Following last week’s win against the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, Lorenzo Styles, Jarrett Patterson, Jayson Ademilola, Chase Ketterer and JD Bertrand met with journalists Tuesday to talk recovery, the triple option, and more as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish prepare to take on the Navy Midshipmen.
On watching teammates exit a game following injury, Styles referenced Braden Lenzy’s concussion in the UNC game and said, “I really look up to Braden, really all of the seniors, in general… they’re leading the way for all of us. It’s really on their back this year. I’m just trying to do my part to help those guys and help them have a great senior year.”
As for transitioning from high school offense to his college role, Styles said, “I did not know a lot about wide receiver coming in.” He explained that enrolling early was helpful to him and he focused on the technical details of the wide receiver position.
On the setbacks of forming a cohesive o-line, Patterson said, “I don’t think it was frustrating. We just need to have patience, and we knew that… it was one guy away… it takes all 11.”
On his assessment of the Midshipmen, Patterson said, “As far as their defense goes, they do a lot of movement. They show a variety of looks, which already cause confusion for the opponents they’ve played and we’ve seen on film…. I played Navy in 2019 and they’re a gritty team. They’ll come and hit you and… bring their best like every team does for Notre Dame.”
On the transition to Navy’s offense, he said, “..it kind of slows you down ‘cause it’s a different offense that you’re going against, so whatever you did in the past were your strengths and weaknesses, you gotta really harp on learning this new offense and being…. down to the details, detail-oriented…” He went on to acknowledge the team is “rusty” having not faced the Midshipmen since 2019 and explained the focus is watching film and “knowing what your job is.”
As for preparing for the distinct physical demands of the Navy game, he said, “We’re just all going back to our traits… working hard in the weight room, coming to practice, learning what we gotta do, coming to practice, executing, and then on game day, it’ll just come out.”
The scout team quarterback’s experience with the triple option attracted Irish coaching staff to Ketterer, and they had the Navy game in mind during his recruiting process. On his triple option advantage, Ketterer said, “I’ve been running triple option since I was probably in fifth grade, so I kind of know it like the back of my hand a little bit… reading guys is definitely a little different here with everybody being fast, Isaiah Foskey’s coming off the edge and stuff like that, but I think it definitely helps.”
On that responsibility, Ketterer said, “I take it very seriously. I think most of the walk-ons here really do. It’s different from being in high school and then you come here and being on scout team. It’s definitely different, but I think all of us take pride in not necessarily getting in the game on Saturdays, but being a part of the win by helping the team during the week.”
On leading the team to focus on specific aspects as they prepare to read the triple option against Navy, Ketterer said, “This o-line, it’s crazy ‘cause they learn stuff so quick. One of the main things for an offensive line in the triple option is you gotta get off the line quick and you gotta push, you gotta move the guys up front. So, I think they’ve learned that really quick…”
“I think I’ve just always done a really good job at conditioning, and credit to our coaches; we do a really good job emphasizing that… the way that practice has been set up has just allowed us to prepare for that… It’s allowed us to go from period to period there’s never... standing around.”
On taking on the triple option against Navy, Bertrand said, “I think the biggest thing is just being able to be more physical and just being able to find the ball… I’ve played a triple option team before just in high school, and it’s a little different, trying to adjust to the speed at which Navy plays and how well and efficiently they do it, but just being able to find the ball… know that it’s a physical game and come in with that mindset is gonna be the keys to success.”
On staying healthy at this point in the season, Bertrand said, “Bye week really gave me the opportunity to focus on my recovery and ever since then, I’ve been able to feel a lot better… after the bye week... I sat down and talked about what I needed to do better and one of the things was just trying to make sure that I feel my absolute best going into each game.”
On Kyren Williams’ mad dash in the USC game, Bertrand said, “It is crazy. We’ve known that he’s always been that kind of player. Our freshman year… we knew he was gonna be an insane player and it’s great to see him fulfill that role.”
Follow me on Twitter.