Last week, I dove into the details to help us figure out which names on the 2022 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football roster were most punnable.
This week, I figured I would stick with the name game and take a look at the rosters of all of ND’s 2022 opponents, and as is tradition for Pat Rick, compile a list of the best, most electric names Notre Dame will see next season.
I want to note right now that I did my best to try to account for guys entering the Transfer Portal, as I quickly found that online spring 2022 rosters for most teams included guys who have since entered the Portal and in many cases already committed to play for another squad whom the Irish likely won’t see next year (RIP to initial selections such as Chancellor Bright, Trey LaBounty, Jagger LaRoe, and Ajou Ajou).
However, there’s still a strong chance I missed some, especially in the Honorable Mention crew and below, because I didn’t have time to do a ton of due diligence on those names.
So, let’s just appreciate that all these names at some point have played or will play for Irish opponents, marvel at their excellence, and then prepare ourselves to take on the best of the best as we go through my picks for the Preseason Opponent All-Name teams.
Let’s First Appreciate Some Names That Didn’t Make My List
Alright, before we dive into the elite of the elite names on the schedule, I first wanted to shout-out some names that didn’t make 1st Team, 2nd Team, 3rd Team, or Honorable Mention, but that I think are still funny/interesting for one reason or another:
- Michael Jackson III — WR, USC (I had no idea there was a 2nd one TBH, let alone a 3rd)
- Austin Kutscher — WR, Ohio State (don’t let the subtle name change fool you into getting Punk’d here)
- Cade Cunningham — QB, Marshall (finishing 3rd place in NBA Rookie of the Year voting by day, quarterbacking the Thundering Herd by night)
- Jeffrey Saturday — WR, North Carolina (so crazy he has the same name as a former UNC football player who’s definitely old enough to have a son playing in college now)
- Dominic DiMaccio — PK, Ohio State (slightly different spelling won’t fool me, a big Red Sox fan who knows a former Boston ballplayer when he sees one)
- Colby Doolittle — LB, Clemson (son of a very famous Dr.)
- Noah Bean — TE, UNLV (son of Mr. Bean, I presume)
- John Brand — DT, Navy (not really a celebrity, at least that I’m aware of...but I know a guy named Jon Brand so I thought this was noteworthy)
Name of the Future President of the United States
- Michael Whitehouse — DE, Navy
Names That Sound Like the Wealthy Owner of an Old-Timey Circus
- B.T. Potter — PK, Clemson
- Pierce Banbury — OL, Navy
- Campbell Barrington — OL, BYU
- Brannon Spector — WR, Clemson
- Dietrick Pennington — OL, Clemson
- Cameren Dalrymple — FB, Navy
- Hogan Morton — PK, Clemson
- Sebastian McQuigg — DL, UNLV
Names of People Really Good at Pottery
- Clay Masters — DB, Syracuse
- B.T. Potter — PK, Clemson (again)
A Name That Doesn’t Describe Many of the Blue Devils Hoops Players These Days, Considering Their One-and-Done, Probably-Don’t-Go-To-Class Ways
- Duke Reeder — LB, Stanford
A Name That Describes a Player Who Scores 20+ in the First Quarter
- Kobe Pace — RB, Clemson
A Kindergarten Cop Reference
- Nicolas “It’s Not A” Toomer — CB, Stanford
Someone Who Should Name Their Child “Smart”
- Dwayne Allick — OL, Boston College
What You Say When the Jantzen is Completed
- Jantzen Dunn — S, Ohio State
Names That Are Also Phrases/Complete Thoughts
- Jack McCall — CB, Clemson
- Logan Point — FB, Navy
- Chase Locke — WR, USC
- Masen Wake — TE, BYU
- Cal Long — WR, Navy
- Anthony Red — OL, Syracuse
- Will Spiers — P, Clemson
- Ty Shamblin — WR, USC
- TJ Harness — DB, Syracuse
