Back in February 2017 – Notre Dame had landed themselves a play maker.
A true speedster that Notre Dame had not seen since Irish great “Rocket” Ismail – that was Oregon native Braden Lenzy.
As a high school junior, Lenzy had offers from Oregon, Washington State, UCLA, Michigan State, Stanford, USC and of course, Notre Dame.
Shortly after committing to play for the Irish – Lenzy decommited and signed with the hometown Ducks of Oregon. As a player with his speed, Oregon seemed like the perfect scheme.
Christmas Came Early
But in December of 2017 – Notre Dame received an early Christmas present. Then Oregon head coach Willie Taggart left Eugene, OR for the opening as Florida State Seminoles head coach – I am sure he is regretting that now. When Taggart left Oregon lost Lenzy’s commitment instantly, and Lenzy decided to call Notre Dame his future home.
This all happened following his senior season, where he led the Tigard Senior High School Tigers to a 10-3 record. He was a two-way star posting over 1,000 yards from scrimmage, 10 touchdowns and seven picks on defense.
Lenzy also ran track with a personal best 10.62 second 100m dash – he has also posted a 4.40 40-yard dash while at Notre Dame – that is a fast man!
Now he’s a star in the making for Notre Dame.
Now considered a sophomore – Lenzy still has three additional seasons of eligibility left, as he did not play in 2018.
The once four-star recruit, was expected to stay in development until his junior season but due to lack of depth followed by the departure of Michael Young Jr – Lenzy was given some game action.
With his few chances, he has made some major plays – most impressive was his 51 yard, second quarter touchdown run against the USC Trojans that helped the Irish build a 17-3 half-time lead which they were able to use to fend off the Trojans 30-27.
One addendum to Braden Lenzy’s 51-yard touchdown. When’s the last time Notre Dame could “out-athlete” USC with an offensive skill position player? Not talking about beating them up physically, talking about just blowing right by them with speed. pic.twitter.com/tYX2CPJJG5
— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) October 13, 2019
At 51 yards, he has the second longest rush current ND players – Book had a 53 yard run against Duke.
He also has the longest touchdown reception of the ND active roster. The 70 yards bomb, which he scored this past weekend against Navy.
Notre Dame already up 28-0 on Navy 👀
Ian Book to Braden Lenzy for the 70 yard TD!! pic.twitter.com/qGcl56Zx7P
— Abdul Memon (@abdulamemon) November 16, 2019
This was the longest passing touchdown since the 2017 when Kevin Stepherson (83 yards) and Equanimeous St. Brown (75 yards) both had longer receptions. The pass to Lenzy was also a career long for the late blooming quarterback, Ian Book.
With only 13 touches, Lenzy is averaging 24.9 yards per reception & 15.8 yards per rush – he also has three total touchdowns.
With both veteran receivers left on the Irish roster departing after the 2019 season, The Irish will need to find reliable wide receivers seemingly overnight.
Freshmen receiver Kevin Austin Jr is among the next in succession with Lenzy as he received some high praise from team captain Chase Claypool as an emerging talent.
Irish fans also expect incoming recruiting class featuring five star receiver Jordan Johnson to ease the losses of Claypool and Chris Finke – but it’s tough to expect a true freshmen to make an immediate impact playing at the level of competition that Notre Dame does.
In either case, Lenzy will only get more opportunities for the Irish and his big play potential is going to be fun to watch for the remainder of 2019 and beyond for this star in the making for Notre Dame.