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Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 74 Billy Schrauth, early-enrolled freshman offensive guard coming off foot surgery

Billy Schrauth

Listed measurements: 6-foot-4, 272 pounds.2022-23 year, eligibility: An early-enrolled freshman, Schrauth has four seasons of eligibility remaining, and five years to use them.Depth Chart: Schrauth was recruited as a guard, and Notre Dame actually has a slight dearth of them at the moment. He could find himself on the two-deep behind sixth-year right guard Josh Lugg, though it would be somewhat a nominal placement, as junior Michael Carmody may be the backup across the offensive line. Furthermore, sophomore Rocco Spindler would likely be ahead of Schrauth if a backup guard was needed long-term, even if Spindler is listed as the No. 2 left guard.Recruiting: As misguided and intrusive as much of the recruiting process can be, it can also serve as benchmarks in the college football timeline, just as much as notable wins do. For example, early-enrolled freshman defensive lineman Tyson Ford will long be remembered as the first commitment to Marcus Freeman as the Irish defensive coordinator, a pledge pulled in by Freeman at the last minute, flipping Ford from a strong Oklahoma lean.

Similarly, Schrauth will be long remembered as Freeman’s first stop as Notre Dame’s head coach. After his introductory press conference on a Monday in early December, Freeman and Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rees boarded a flight straight for Schrauth in Fond du Lac, Wis. Days later, the No. 3 guard in the class and No. 86 player overall, per, chose Notre Dame over his homestate Wisconsin.

Schrauth had debated between the two programs for months. Freeman’s push was the notable edge the Irish apparently needed.

Even Freeman remembers Schrauth as his first stop as Notre Dame’s head coach. He and Rees were ultimately on their way to the West Coast to visit receiver Tobias Merriweather to undo some of the damage done by Brian Kelly in his last stop as Irish head coach. Fond du Lac just happened to be on the way.

“As you became the head coach, you had to get with Tommy and the offensive staff, what do we need to do?” Freeman said in December, remembering those chaotic days. “Obviously getting Billy to sign here was huge, but keeping those four offensive linemen committed, too, was a big task for us.”

Schrauth is nearly non-existent on social media, at least publicly. His Instagram boasts one post, his commitment to Notre Dame. He has tweeted just once this year, a pro forma post pushing an NFT-based Irish collective.

In other words, Schrauth displays the humility typical of most Wisconsinites.

“Schrauth [is a] respected mauler in the run game, suggesting [he] ends up at guard down the line.”

Schrauth played through a left foot injury in his senior season of high school. No further damage was done, but it was enough of a concern that he had surgery on the foot within a week of arriving on Notre Dame’s campus.

Thus, Schrauth’s spring lifting was done largely one-legged. He missed all of spring practices.

He may have garnered praise similar to Spindler a year ago, seen as a worthy contributor if the offensive line needed him. Instead, the focus is now on Schrauth getting fully healthy.

A 300-pound teenager on a stressed foot warrants caution. There is no need to rush Schrauth back. Even if he could be listed on the two-deep, Notre Dame will have options at guard. From Lugg, Carmody and Spindler, there is also fifth-year center Jarrett Patterson. Some speculation already expects Patterson to move to guard (and senior Zeke Correll to start at center). If so, that is another body ahead of Schrauth in that pecking order. If not, any long-term injury at guard would immediately reignite such speculation, again dropping Schrauth down the pecking order.

For 2022, Schrauth may be out of the mix, but that should pay off for him in terms of health.

Lugg and Patterson will be gone next season. Correll and senior left guard Andrew Kristofic will likely be back, but nothing should be assumed. For this conversation, let’s presume both are, but Correll works at center.

Suddenly, Spindler, Carmody and Schrauth will be competing to start at right guard. Schrauth may be the youngest among them, but he is also the most prototypical guard. Much of that is his mentality. Schrauth just wants to hit people.

That is not hyperbole. He has said it. In discussing whether he’d like the paycheck that comes to tackles, Schrauth dismissed that incentive.

“It ain’t about that for me,” he said this winter. “It’s about hitting guys. I just like hitting guys.”

Let’s repeat that.

“I just like hitting guys.”

Put that on a t-shirt and give Schrauth some of the proceeds.

His time to do hit guys will come. Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand believes Schrauth will be full-go by August, at which point, his hitting will commence.

That kind of singular focus is best utilized on the interior of the line. Be it in 2023 or in 2024 once Kristofic is assuredly elsewhere, Schrauth will hit guys.

RELATED READING: Notre Dame pulls four-star offensive lineman out of Wisconsin
Notre Dame didn’t hire Marcus Freeman for this recruiting class, but his effect on it was undeniable anywayDozen early enrollees get head start at Notre DameFoot surgery can’t slow the roll of ND freshman O-line prodigy Schrauth

From Blake Grupe to Braden Lenzy, the offseason countdown begins anew
No. 99 Blake Grupe, kicker, Arkansas State transfer
No. 99 Rylie Mills, junior defensive lineman, a tackle now playing more at end

No. 98 Tyson Ford, early-enrolled freshman, a defensive tackle recruited as a four-star end
No. 97 Gabriel Rubio, sophomore defensive tackle, still ‘as wide as a Volkswagen’
No. 92 Aidan Keanaaina, a junior defensive tackle who tore his ACL in March
No. 91 Josh Bryan, sophomore kicker
No. 91 Aiden Gobaira, early-enrolled freshman defensive end, four-star recruit
No. 90 Alexander Ehrensberger, junior defensive end, a German project nearing completion
No. 89 Eli Raridon, incoming freshman tight end with a torn ACL
No. 88 Mitchell Evans, sophomore tight end
No. 87 Michael Mayer, junior tight end, likely All-American
No. 84 Kevin Bauman, junior tight end
No. 83 Jayden Thomas, sophomore receiver, former four-star recruit
No. 80 Cane Berrong, sophomore tight end coming off an ACL injury
No. 79 Tosh Baker, one of four young Irish offensive tackles
No. 78 Pat Coogan, sophomore center, recovering from a meniscus injury
No. 77* Ty Chan, incoming offensive tackle, former four-star recruit
No. 76 Joe Alt, sophomore starting left tackle
No. 75 Josh Lugg, sixth-year offensive lineman, likely starting right guard

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