- Evan Tattersall — LB, California
- Tony Muse — RB, Boston College
- Jake Briningstool — TE, Clemson
- Teagen Lenderink — PK, North Carolina
- Caadyn Stephen — OL, USC (‘kay then, Stephen)
When Rick Asks You What a Common Nickname for “James” or “Jim” Is, And You’re Curious Why He Asked
- Jimmy Wyrick — CB, Stanford
A Tyler-Themed Holiday That Later Becomes a Multi-Day Event
- Tyler Friday — DE, Ohio State
- Tyler Days — DB, Boston College
Nick Doing the Opposite of the Theme of the Mid-Terms Dance in Community
- Nick Bearup — DB, Boston College
Darrell’s Son, Masaniai
- Darrellson Masaniai — OL, Navy
Fun With Apostrophes
- De’jon Benton — DL, USC
- Eli’jah Winston — LB, USC
- Cam’Ron Kelly — DB, North Carolina
- Alaka’i Gilman — S, Stanford
- Ja’Vontae Williams — WR, Syracuse
- Keandre’ Harper — LB, Navy
- J’arius Warren — DT, Navy
Your Local Dealership
- Courtland Ford — OL, USC
When Amani Doesn’t Trigg Wrong
- Amani Trigg-Wright — OL, UNLV
The Generic Name of the Best Boxer in a Boxing Video Game That Mike Tyson Refused to Give His Likeness To
- Tyson Player — DB, UNLV
- Ty Tarpley — QB, Marshall
- Eliel Ehimare — DL, UNLV
- Maasai Maynor — QB, Navy
- Max Meeuwsen — DE, Navy
- Branson Bragg — OL, Stanford
- Ben Bywater — LB, BYU
- Vic Viramontes — LB, UNLV
- Lane Lunt — TE, BYU
Name of a Mafia Boss in Miami, FL
- Vinny DePalma — LB, Boston College
Mafia/Gangster Names in General
- Giovanni Fauolo Sr. — TE, UNLV
- Hobbs Nyberg — WR, BYU
- Nikko Remigio — WR, California
Let’s Get Sexual
- Jaelyn Lay — TE, Clemson
- John Sweetwood — DB, Syracuse
- Ryan Kisselstein — OL, Syracuse
Another Name for Fangorn Forest After the Ents Strike Back Against Saruman and Isengard
- Justus Woods — RB, Stanford
Things Found in Nature
- Tyger Goslin — FB, Navy
- Sky Lactaoen — FB, Navy
- Carter Wheat — TE, BYU
- Mike Overland III — OL, UNLV
When You Try to Say Someone’s Name But Get Muffled And/Or Choke At the Last Second
- Andre Szmyt — PK, Syracuse
- Wyatt Terlaak — OL, Navy
- Wes Hoeh — OL, Syracuse
When You’re One Stooge Short
- Curley Young Jr. — LB, California
- Mo Hasan — QB, USC
Other Names I Really Liked But Didn’t Have Time to Come Up With a Category For
- Joshua McTier — DB, Marshall
- Enokk Vimahi — OL, Ohio State
- Cam Fancher — QB, Marshall
- Shadeed Ahmed — WR, Marshall
- Daytione Smith — DB, Marshall
- Sami Nazzal — OL, California
- Kaleb Elarms-Orr — LB, California
- Orin Patu — LB, California
- Jacolby Criswell — QB, North Carolina
- Kedrick Bingley-Jones — DL, North Carolina
- Dallin Holker — TE, BYU
- Uriah Leiataua — DL, BYU
- Atunaisa Mahe — DL, BYU
- Viliami Tausinga — LB, BYU
- Zach Buckey — DE, Stanford
- Brye Lighon — TE, UNLV
- Shelton Zeon III — TE, UNLV
- Alani Makihele — OL, UNLV
- Dondi Fuller — LB, UNLV
- Jarveon Howard — RB, Syracuse
- Latarie Kinsler — DL, Syracuse
- D.J. Uiagalelei — QB, Clemson
- Mac Cranford — OL, Clemson
- Tai Lavatai — QB, Navy
- Dabe Fofana — FB, Navy
- Chike Otaluka — FB, Navy
- Campbell Speights — FB, Navy
- Regis Velez — WR, Navy
- Ezechiel Tieide — WR, Boston College
- Illija Krajnovic — OL, Boston College
- Vavae Malepeai — RB, USC
- Liam Jimmons — OL, USC
- Hinckley Ropati — RB, BYU
- Beaux Tagaloa — FB, California
- Jayden Umbarger — WR, Navy
- Brycen Tremayne — WR, Stanford
- Umari Hatcher — WR, Syracuse
- Bentley Hanshaw — TE, BYU
- Ahmad Masood — OL, Syracuse
- Kip Frankland — OL, Navy
- Prophet Brown — CB, USC
- Britton Hogan — LS, BYU
- Slater Zellers — LS, California
Okay, now that we’ve gotten through the names that DIDN’T place on any of the all-name teams in this exercise, let’s dive right into the ones excellent enough to warrant inclusion into the traditional positional format for All-Anything teams.
