Irish add Northwestern safety Brandon Joseph from transfer portal to replace Kyle Hamilton

Justin Frommer
ND Insider
Purdue wide receiver TJ Sheffield (8) drops the pass as he is tackled by Northwestern safety Brandon Joseph (16) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Cfb Purdue Vs Northwestern

Notre Dame has found its replacement for All-American safety Kyle Hamilton.

Brandon Joseph, a transfer from Northwestern, announced his commitment to the Irish Saturday morning, bringing one of the best secondary talents in college football to South Bend.

"Coming to Notre Dame is a legacy commitment for me. The history of the this program and the players who have worn this uniform are held to the highest standards in both football and education. I am honored to be a part of this next chapter in Notre Dame football history. For me and my family, Notre Dame presents an opportunity to continue my education at one of the best universities in the world, along with a chance to compete for a National Championship," Joseph wrote on his Twitter page. 

Joseph, a former three-star in the 2019 recruiting class who initially committed to Texas Tech, will have three years left of eligibility after playing the last three years in the Big Ten.

A redshirt junior from College Station, Texas, Joseph turned himself into one of the best safeties in college football, named as an AP First-Team Preseason All-American before this season, as well as a Walter Camp, Athlon Sports, Pro Football Focus and Phil Steele First Team Preseason All-American.

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This season he recorded 80 tackles, one sack, three interceptions and five pass deflections. In three years with Northwestern, Joseph recorded nine interceptions, six of which occurred during the 2020 season, where the Wildcats advanced to the Big Ten Championship game. 

He also showed his ability to be a dangerous punt returner for the Wildcats, averaging 28.5 yards in four punt returns. 

Brandon Joseph

The Irish will have to replace Hamilton's 139 career tackles and eight interceptions over his three years in South Bend, after he opted out of Notre Dame's 37-35 loss to No. 9 Oklahoma State in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.

Along with Joseph's addition, Notre Dame will return Houston Griffith, who started alongside Hamilton in the backend of the Irish's defense, and recently announced he will be back for his super senior season, as well as DJ Brown, who saw his playing time increase following Hamilton's injury against Southern California.

Joseph's first game with Notre Dame will likely come in familiar territory as Notre Dame opens the 2022 season with a road game against Ohio State on Sept. 3.