Multiple sources say Notre Dame freshman Zadarian Price suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during summer training this week and is out for the season Athletic.
The four-star prospect is a mid-year prospect from Denison, Texas, who has impacted staff throughout the offseason as a starting contributor. The need for a younger player to flee to the Irish before the start of spring practice was so serious that Logan Diggs suffered a serious shoulder injury in the Blue-Gold Game, which could have prevented him from getting ready for the season. Healthy. Diggs is expected to return in the latest mid-season.
Without Diggs and Price, the Irish would leave Chris Tyree, Adrick Estim and G’Bran Payne as scholarship running backs. Tyree finished with 56 carries for 222 yards last season. Estim rushed seven times for 60 yards, all of his earned yards coming in the final stages of Georgia Tech’s 55-0 blowout. He got a carry in the Fiesta Bowl, a yard loss.
Tyree has his own history of injury, including a turf toe that limited the effectiveness of last season’s high season and an ankle sprain that erased spring practice. Payne suffered multiple injuries at the high school, which slowed down recruiting that included early offers from Notre Dame, Alabama, Michigan and Florida but initially signed with Indiana in anticipation of Cincinnati.
When Notre Dame hired running backs coach Deland McCullough away from the Hoosiers, Payne asked for his letter of intent, which he later thought was a luxury addition to the Irish. For every spine healthy, Payne could be the fifth scholarship. Now he is the third.
Notre Dame is looking to replace Kyren Williams, who has already posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with two-digit touchdowns. Williams left Notre Dame after three seasons and the Los Angeles Rams drafted him in the fifth round this spring. His departure from the Fiesta Bowl gave him a preview of Notre Dame’s running back room. The Irish backs had 16 carries for 46 yards in a loss to Oklahoma State.
And while there is a risk of over-emphasis on price loss, who are yet to log on to a college carry, the lack of depth at Notre Dame’s position when the training camp opens on August 5 is a challenge. The question is how it is now. The Irish maintain it.
(Photo: Matt Cashore / USA Today)