Measurements listed: 6 ft 4 ½, 242 lbs.
2022-23 Eligibility: Junior Bauman has three seasons left. Had he been sidelined for another game with a broken leg in 2021, that would have been four seasons, but he appeared in four games after the injury escalated in his first season, which is just five.
Depth Chart: Bauman might have been the No. 2 tight end at Notre Dame this spring if not for a broken leg, but even that is unlikely to slow him down. He is either No. 3 tight end behind junior Michael Mayer and sophomore Mitchell Evans, or just behind Mayer.
Recruiting: The New Jersey native, ranked 5th in the class of 2020, withstood Michigan’s charge and chose the Irishman.
NAME, IMAGE, SIMILARITY
Who will be the first athlete to make a deal with a hospital or a surgeon after an injury? Perhaps it will be a cheap deal, as a thank you for the good care. Perhaps it will be a fair market value deal, and the medical side was just counting on her work to earn some notoriety. In any case, the opportunity to return to the field just two months after he broke his leg in training was a great opportunity for Bauman.
CAREER FOR TODAY
Bauman recovered from a broken leg just in time to play in three of the four Notre Dame games in November, as well as last season’s bowl game. This comes after he played in four games in 2020, tallying one catch each in both years.
2020: 4 games, 1 catch for five yards.
2021: 5 games, 1 catch for 10 yards.
Instinct suggests that Bauman’s leg injury could hold him back after last season, even as he returned for November games and bowl practice. He would challenge this thinking.
“I feel great, 100 percent,” Bauman said in mid-April. “Of course, last year with the injury was tough, but we have a great training team, so I was able to handle them. I feel better than before, so I feel great. This spring I felt great, just continuing to rehab was very important to me, so now I feel great.”
In some respects, Bauman had the opportunity to improve his game in a grown-up way because of the sideline.
“I took this opportunity, not being able to do anything physically, to work more on the mental side of things,” he said. “…Even though I couldn’t physically be on the field, I did these reps. Watching the movie, doing these mental repetitions, and as soon as I got back on the field, I felt like it all came true. It was important for me to just take these mental repetitions and see how they are transferred to the field physically.
WHAT WAS FORECAST A YEAR AGO
“Any confusing conversation about Notre Dame over the next two years starts with a focus on Mayer. Not that it sounds like a broken record, but he’s so good. If there is no injury, Bauman will not be able to you tight end in Tight End U until Mayer enters the 2023 NFL Draft.
“However, he will have the opportunity to play a supporting role after (George) Takacs leaves, presumably after 2021, if Bauman does not take on the role this season. The further a player graduates from high school, the less weight their recruiting rating should carry, but Bauman was sought after as the quintessential Irish tight end star. He had a higher ranking than any of the previously admitted freshmen seeking to top him on the depth chart. Kane Burrong and Mitchell Evans.
“Bauman will have an impact on Notre Dame. But thanks to Mayer’s “When?” of this may indeed be in the future.”
FORECAST FOR 2022
Bauman or Evans, one will be Mayer’s understudy and the other will be part of the attack, always just one click away from being the main part of it. Despite being a high school quarterback, Evans may have given him a slight edge over former high-profile rookie Bauman in 2021.
The main thing to remember is that no matter the hierarchy of tight ends No. 2 and 3, they will remain with the likely All-American, who will become both a fulcrum and an engine of the Irish offense.
Bauman should still have a role to play, whether it’s a No. 2 tight end or a No. 3 tight end. At the very least, there will likely be a few catches, one of which will probably end up in the end zone.
ON THE WAY TO
This “Forecast for 2022” is not intended to belittle Bauman. Any tight end at Notre Dame is worth the doubt, simply because of the Tight End U track record. It is meant to continue to highlight Mayer’s talent and how he looms over the rest of the challenge.
He will leave after this season.
Then it’s time for Bauman, Evans and sophomore Kane Berrong, not to mention two new freshmen. Who will appear as the new leader is a game in the salon that is better suited for next winter, but the best clues will come this fall.
NOTRE DAME 99-TO-0
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.
#89 Eli Raridon Rookie Freshman Tight End with an ACL tear.
No. 88 Mitchell Evans, sophomore tight end
No. 87 Michael Mayer Jr. Tight End, Likely All-American