Note: each team below will be broken into:
- Offense (QB, RB, FB, 3 WR, TE, 5 OL)
- Defense (4 DL, 3 LB, 3 CB/DB, 2 S)
- Specialists (LS, PK, P)
Thus, each team will have 27 players — 12 on offense, 12 on defense, and 3 specialists. Yeah, I know it should be 11 and 11 for offense and defense, but I wanted there to include both running back and fullback (there are AMAZING fullback names out there), and for similar include-as-many-great-names-as-possible reasons, I wanted to toss in an extra DB slot on the defenses.
Let’s do this.
Honorable Mention 2022 ND Opponent All-Name Team
- Baylor Romney — QB, BYU
- Marcel Dancy — RB, California
- Kroy Myers — FB, Navy
- Kobe Paysour — WR, North Carolina
- Puka Nacua — WR, BYU
- Joseph Manjack IV — WR, USC
- Banks Pope — TE, Clemson
- Steven Faucheux — OL, Marshall
- Jeminai Leuta-Ulu — OL, UNLV
- Garth Barclay — OL, Syracuse
- Brent Self — OL, Navy
- Ozzy Trapilo — OL, Boston College
This is a helluva start — we’ve got a Romney, a running back who likes to dance, a fullback named Kroy (which only makes me think of Kronk from Emperor’s New Groove), a potential elite rhyming name in “Puka Nacua,” the 4th in a generational line who could go by “Joey Manjack,” a more creative spelling of Gemini, “Brent Self,” a Garth, a last name that I’m choosing to believe is pronounced “ fo’ sho’ ,“ Paysour, a financially-minded head of the Catholic Church, and the name Ozzy Trapilo, which gets more fun the more I stare at it.
- Quintayvious Hutchins — DL, Boston College
- Kobe Pepe — DL, USC
- Ishmael Sopsher — DL, USC
- Ruke Orhorhoro — DT, Clemson
- McKyle So’oto — LB, California
- Power Echols — LB, North Carolina
- Riggs Faulkenberry — LB, Clemson
- Lu-Magia Hearns III — CB, California
- Zahran Manley — CB, Stanford
- Caleb Clear — CB, Navy
- Zane Cribb — S, California
- Bubba McAtee — S, Clemson
The Honorable Mention defense is pretty stout itself: we’ve got a Quintayvious, Kobe “Cacio e” Pepe, CALL ME ISHMAEL, a last name that sounds like “oh ho ho hoooooo,” the McDonald’s version of Kyle, a linebacker named POWER, the 3rd generation of Lu-Magia in the Hearns family, Caleb “Larry’s Not White, Larry’s” Clear, and finally a mix of guys named Riggs, Zane, Manley, and Bubba. Incredible.
- Jac Casasante — LS, USC
- Dario Longhetto — PK, California
- Duke Pa’ane — P, Navy
Great specialist names were a little rarer in my perusal of opponent rosters, so I think we’re absolutely blessed here to have a guy named “Jac Holy House,” one of the more Italian names out there in Dario Longhetto, and a guy not only named Duke but whose last name has some fun stuff going on with an apostrophe. How does it possibly get better from here, you guys???
3rd-Team 2022 ND Opponent All-Name Team
- Blake DeBisschop — QB, California
- Quincy Jountti — RB, USC
- Titan Case — FB, Navy
- Blackmon Huckabee Jr. — WR, Clemson
- Wise Segars Jr. — WR, Clemson
- Deamikkio Nathan II — WR, UNLV
- Kaleo Ballungay — TE, UNLV
- Bastian Swinney — OL, California
- Leif Fautanu — OL, UNLV
- Blerim Rustemi — OL, Boston College
- Gino Quinones — OL, USC
- McKade Mettauer — OL, California
Ahhhh, this is how.
We’ve got DeBisschop, a fullback named Titan, a super fun name to say in Quincy Jountti, the second Nathan to be named Deamikkio, other receivers named Wise and Blackmon Huckabee Jr., Kaleo ballin’ in a completely progressive and prideful way, and then a lineup of o-linemen named Bastian, Leif, Blerim, Gino, and McKade (*chef’s kiss*).
