What we learned: OL Patterson in a boot, Joseph comes up with big INT at practice

Justin Frommer
ND Insider

SOUTH BEND — For the first time since Notre Dame football's first fall camp practice, media members observed the entire two-hour session at the Irish Athletic Center Friday afternoon.

Family members of Irish players were also in attendance for the first time during camp.

Here are some things we learned from Notre Dame's Friday practice

Friday's absentees

Notre Dame's Jarrett Patterson during Notre Dame Fall Practice on Friday, August 12, 2022, at Irish Athletics Center in South Bend, Indiana.

Notre Dame's offensive line has been hit hard by injuries in recent practices and had a limited number of bodies during Friday's session.

Senior left guard Jarrett Patterson wheeled into practice with his right lower leg on a scooter and in a cast. Marcus Freeman said Patterson would miss about 10 days of practice and his status for the Irish season opener at Ohio State on Sept. 3 is questionable.

Aamil Wagner, Caleb Johnson, Michael Carmody and Tosh Baker were also unavailable among Notre Dame's lineman group.

Andrew Kristofic, who took most of the first-team reps at left guard, and Joe Alt, each were seen limping after separate plays during practice, but remained in drills throughout the day.

More:For Deland McCullough's Notre Dame running backs, strange practice methods are part of the deal

Sophomore wideouts Deion Colzie and Jayden Thomas each dressed for Friday's practice, but did not go through any team drills and worked on agility/cardio exercises off to the side. Colzie still had a large brace on his left knee after a PCL strain early in camp.

Joe Wilkins Jr., who has progressed quickly from April 1 surgery to repair a Lisfranc fracture in his foot and is now expected to play at Ohio State after initial doubts, practiced in full pads and looked nimble running routes and catching balls during team drills.

Sophomore running back Logan Diggs was no longer in a no-contact red jersey, wearing a normal offensive player blue shirt. He even took more contact, getting hit on a bang-bang play by freshman cornerback Benjamin Morrison, causing a brief scuffle that Freeman broke up.

Junior safety Brandon Joseph stepped away from offense vs. defense drills for about 10 minutes with what looked like a right foot issue. However, two plays after he returned, he came up with a leaping downfield interception on backup quarterback Drew Pyne.

Seven-on-seven notes

Notre Dame's Benjamin Morrison prior to Notre Dame Fall Practice on Friday, August 12, 2022, at Irish Athletics Center in South Bend, Indiana.

Morrison, a freshman cornerback, found other ways to stick out during team drills. He came up with a nice pass breakup during Notre Dame's seven-on-seven session. So did sophomore linebacker Prince Kollie.

Offensively, senior wideout Matt Salerno continued to find ways to be an open target for Irish quarterback Tyler Buchner. Xavier Watts, who moved over to the offensive side of the ball following the season-ending knee injury to Avery Davis, made multiple catches during this period and in the 11-on-11 period.

Freshman wideout Tobias Merriweather struggled some during this period, letting a pass towards the sideline go through his hands and hearing about it from wide receivers coach Chansi Stuckey on his way back to the huddle.

Buchner also heard some yelling from offensive coordinator Tommy Rees after consecutive passes from the sophomore quarterback were behind his targets.

Eleven-on-11 notes

Joseph's interception came during the 11-on-11 period. Joseph was paired frequently with Houston Griffith in the back of Notre Dame's first-team defense.

The rest of the first group on base defense lined up with Jack Kiser, JD Bertrand and Bo Bauer at linebacker, Cam Hart and TaRiq Bracy at cornerback and a defensive line of Rylie Mills, Jayson Ademilola, Howard Cross III and Isaiah Foskey.

Watts made several notable catches in team periods, including a 40-yard gain down the right sideline from freshman quarterback Steve Angeli that saw Watts outleap two defenders.

Angeli ended Friday's practice with a 20-yard touchdown to fellow freshman Holden Staes, a 6-foot-5 tight end.

The Irish ran two separate 11-on-11 periods. In both sessions, Notre Dame's first-team offensive line lined up as Blake Fisher at right tackle, Josh Lugg at right guard, Zeke Correll at center, Kristofic at left guard and Alt at left tackle.

The second group (marred by missing bodies) included Ty Chan at right tackle, Ashton Craig at right guard, Pat Coogan at center, Rocco Spindler at left guard and Billy Schrauth at left tackle.

Icing the kicker

In a short field goal period, simulated fan noise on while transfer kicker Blake Grupe attempted a long field goal. Grupe made the first attempt, but Freeman blew his whistle and said he called a timeout.

Grupe connected again on the second attempt and the team cheered around him, ending that period.

NFL Interest

The Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams all had scouting representatives during Friday's practice.