Season-ending injury doesn't keep Avery Davis from repeating as Notre Dame captain
SOUTH BEND — Isaiah Foskey, Jarrett Patterson and Michael Mayer aren’t just preseason All-America selections for Notre Dame football.
Friday, they learned they would be 2022 captains as well.
Joining them on the six-player list are wide receiver Avery Davis, out for the season with his second ACL tear in nine months but still helping out at practice; and linebackers Bo Bauer and JD Bertrand.
Davis and Patterson also held the honor last season, making them the 21st and 22nd two-time Irish captains over the past century. Robert Hainsey (2019-20), Ian Book (2019-20), Drue Tranquill (2017-18), Mike McGlinchey (2016-17), Nick Martin (2014-15), Sheldon Day (2014-15) and Zack Martin (2012-13) also repeated as captains in recent years.
Patterson, a three-year starter at center who converted to left guard before training camp, is questionable for the season opener on Sept. 3 at Ohio State with a sprained right foot.
Mayer, the record-breaking tight end projected to go in the top 10 of the NFL Draft next spring, is the only junior on the list. Foskey, a fourth-year junior defensive end, is a likely first-round pick in 2022 as well.
Bauer is a super senior who also thrives on special teams. Bertrand is a fourth-year junior who led the team in tackles last season despite a left wrist injury that required postseason surgery.
Asked on Aug. 13 about the timeline for naming captains, first-year coach Marcus Freeman downplayed the need to formalize leadership he has encouraged throughout the roster.
“You have two guys (Davis and Patterson) that are returning captains,” Freeman said. “That’s why I wasn’t in a rush. Those guys are still captains.”
Among players passed over in the captain process but still considered a vital part of the Notre Dame leadership structure: super seniors Josh Lugg (right guard), Houston Griffith (safety) and Jayson and Justin Ademilola (defensive line); as well as DJ Brown (safety), Michael Vinson (long snapper), Jack Kiser (linebacker), TaRiq Bracy (cornerback) and Braden Lenzy (wide receiver).
Northwestern transfer Brandon Joseph, a Wildcats captain last season and a preseason second-team All-America safety, has assumed a vocal leadership role despite his January arrival.
“Listen, if we’re looking for captains to lead us, then, whew, it’s going to be a long year,” Freeman said almost two weeks before Friday’s reveal. “I’ve challenged every one of those seniors. I’ve challenged out squad captains. We need leadership no matter if you’re named a team captain or not. We need leadership among everybody in our program.”
Mike Berardino covers Notre Dame football for NDInsider.com and the South Bend Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBerardino and on TikTok @mikeberardinoNDI.