Audric Estime became a household name last season and will be a significant factor in Notre Dame’s playoff run this fall. The Fighting Irish added one of the top Heisman favorites in Sam Hartman but will still rely on a strong rushing attack with an elite offensive line. Estime is characterized by his strong, physical rushing style, and he will be a part of a potentially top offense in South Bend this year.
- Position: Running Back
- High School: St. Joseph Regional
- Hometown: Montvale, New Jersey
- Height/ Weight: 5-11 ½ & 227 lbs
- Recruiting: #231 Player Overall & #13 Running Back 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.
Estime has three years of eligibility remaining after only competing in 2 games during his freshman season in 2021.
Estime eyes a 1,000-yard season
I did not see Jerome Bettis play for the Fighting Irish, but Audric Estime seems like my generation’s version of the Hall of Fame running back. Estime uses his strength and athleticism to wreak havoc on opposing defenses. His only drawback last fall was fumbling, but he appeared to get that under control later in the season.
Most of the fumbles were caused by Estime’s unwillingness to go to the ground, which I respect tremendously. However, turnovers are a major factor in primetime matchups.
Audric Estime was only 80 yards from totaling 1,000 yards on the ground for the Fighting Irish in 2022. With another year in the weight room and an elite offensive line returning to South Bend, Estime could surpass that mark, but it will be difficult alongside a deep group of running backs and passing attack.
Not only will Estime be joined by Logan Diggs, but several newcomers will see action this season. Plus, Notre Dame returns a Heisman-caliber quarterback who will distribute the football to the talented group of wide receivers. Undoubtedly it will be intriguing to see how all the skill players are involved for the Irish this fall.
Irish Running Backs Room
Each running back on the roster has their own unique skill set for offensive coordinator Gerad Parker. Earlier this year, I wrote an article on “Previewing the 2023 Notre Dame Running Backs Room”, which details every Irish tailback.
Last season, Estime led the running back core with 920 rushing yards and 6 yards per carry. However, Logan Diggs led the group with 165 attempts on the ground. Physicality has always been Notre Dame’s competitive advantage this past decade, and Audric Estime is the prime example of being physical.
It will be fascinating to see the dynamic with Offensive Coordinator Gerad Parker, Sam Hartman, and more talent at the wide receiver position this fall. With Ohio State and USC coming to South Bend this season, Estime must play a significant role for the Irish to pull off the upsets.
Audric Estime is an electrifying running back that has yet to reach his potential. The Irish running back looked like he was in college already when he won the New Jersey High School Football Player of the Year Award in 2020. Estime continues to add muscle under Strength and Conditioning Coach Matt Balis.
Irish fans should be excited to see the young running back develop as a complete player this fall. Audric Estime has been one of my favorite players to watch during my Notre Dame fandom, and I am sure many fans would agree. There are few athletes that can run over defenses like the Irish tailback, more less get mentioned in the same sentence as Jerome Bettis.
Audric Estime is an elite running back and will play a major role as the Fighting Irish seek their 3rd appearance in the College Football Playoffs.