Braden Lenzy expects major production in 2022

SOUTH BEND – With his track background, senior wide receiver Braden Lenzy has always been proud of his conditioning.

But by the end of Notre Dame’s 37-35 Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State on Jan. 1, Lenzy was as tired as he had ever been from a game since his arrival in South Bend.

“We had few bodies and we didn’t rotate too much,” Lenzy explained on Friday. “That was probably the least we played (all season).

“The fact that we pitched 68 times makes a very big difference between playing the whole game and being a 50-50 pass-run team and being a 75-25 pass-run team. I ran a deep ball which felt like every three games and I know I usually don’t get the ball on that, so it’s like running wind sprints like the whole game.”

Notre Dame football notebook:Why Notre Dame’s three-star DL returned for the 2022 season

Lenzy finished with seven catches for 60 yards.

He recalls a few moments during the game when he asked Del Alexander, the former coach of Notre Dame, for a quick breather, but was told to stay on the field.

Notre Dame's Braden Lenzy (0) catches for a touchdown during Notre Dame vs.  Stanford NCAA football game Saturday, November 27, 2021 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California.

In those moments, Lenzy was frustrated as he knew he couldn’t regain his energy, which could have helped Notre Dame after falling behind in a second half.

But looking back on that game, he is humbled, knowing that he is now in a place where Notre Dame’s attack can’t get him off the field.

Lenzy is one of three Irish wideouts – along with seniors Avery Davis and Joe Wilkins Jr. — announcing a return for the 2022 season since the Fiesta Bowl. With the loss of Kevin Austin Jr., who declared himself for the NFL Draft, those three boys will be seen as leaders in a position many will see as a weakness for the Irish as they head into the 2022 season.

“I don’t think I’ll be the face,” Lenzy said. “AD (Avery Davis) is my leader, my cap and we will follow his lead. I certainly expect a big role, certainly. I think I’m ready for that and I’ve taken a step this year.”

Braden Lenzy (0) of Notre Dame runs while Kyren Williams (23) blocks for him during the Notre Dame vs.  North Carolina NCAA on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

Lenzy’s 2021 campaign was something of a breakthrough year after going into the season with just 18 career receptions.

He suffered multiple injuries to both shoulders, one in his left during fall camp, another in his right before the game in Virginia and another while preparing for the Fiesta Bowl, which he revealed to media on Friday. But he still achieved career highs in receptions (32), yards (350), and touchdowns (3).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.