Who headlines Notre Dame's running backs room this season?

Justin Frommer
South Bend Tribune
Notre Dame’s Chris Tyree (25) runs for a touchdown during the Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin NCAA football game Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Back in March, Notre Dame running backs coach Deland McCullough was asked about using multiple backs. At the time, McCullough had four options after freshman Jadarian Price was lost for the season with an achilles injury. 

“You can go all four,” McCullough told reporters. “Everywhere I’ve been my history is pretty strong on playing a lot of guys.” 

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When the Irish open the 2022 season at Ohio State, McCullough will only have three backs to work with. Sophomore Logan Diggs had surgery on April 29 to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. His expected return may come “sometime in September”, according to Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman. That leaves Chris Tyree, sophomore Audric Estime and true freshman Gi’bran Payne to pick up the slack until Diggs joins the rotation. 

Between the trio, Tyree has the most experience. In two seasons he has recorded 718 yards, five rushing touchdowns, 32 receptions and two receiving scores. Estime had seven total carries last season and Payne hasn’t taken a collegiate snap. Diggs recorded 230 yards on 52 carries for three touchdowns in his freshman season, and his return will be welcomed. 

But until then McCullough, and Notre Dame, will be searching for some answers in the backfield.

Running back depth chart

  • 25 | Chris Tyree | 5-10, 190 | Jr. (3L)
  • 22 | Logan Diggs | 6-0, 206 | So. (3L)
  • 7 | Audric Estime | 6-0, 228 | So. (3L)
  • 13 | Gi’Bran Payne | 5-9, 198 | Fr. (4L)
  • 27 | Chase Ketterer | 5-11, 203 | Jr. (3L)
  • 20 | Jadarian Price | 5-10, 190 | Fr. (4L) - OUT FOR SEASON