- Creedyn Foulger — DE, Navy
- Neto Okpala — DE, Boston College
- Keeshawn Silver — DL, North Carolina
- Fisher Jackson — DL, BYU
- Aeneas DiCosmo — LB, Stanford
- Marlowe Wax — LB, Syracuse
- Ralen Goforth — LB, USC
- Evan McLurkin — CB, California
- Giovanni Biggers — DB, North Carolina
- Ja’Qurious Conley — DB, North Carolina
- Lannden Zanders — S, Clemson
- Briton Allen — S, USC
The defense for this squad came to play as well, with unbelievable names like Creedyn and Ja’Qurious, lots of ‘n’ sounds in Lannden Zanders, a cornerback named McLurkin, “Fisher Jackson” and “Keeshawn Silver” teaming up in the middle, a defensive end who’s neat-o, a wonderful linebacker corps featuring a fun and fitting name (Marlowe Wax), an adventurous name (Ralen Goforth), and an old-fashioned/magical sounding name (Aeneas DiCosmo).
Oh yeah, and don’t forget the DB who’s even bigger than Giovanni Big, or the Brit at the back of the defense.
- Walker Hardan — LS, UNLV
- Avery Musick — PK, Marshall
- Ben Fee — P, Navy
We’ve got what you would say if you had a Metapod in Pokemon that you named “Walker,” a kicker with a fantastic stage name for a musical career, and a punter whose NIL contract writes itself (every appearance will include a Ben Fee of $X.XX). Fantastic stuff.
2nd-Team 2022 ND Opponent All-Name Team
- Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters — QB, BYU
- Jackson McChesney — RB, BYU
- Shield Taylor — FB, Stanford
- Joop Mitchell — WR, Ohio State
- Talmage Gunther — WR, BYU
- Hampton Earle — WR, Clemson
- Lake McRee — TE, USC
- Zen Michalski — OL, Ohio State
- Valentino Daltoso — OL, California
- Wisdom Asaboro — OL, North Carolina
- Joseph Petti — OL, Navy
- Christian Mahogany — OL, Boston College
At this point, we’re in the names that could easily have been 1st Team, but there just weren’t enough spots to include all of them. Here we have a QB named Sol-Jay who LOVES hyphens, the next great country star at running back, a fullback literally named SHIELD, a receiver named Joop to contrast with his fancy receiver teammates (Hampton Earle and Talmage Gunther), and a tight end whose name sounds like a nice Memorial Day Weekend destination.
Oh, and then we’ve got an offensive front full of Wisdom, feeling very Zen, smelling of rich (Christian) Mahogany, but also with a Petti side...and also Valentino Daltoso, which is so so so fun to say. Say it again. Valentino Daltoso. Wow.
- Javontae Jean-Baptiste — DE, Ohio State
- Michael Whitehouse — DE, Navy
- Tavis Malakius — DL, UNLV
- Zephron Lester — DT, Stanford
- Ieremia Ieremia — LB, California
- Chaisen Buckner — LB, Navy
- Anwar Sparrow — LB, Syracuse
- Kyu Blu Kelly — CB, Stanford
- Adonis Otey — CB, USC
- Jason Money — DB, BYU
- Raymond Woodie III — S, California
- Tommy Maurice — S, USC
Tavis Malakius is a name that feels like it was supposed to rhyme, but it doesn’t. As mentioned above, Michael Whitehouse is someone I would vote for in 2024 — no questions asked. We’ve got Ieremia — the name so nice they picked it twice — along with the French-ass name of Javontae Jean-Baptiste, guys named Zephron and Kyu Blu, and another great sexual name in Raymond Woodie III.
Tommy Maurice is an elite two-first-names name, Anwar Sparrow is the Pirate of the Caribbean we both need and deserve, Adonis Otey is an incredible juxtaposition of strong/tough first name with goofy, child-like last name, and Jason Money sounds like a Twitter account that tries to give tips on stocks and cryptocurrency.
Oh, and then there’s Chaisen Buckner, which COULD NOT BE A MORE PERFECT NAME FOR A NAVY LINEBACKER WHO WILL HAVE TO TRY TO TACKLE TYLER BUCHNER A LOT THIS SEASON. Seems almost too good to be true.
- Tito Pasqualoni — LS, Boston College
- Diego Preciado — PK, Stanford
- Kellen Grave de Peralta — P, Navy
Tito Pasqualoni and Diego Preciado are just elite, fun names with tons of vowels. Love what they’re doing there.
And then Kellen Grave de Peralta is just a wonderful 4-word name that leaves me thinking of the eventual grave of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Jake Peralta, which is a bittersweet concept (thinking of him makes me smile about that very funny show, but thinking about his grave is pretty dark, you guys).
