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Third Notre Dame veteran drafted with Jarrett Patterson going to the Houston Texans

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 13 Notre Dame at Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - NOVEMBER 13: Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Jarrett Patterson (55) during a game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Virginia Cavaliers on November 13, 2021, at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, VA (Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After four years starting on Notre Dame’s offensive line, Jarrett Patterson will head to the Houston Texans. The Texans snagged Patterson in Saturday’s sixth round of the NFL draft with the No. 201 overall pick.

Patterson fought through a number of injuries in his Irish career, beginning with a Lisfranc injury that cost him the final games of the 2020 season, including Notre Dame’s only two losses that year. A torn pectoral cost Patterson the 2022 spring practices before a preseason foot sprain sidelined him for the Ohio State opener this past fall.

When he returned to the lineup a week later, he did so at left guard after three years at center, a move made by the Irish both to get the five best offensive linemen on the field and to improve Patterson’s NFL résumé. In his career, he started 34 games at center and 12 at left guard, never giving up a sack in doing so.

“I’d say every team I met with, formally and informally, throughout this draft process, my whole thing has been talking about my versatility and being able to play all three interior spots,” Patterson said in early March at the NFL combine. “That’s been my biggest selling point. It doesn’t matter, I don’t care where I’m at. Get me somewhere inside and I can play to the best of my ability.”

The two-time captain opted into playing in Notre Dame’s bowl game this past season, somewhat a rarity for a veteran already likely getting drafted.

“The way I look at it, I have one more opportunity to play with this group,” Patterson said before the Gator Bowl. “Despite all the injuries, passing on an opportunity — the injuries come and go, but memories last forever. I really had no thought of opting out or not practicing, anything like that. I wanted to finish this thing off the right way and play my last game as a Notre Dame football player.”

With Patterson at the next level, the Irish offensive line will look largely to fifth-year center Zeke Correll for leadership while a handful of players continue to compete to start at guard, Notre Dame also needing to replace right guard Josh Lugg.

In spring practices, fifth-year Andrew Kristofic, sophomore Billy Schrauth and junior Rocco Spindler seemed to lead the way among the possible guards.

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