would be valuable, but they would no longer be absolutely vital.

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
No. 34 Osita Ekwonu, senior player of Vyper, after an Achilles tendon injury.
No. 31 NaNa Osafo-Mensah Senior Guard
#20 Jadarian Price, an early freshman running backwards with an Achilles rupture.
#9 Eli Raridon, Rookie Freshman, tight end with an ACL tear.


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