Notre Dame 99-to-2: No. 19 Jay Bramblett, freshman punter
Listed Measurements: 6-foot-1 ½, 189 pounds.2019-20 year, eligibility: An early-enrolled freshman, Bramblett has all four seasons of eligibility remaining, including 2019.Depth chart: The only scholarship punter on the roster, Bramblett is expected to handle all accompanying duties.
Recruiting: The All-American was considered the No. 4 punter in the country, per rivals.com, and chose the Irish over Missouri.
Spring practices in northwestern Indiana can be unkind to punters, especially early-enrolled freshman punters. Notre Dame knew it needed to get Bramblett some work, but those were not always the most productive repetitions when weather conditions forced practice indoors.
“We’ve been impressed, but we’re kicking it to a very shallow — he hits the heck out of those iron grids up there,” Irish head coach Brian Kelly said in mid-March. “We see a guy who is extremely consistent, athletic, handles the ball very well. He’s got good hands.
“You look at the fundamentals early on and you can tell he’s a really good athlete. Catches the ball well, steps are consistent. We’re going to get what we expected there.”
Note: Notre Dame will have access to the new indoor practice fields by next spring, presumably even by this preseason, meaning Bramblett should not have to worry about cross beams in the future.
WHAT WAS SAID WHEN BRAMBLETT’S NATIONAL LETTER OF INTENT ARRIVED
“With (Tyler) Newsome finishing his career this year, a punter was always a necessity for Notre Dame in this class. Bramblett will start as a freshman.
“... And barring troubles, he will start for the next four years. In that regard, getting this recruitment right was all important. Using up a second roster spot on a punter because the planned one does not pan out is costly. At the very least, the Irish identified who they wanted and got him, which should bode well.
If Bramblett does not take great strides toward improvement this summer, then Notre Dame fans should buckle up. His Blue-Gold Game performance took all memories of Tyler Newsome and made the Irish finally miss what it had always taken for granted. Bramblett punted eight times in the spring finale, averaging 34.9 yards per punt. And those were not shortened by the end zone or by attempts to pin the figurative opponent; he placed no punts inside the 20 or into the end zone.
The good news? Notre Dame’s offense should reduce how often Bramblett is needed. By no means can it be expected he will not be called upon at all, but afternoons of heavy work should be limited, perhaps to only a trip to Georgia.
If this sounds pessimistic, Bramblett’s spring showing warrants such. His punts routinely had the wrong spin, cutting short their net yardage by bouncing the wrong way back down the field. The ones that had the wanted spin were shanked out of bounds. It was a tough day.
DOWN THE ROAD
But Bramblett is Notre Dame’s punter, and that is usually a lifetime appointment, at least as far as eligibility can take a player. Bramblett would probably even be given a second season of struggles before another scholarship punter was brought in.
In theory, that job security could deliver Bramblett some peace of mind as he works through his growing pains.
NOTRE DAME 99-to-2:
No. 95: Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, defensive tackle
No. 94: Isaiah Foskey, freshman defensive end, consensus four-star
No. 94: Darnell Ewell, defensive tackle
No. 91: Ade Ogundeji, defensive end
No. 90: Hunter Spears, defensive tackle, early-enrolled consensus four-star
No. 89: Brock Wright, tight end
No. 88: Javon McKinley, receiver
No. 87: Michael Young, receiver
No. 85: George Takacs, tight end
No. 84: Cole Kmet, tight end
No. 83: Chase Claypool, receiver
No. 80: Micah Jones, receiver
No. 78: Tommy Kraemer, right guard, three-year starter
No. 77: Quinn Carroll, offensive tackle, early-enrolled consensus four-star
No. 76: Dillan Gibbons, offensive guard
No. 75: Josh Lugg, offensive lineman
No. 74: Liam Eichenberg, left tackle, two-year starter
No. 73: Andrew Kristofic, offensive tackle, early-enrolled consensus four-star
No. 72: Robert Hainsey, offensive tackle, three-year starter
No. 71: John Olmstead, offensive lineman, early-enrolled consensus four-star
No. 69: Aaron Banks, left guard
No. 60: Cole Mabry, offensive tackle
No. 57: Trevor Ruhland, veteran backup offensive lineman
No. 57: Jayson Ademilola, defensive tackle
No. 56: John Dirksen, offensive lineman
No. 56: Howard Cross, incoming freshman defensive lineman, consensus four-star
No. 55: Jarrett Patterson, starting center
No. 55: Ja’Mion Franklin, defensive tackle returning from injury
No. 54: Jacob Lacey, consensus four-star defensive tackle, early enrollee
No. 54: John Shannon, long snapper
No. 53: Khalid Kareem, senior defensive end
No. 52: Zeke Correll, consensus four-star center, early enrollee
No. 52: Bo Bauer, linebacker, sophomore
No. 47: Kofi Wardlow, junior defensive end
No. 45: Jonathan Jones, senior inside linebacker
No. 44: Jamir Jones, senior defensive end
No. 42: Julian Okwara, senior defensive end
No. 41: Kurt Hinish, junior defensive tackle
No. 40: Drew White, junior inside linebacker
No. 39: Jonathan Doerer, junior kicker
No. 35: TaRiq Bracy, sophomore cornerback
No. 35: Marist Liufau, Hawaiian freshman linebacker
No. 34: Jahmir Smith, sophomore running back
No. 34: Osita Ekwonu, inside linebacker, consensus four-star
No. 33: Shayne Simon, sophomore linebacker
No. 31: Jack Lamb, sophomore linebacker
No. 30: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, junior linebacker
No. 29: Ovie Oghoufo, sophomore linebacker-turned-defensive end
No. 27: J.D. Bertrand, consensus four-star linebacker
No. 25: Braden Lenzy, speedy sophomore receiver
No. 24: Tommy Tremble, sophomore tight end
No. 24: Jack Kiser, early-enrolled freshman linebacker, Mr. Indiana Football
No. 23: Litchfield Ajavon, four-star safety, freshman
No. 23: Kyren Williams, early-enrolled freshman running back
No. 22: Kendall Abdur-Rahman, quarterback-turned-receiver, freshman
No. 22: Asmar Bilal, the only returning starting linebacker
No. 21: Jalen Elliott, three-year starting safety
No. 20: Shaun Crawford, defensive back returning from yet another injury
No. 20: C’Bo Flemister, sophomore running back