June 3, 2014 // Notre Dame Football

What to Expect from Greg Bryant

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Greg Bryant (1) in action during the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Spring Game, at Notre Dame Stadium, in South Bend, IN. (Photo: Robin Alam / Icon SMI)

Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Greg Bryant (1) in action during the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Spring Game, at Notre Dame Stadium, in South Bend, IN. (Photo: Robin Alam / Icon SMI)

The 2013 season was a difficult and frustrating one for many members of the Notre Dame football team, especially running back Greg Bryant.  The Delray Beach, Florida native came into South Bend with a tremendous amount of hype as a five star recruit and the expectations that come with being one of the best players in the 2013 class.  Bryant wasn’t able to fill those lofty expectations as a freshman as a nagging knee injury as well as depth at the running back position, adapting to life at Notre Dame and the playbook limited Bryant to only appearing in three games while carrying the ball only three times for 14 yards on his way to being redshirted.

Bryant is ready to put the difficulties of last season behind him however, as his knee is healed, he insists he’s adapted to life at Notre Dame and with the departure of George Atkinson III, more carries are up for grabs.

There is nothing that should hold Bryant off the field this season as after a year of growth in his understanding of the game at the college level his freakish athletic ability will begin to take over.  Irish head coach Brian Kelly has stated time and again that Bryant is the team’s most powerful back which should put him on the inside track towards being the Irish’s go to short yardage back.  The Irish were pitiful in short yardage last season and having a true powerhouse in the backfield should fix that problem and lead to a more potent offense.

As with most young running backs blitz pickup can be a problem as a freshman but that likely won’t be an issue for the sophomore this season which will allow him to be on the field more and factor into the team’s passing attack.  Having another receiving option out of the backfield who can make plays in space will greatly improve the Irish offense as the team’s quarterbacks abilities to extend the play can lead to mismatches and open up the field for the likes of Bryant and fellow sophomore and Florida native Tarean Folston.

Bryant and Folston present the possibility of an exceptionally talented, SEC level, one-two punch for the Irish as if Bryant fulfills his potential this season it should lead to Cam McDaniel seeing his touches drop as he becomes the number three option.  Bryant simply possesses the athletic ability to do things McDaniel can’t do as McDaniel has to work for every yard with his hardnosed style, where Bryant can get to the second level, make one cut and create a massive gain as shown in his 51 yard run in the Irish’s spring game.

If Bryant emerges this season it will benefit Notre Dame tremendously as this year’s installment of the Irish football team will often need to rely on the offense to win games and help out the inexperienced defense and with multiple workhorse running backs controlling the pace of the game would prove much easier.

Comments to this Article

  • qb2333 commented on June 3rd, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Looking forward to the most potent offense we’ve seen in years. Go Irish!

    [Reply]

    HURLS replied on June 21st, 2014 at 7:47 am

    POTENCY. I like that concept.

    [Reply]

    HURLS replied on June 21st, 2014 at 7:48 am

    - and better, I like that REALITY.

    [Reply]

  • Shazamrock commented on June 4th, 2014 at 6:59 am

    “A picture is worth a thousand words”

    Look at the arm on Bryant and then compare it with the arm of the lineman next to him.

    “Irish head coach Brian Kelly has stated time and again that Bryant is the team’s most powerful back”

    How about pound for pound he’s the team’s most powerful player, period!

    [Reply]

  • Storespook commented on June 4th, 2014 at 9:53 am

    This is potentially one of the better backfields we have had since the early 90′s. If there is no injury or re-injury, I expect both GB & TF to have solid seasons. They are just too good not to. The offense potentially has the makings to be very, very good (after 5 years it’s about time). I can’t wait for fall to get here.

    Go Irish

    [Reply]

  • irishfan56 commented on June 4th, 2014 at 11:03 am

    The Four Horsemen, EG, GB, TF, and CM.

    [Reply]

  • Jerry Seppanen commented on June 4th, 2014 at 11:52 am

    A powerful back like Bryant will help with ball control and in the red-zone.
    Have to have big improvement in the red zone and I think they will. This
    will offset defense.

    [Reply]

  • clubgitmo commented on June 4th, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    He should be the real deal but don’t give up on McDaniel. He got many of the calls later in the games last year and was very reliable. I just hope Kelly can stick to the running game long enough.

    [Reply]

  • Woody O’Hardy commented on June 5th, 2014 at 12:48 am

    3 really good backs, with mobile quarterbacks with strong arms, running behind a well-coached, powerful O-line. Then throw in some great receivers…what’s not to like?

    We are going to light it up this year!

    Go IRISH,
    Woodrow

    [Reply]

  • duranko commented on June 5th, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    clubgitmo, I think McDaniel will be right there in a three man rotation.

    Yeah, it might tilt toward Bryant, but Kelly and Alford trust McDaniel and he has certainly delivered. While he’s not Mark Edwards on the goal line, he can deliver short yardage.

    It might be intriguing to see Notre Dame surprise people inside the 5 by lining up Bryant and McDaniel in the same backfield. Smythe will, by October, have the bulk to play in a two TE set.

    If it’s any comfort, Kelly and Alford place a higher valuation on McDaniel than most fans do.

    [Reply]

  • brandon commented on June 5th, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Kind of reminds me of James Davis (Greg Bryant) and CJ Spiller (Tarean Folston)

    [Reply]

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