Veteran Offensive Line returns for Fighting Irish
The Fighting Irish are returning 18 veterans to the starting roster including offensive linemen Jarrett Patterson and Josh Lugg who sought guidance from former Irish linemen who are now in the NFL about why returning to Notre Dame is the right move.
"I even talked to Nick Martin as well just asking what their experience was coming back for a fifth year,” Jarrett Patterson, Notre Dame fifth-year senior offensive lineman said. “For me a big concern was risk of injury, which of course I had a year before. But to put it in perspective. You think about all the other great o-linemen who have come back for a fifth year here and I kind of knew that was the best thing for me to do."
The Fighting Irish will have no shortage of experience on the offensive line heading into 2022, as Jarrett Patterson will be a fifth year senior and Josh Lugg will be a sixth year senior.
But there’s a common goal as to why so many players are returning back to Notre Dame.
It’s to win a national championship and win the Joe Moore Award, which is awarded to the best offensive line unit in the country.
"I want to come back,” Josh Lugg, Notre Dame sixth-year offensive lineman said. “I want to help Notre Dame win. I want to become a better version of myself. Win the Joe Moore award. A lot of the emphasis is how I can help these younger guys coming in and develop. Just like Hunter Bivin, Mike McGlinchey, and Quenton Nelson did for me when I was coming in.
While Lugg’s season was cut short due to a knee injury he suffered preparing for the Fiesta Bowl, he says his desire to win and his Notre Dame teammates is why he chose to come back for a sixth season.
"I love being able to play next to my brothers,” Lugg said. “It was unfortunate that I couldn't finish the season the way I wanted to, but you know I have another opportunity coming up. I have another great opportunity through spring ball, and all the drills we'll be doing and winter conditioning to get better.”
New coaching hires today for Notre Dame include the hiring of offensive line coach Harry Heistand and wide receivers coach Chansi Stuckey.