Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman announced today that cornerback Cam Hart suffered a thigh bruise in practice earlier this week, but the rising star will be ready for the Fiesta Bowl on Saturday. Hart had been seen at practice on Wednesday with his leg wrapped and walking with a noticeable limp.
Hart being ready for the Fiesta Bowl is a huge boost to a secondary that is already playing on Saturday without star safety Kyle Hamilton who opted out of the game along with running back Kyren Williams. Oklahoma State is not a great passing offense, but playing without Hart would have made the Irish secondary much more susceptible to a big play.
With Hart in the lineup, the Irish secondary should still give Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders plenty of problems. Sanders tied for 112th in the nation in interceptions this season with 12. He had four in his last game alone – the Big 12 Championship loss to Baylor. He threw three against Baylor in their first matchup and another two against Oklahoma.
Whether or not Hart is limited at all or hampered by the injury is another story, but having Hart available is big for Notre Dame. If Notre Dame can stack the line of scrimmage and stop the Oklahoma State run, it’s hard to imagine the Cowboys offense scoring a lot of points. Having Hart in the lineup will help allow them to do that.
Notre Dame will still be missing three starters tomorrow with Josh Lugg missing the game after getting hurt earlier this month in practice. Freshman Blake Fisher returns to the lineup after a three and a half month hiatus after a knee injury week one in Lugg’s place.