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Notre Dame Football: 4 Fire Freshmen of the Past

Frosh are friends, not food,

NCAA Football: Notre Dame Spring Game Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Young Notre Dame Fighting Irish talent is in the spotlight as the recruiting game gets hotter and hotter under new head coach Marcus Freeman. You could say the kids are all right as we head into the new season. As we get hyped for the potential of the new Irish era, let’s take a look at just some of the most elite true freshmen in Notre Dame football history.

Tommy Rees

New Era Pinstripe Bowl - Rutgers v Notre Dame Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Do you have a moment to talk about our Lord and savior, Reesus Christ? Before he became the Irish OC and frequent OFD Photoshop subject, Rees was the first Irish freshman quarterback in program history to lead his team to a bowl game win in the 2010 Hyundai Sun Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes. While panicked play under pressure kept him from killing it on passing, Rees stayed level-headed enough to lead his team to victory in all four of his starts as a freshman after stepping in for an injured Dayne Crist.

Justin Yoon

Notre Dame beats LSU 21-17 in Citrus Bowl 2018 Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

This kicker not only holds the record for most points from a freshman in Notre Dame football history, but also the school’s career scoring record. In his first year wearing the gold and blue in 2015, Yoon connected on 88.2% of field goal attempts and finished the season with 95 points, leading the team. After shaking off two missed field goals in his first two games, he was able to find his flow. His 52-yard field goal against the Navy Midshipmen was the longest nationally from a freshman in the 2015 season.

Ross Browner

Notre Dame Fighting Irish v Pittsburgh Panthers Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

As an Irish freshman in 1973, this defensive lineman made his first impression by blocking a punt against Northwestern and breaking the punter’s leg in his debut. No big deal. Former Irish left guard Frank Pomarico said of Browner, “He put so much pressure on the quarterbacks and you couldn’t get outside of him. It was like, ‘We better go the other way.’ He ended his two-championship career at Notre Dame with 340 tackles, which is the school record for a defensive lineman.

Luther Bradley

Another ‘73 freshman, Bradley made a name for himself in the USC game by giving a shock to Trojan Lynn Swann and knocking away his helmet on USC’s first play. He finished his career with the Irish with 17 interceptions for 218 yards, a school record.

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