1st-Team 2022 ND Opponent All-Name Team
Alright, time to dive into the 1st team — these are the absolute best of the best at their respective positions...at least according to me.
- Luke MacPhail — QB, Syracuse
- British Brooks — RB, North Carolina
- Champion Johnson — FB, California
- Jack Stakem — WR, Marshall
- Stone Scarcelle — WR, Marshall
- Trond Grizzell — WR, California
- Maximilian Mang — TE, Syracuse
- Gentle Williams — OL, California
- Diego Pounds — OL, North Carolina
- Will Bonkavich — OL, UNLV
- Tiger Shanks — OL, UNLV
- Finn Dirstine — OL, Boston College
A QB named “MacPhail”??? An alliterative running back with the first name of “British” following the lead block of a guy named Champion Johnson, which absolutely sounds like a fake name that a 5-year-old came up with???
Speaking of alliterations, Maximilian Mang is unreal for a tight end, and Stone Scarcelle is fun for a number of reasons. I’m also choosing to believe “Stakem” is pronounced “Stack ‘em,” because this is my article and my rules and “Jack Stack ’em!!!” would be so much fun to scream as he scores yet another big TD. However, the best name amongst the skill players here is, in my opinion, Trond Grizzell, and I honestly cannot explain why. But I just love it so much. Trond Grizzell!!
The offensive line here is pretty self-explanatory.
A guy named Diego Pounds and another named Tiger Shanks? Perfect football names and even more perfect for big offensive linemen. Similarly but in an ironic way, Gentle Williams has always been an elite name for a big ole guy who just forcefully pushes guys around all day. Finn Dirstine is also an elite football guy name — it just sounds like a big, tough, gritty guy who can deliver a beating.
And then, of course, we have Will Bonkavich. I refuse to believe his last name is pronounced any other way than “Bonk-a-vitch” and thus his name sounds so much like “Will Bonk a Bitch” that it’s easily one of the best names in this entire article. Just elite.
Also, an elite highlight video on YouTube:
- Aristotle Taylor — DE, Stanford
- Shitta Sillah — DE, Boston College
- TyQaze Leggs — DL, Marshall
- Jahvaree Ritzie — DL, North Carolina
- Steele Chambers — LB, Ohio State
- Chaz Ah You — LB, BYU
- Thunder Keck — LB, Stanford
- L Simpson — CB, USC
- Romaine Robinson — CB, Navy
- Storm Duck — DB, North Carolina
- Lathan Ransom — S, Ohio State
- Anthony Beavers Jr. — S, USC
If you were wondering how Ieremia Ieremia, Chaisen Buckner, and Anwar Sparrow all fell to the 2nd team, your questions have been answered here. A linebacker named Steele Chambers?? And another named Thunder Keck??? And then a third who sounds like a substitute teacher reading roll call, getting to Chaz in the list, and realizing who that is when Chaz raises his hand???? Just magnificent linebackers here on the 1st team, much to the chagrin of some truly amazing 2nd team linebacker names.
The defensive line is also brilliant here. We’ve got fancy names like Aristotle and Ritzie, but then combine them with TyQaze Leggs and Shittah Sillah, two names that sound just a bit more...rugged...than the others.
And then the secondary features a corner who goes by one letter as his first name, another who sounds like the citizen name of a veggie-themed superhero, and then the reigning best-name-in-college-football for 4 years running now, Storm Duck.
Add Beavers Jr. and “Nathan With an L” Ransom to the mix, and that’s a lights-out secondary of names. Wowee.
- Rex Goossen — LS, UNLV
- Cash Peterman — PK, BYU
- Charlton Butt — P, UNLV
As someone whose favorite YouTube video all-time is Geese Jogging Down the Road (original), Goossen is an objectively funny last name, and Rex being his first name pushes it over the top...especially because it essentially means “King Goose.”
Add in a kicker who is CASH money and a punter who not only is named Butt, but whose first name is Carlton but with an ‘h’ tossed in there, and it’s an ELITE group of specialists here for the 1st team. I don’t think anyone could debate these choices right here.
Alright folks, that’s it for all this, but I’m going to need your thoughts in the comments. Which were your favorites? Which ones do you hate? Did I snub any names, or overrate any that deserved better? Can any name top the likes of Storm Duck or Trond Grizzell???
LET ME KNOW!!!!!!!!
What is the best name on an opponent’s roster for 2022?
This poll is closed
Chaz Ah You
Rex "King Goose" Goossen
Other — sound off in the comments!