Previewing the 2023 Notre Dame Running Backs Room

The Fighting Irish return a remarkable group of running backs for the 2023 season and will be a major asset alongside quarterback Sam Hartman.

Notre Dame’s rushing attack dominated the second half of the season, headlined by Logan Diggs, Audric Estime, and Chris Tyree. Offensive Coordinator Gerad Parker will have his hands full with balancing the rushing attack alongside Sam Hartman and the passing game. Running Backs Coach Deland McCullough has one of the country’s best units; fans should be ecstatic for this fall.

Logan Diggs

  • Recruiting: #35 Running Back & #493 Player Overall In 2021 Class (247 Sports)
  • 2022 Rushing Stats: 165 attempts for 820 yards (5 yards per carry) with 4 rushing touchdowns
  • 2022 Receiving Stats: 10 receptions for 211 yards with 2 touchdowns

Logan Diggs had a breakout season in 2022 and led the Irish with 165 carries. Watch out for the Irish sophomore to break 1,000 yards this season.

Audric Estime

  • Recruiting: #13 Running Back & #231 Player Overall in 2021 Class (247 Sports)
  • 2022 Rushing Stats: 156 attempts for 920 yards (6 yards per carry) with 11 rushing touchdowns
  • 2022 Receiving Stats: 9 receptions for 135 yards and 1 touchdown

I did not get to see Jerome Bettis play football for the Irish, but Audric Estime is the closest player comparison during my Notre Dame fandom. If Estime can secure the football, he has his sights on 1,000 yards in 2023.

Chris Tyree

  • Recruiting: 1 All-Purpose Back & #70 Player Overall in 2020 Class (247 Sports)
  • 2022 Rushing Stats: 100 attempts for 444 yards (4.4 yards per carry) with 3 rushing touchdowns
  • 2022 Receiving Stats: 24 receptions for 138 yards with 2 scores

Chris Tyree has had a respectable career in South Bend but has not yet put up the numbers fans expected from his recruiting rank and speed. This Spring Coach Freeman has transitioned Tyree to a wide receiver, which will better help utilize his skills, though Freeman hasn’t confirmed the move is permanent yet.

For this article, I am still going to include Tyree for depth chart purposes. Chris Tyree led the running backs with receptions last year, and I believe his skill set will be used in many ways this fall.

Jadarian Price

  • Recruiting: #17 Running Back & #201 Player Overall in 2022 Class (247 Sports)
  • 2022 Stats: Injured

Jadarian Price suffered a torn Achilles that sidelined him in 2022. However, the sophomore running back has loads of potential and looked shredded in the Notre Dame Football weight room picture back in December.

Gi’ Bran Payne

  • Recruiting: #25 Running Back & #285 Player Overall in 2022 Class (247 Sports)
  • Stats: 2 carries for 5 yards

Gi’ Bran Payne did not see much action last fall but was a top 300 player coming out of high school and had offers from Alabama, Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin, to name a few. Like the other running backs on the roster, Payne can contribute this season.

Jeremiyah Love

  • Recruiting: #5 Running Back & #87 Player Overall In 2023 Class (247 Sports)
  • HighSchool: Christian Brothers College in Saint Louis, Missouri

I wrote about Jeremiyah Love in my article on “Five Potential Impact Freshmen in 2023,” and I believe that he has a good shot at seeing the field this fall.

Top Returning Running Backs

Logan Diggs and Audric Estime are undoubtedly the top two running backs on the depth chart. They both had a similar number of rushing attempts in 2022, and I expect that to be the case again this year. However, heading into the Spring, the most significant question mark will be who contributes as the third and fourth-string running backs.

A few weeks ago, Chris Tyree was likely the third running back on the depth chart, but with rushing at 4.4 yards per attempt and his papass-catchingbility Coach Freeman has transitioned Tyree to wide receiver.

2023 Depth Chart

Notre Dame is expected to have a great offensive line in 2023, and ideally, they will get off to a fast start with the competition level in the first two weeks. Jadarian Price, Gi’ Bran Payne, and Jeremiyah Love will all battle for playing time.

Coach McCullough has a loaded group and the most talent at this position I can recall since I have been covering the Irish. It is anyone’s guess as to which running back will step up for the 3rd spot, but I would not count out true freshman Jeremiyah Love.

Final Thoughts

Notre Dame has had a strong rushing attack historically, especially over the past decade. However, this falls, the Fighting Irish add Heisman candidate Sam Hartman who can open the passing attack like never before. I am excited to see how Coach Parker balances the rushing and passing games this season.

UnThisffense must get off to a fast start and put points on the scoreboard. During the Tommy Rees era, Notre Dame’s Offense was slow in the first half of the season and always performed better in the second half of the campaign. The Irish start with Navy, Tennessee State, NC State, and Central Michigan before the highly anticipated rematch with Ohio State.

The Irish running backs will play an important role alongside Sam Hartman this fall. Gerad Parker has a deep group of tailbacks and should be able to keep them fresh throughout the season for a run at the College Football Playoffs.

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6 Comments

  1. You are correct that Audric at times reminds us of The Bus. I understand we have several good backs but I hope he gets a larger roll in carrying the rock, but he must hold on to it. I have not seen many backs with his power, speed and the want for contact.. Cant wait to see the offense this season, it should show IRISH NATION what it can be with a very good QB. GO IRISH

  2. This offense is positioned to score like no other in recent ND history. Balanced strengths in running and passing games, anchored by strong OL.
    Also, Tommy Reese’s move will be good for both Bama and ND. Good for ND because with a tight end based OC and an experienced QB coach, if they work well together, they shouldn’t have the blind spots of the last few years. Good for Bama b/c Tommy is a clever schemer and not afraid to borrow from successful plays wherever he sees them, and because Nick and company will not be reluctant to point out obvious unexploited opportunities.

  3. With a QB who’s a threat t to accurately throw the ball anywhere he wants, every RB now gets a bit more time and space on every play.
    Win-win.

  4. MTA…Holtz had a pretty full stable in 87… not 6 guys, maybe, but close…same in 88.
    Devine had some full stables too, especially in 76 through 78. But more like 4 or 5, not 6. But I’m from Missouri – numbers 5 and 6 will have to show me.

  5. Quick ND history question:
    The last season ND had potentially 6 prime time RBs on the team ?
    The question is moot!
    Not any I can remember and I’m old.
    And only two of them (see: Logan Diggs : HS Recruiting: #35 Running Back & #493 Player Overall In 2021) were even four star- neither Price nor Payne were top 200 recruits, still TBD but high expectations are in order when given their chance.
    Add consensus top 100 HS RB J. Love soon to be “in the room”
    So kudos to Coach Deland: r his expertise and experience in developing talent-
    To he who is given much, much has been received
    and more to work with than since . . . ?

    Coming Events questions:
    * Who’s gone sooner : Coach Deland or Coach Stuckey ?
    Appreciate them while we can, and Coach Mickens a raise, too. Call a wealthy donor to get to put his name as a sponsor for CB Coach. Paging Julian Love! ‘ The Love CB ‘ donor.
    * Who will have more points scored in their final season @ QB: Hartmann or Quinn or Clausen?
    Stay tuned . . .no plan B in ’23

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