Who will be Notre Dame's Brandon Joseph's running mate at safety?

Justin Frommer
South Bend Tribune

Heading into the 2022 football season, one of Notre Dame’s safety positions is locked up. That’s what head coach Marcus Freeman brought in Brandon Joseph for from Northwestern, to step in and immediately replace NFL first round pick, Kyle Hamilton. 

“We (Joseph and Hamilton)  just talked more about this opportunity, how he took advantage of it, what types of things he did and basically I’m next up,” Joseph previously told reporters “I’m here to do what he did and take this team to the next level.” 

Notre Dame safety Brandon Joseph (16) during the Notre Dame Blue-Gold Spring Football game on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

In his three Northwestern seasons, Joseph started 22 games, recording 84 tackles and nine interceptions.

What’s up for question is who will Joseph’s running mate be, and Notre Dame has a lot of familiar options. 

Notre Dame’s safety group also includes graduate seniors Houston Griffith and DJ Brown, juniors Ramon Henderson and Xavier Watts and sophomore Justin Walters, all of which saw playing time last season. 

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Nov 13, 2021; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish cornerback Ramon Henderson (11). Intercepts a pass intended for Virginia Cavaliers wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks (3) during the second quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Griffith is coming off of a 38-tackle season in 12 starts. Brown, who started one game, added 42 tackles and all three of his career interceptions. Henderson started the ND's final four games, finishing with 14 tackles and one pick. Watts made 15 tackles over 11 games and Walters added three tackles in limited action.

Safeties depth chart

  • 16 | S | Brandon Joseph | 6-1, 192 | (Sr. 3L)
  • 2 | S | DJ Brown | 6-0, 200 | GS/Sr. (2L)
  • 4 | S | Xavier Watts | 5-11m 195 | Jr. (3L)
  • 11 | S | Ramon Henderson | 6-1, 190 | Jr. (3L)
  • 3 | S | Houston Griffith | 6-0, 202 | GS/Sr. (1L)
  • 22 | S | Justin Walters | 6-0, 188 | (4L)