The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2020 season.
#25 Braden Lenzy, WR
The rising redshirt Sophomore from Oregon was a bit of polarizing figure during his recruitment. He had committed to the Irish, then to Oregon, and then back to the Irish once Willie Taggart left the Ducks. He received a lot of backlash from fans (on both sides), which was utter bullshit as he was a 17 year old trying to figure out a massive life decision.*** He wrote an incredibly thoughtful piece in the Players Tribune that I suggest you read. It gives a lot of insight into who Braden is as a person, which is clearly a lot more than just a football player. He has also bought into life outside of football at Notre Dame, as highlighted by the segment below (also a must watch)
Now onto to his football skills. This kid can absolutely burn. He was undersized as a freshman and was still getting used to the physicality/route running at the college level. He bulked up, worked hard and flashed (that is putting it lightly) in his debut season. He only had 24 touches this year....but accounted for 454 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 19 yds/touch. His breakout play came against USC, where he exploded for a critical touchdown run and from that point on saw an increased role. He has speed that the Irish haven’t seen since Will Fuller as Lenzy is a legit 4.3 burner. Also, he looks great wearing #25 if you catch my drift.
***I should not have to say this....but grown men and women SHOULD NOT TWEET/DM RECRUITS. ESPECIALLY IF IT NOT 100% SUPPORTIVE AND POSITIVE. YOU WILL LOOK BAD EVERY SINGLE TIME AND I WILL FIND YOU. AND SHAME YOU.
Midoriya Izuku AKA Deku
Lenzy is a huge anime fan, and I had to go to the well (our very own Brendan @verypiratey) to help find the best fit. My anime knowledge is relatively basic, with the staples such as DBZ, Attack on Titan, and Hayao Miyazake movies, so didn’t want to come across as a noob.
Deku is someone who has great abilities including strength and agility, but the real value is in his potential. He was born quirkless (without powers), though he was given them from All Might. His ceiling is monstrous and can be only be unlocked by his continuous hard work. Like Deku, Lenzy has only scratched the surface of his potential. He has the raw ability and I believe the drive to be one of the most dynamic playmakers in recent history.
Lenzy will be a major factor in 2020 and should be much more of an every down player compared to 2019. Offensive Coordinator Tom(my) Rees has to find ways creative ways to get him the ball both out of the backfield, on the perimeter with screens, over the top, and every down routes. There is no reason why he shouldn’t be getting 7-10 touches a game, especially if he is will be a factor in the return game. The starting combination of Lawrence Keys III, Kevin Austin, and Lenzy will give Ian Book plenty of weapons and should have Irish fans excited with the level of (albeit not fully proven) top tier talent. He has extremely high upside and has a chance to be one of the most dynamic playmakers the Irish have had in many years. Enjoy the highlights below and as always, GO IRISH.