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Press Conference, August 17, 2022 - Running Backs Coach Deland McCullough and select players

It’s obvious from the get-go that Coach D is a no-nonsense type of leader. He expects his players to “carry the team.” Every day he shows them film of NFL running backs because that’s what he expects from them on the field.

Coach had high praise for Audric Estime. He characterized him as a proficient running back who displays speed, power, elusiveness and surprisingly good hands in catching the ball. He emphasized that you will definitely see Audric involved in “more than 10 plays this season!”

Kudos were also given to “the best OL coach,” Harry Hiestand. Coach D stated that Coach Hiestand has developed an offensive line that any running back would love to run behind.

The first player to speak today was Logan Diggs who commented on the “new culture” in the running backs room. He said that Coach D is very detail oriented and pushes his backs to “strive for perfection!” Diggs is anxious to ditch the red shirt and return to full participation on the field. He said it’s very hard to just watch and isn’t sure if he’ll be cleared for Week 1. He feels “the shoulder is ready to go,” but still needs to be cleared by the professionals to participate.

Next up was Chris Tyree who has suffered through “the ups and downs’ of his career over his years at Notre Dame. He feels now that he has made an all-over improvement in his game, and that Coach D has helped him make better decisions because he actually played the position, himself. Chris feels that even though he has put on some weight that he’s now faster on the field. He feels that the running back room is closer than it has ever been before and everyone has a role competing.

The freshman, Gi’Bran Payne revealed that it was a difficult transition to college life, but that he’s doing much better now. He confirmed that he is on the depth chart as a kick returner this season.

Finally, the big man, Audric Estime, took the podium with his equally big personality. He expects to “do it all” this season because he feels he has improved in all aspects of his game. He commented that the O Line makes him comfortable on the field and that both position groups push each other to be better every day. Audric characterized himself as “unique” and that there is “no one like me!” He is having “the time of my life” and expects to be the “best back in the country!”

We like the way you think, big guy!

Logan Diggs (Photo courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics/FIDM

Audric Estime

Chris Tyree

Gi'Bran Payne

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