SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame football is back, holding its first fall practice Wednesday at the Irish Athletics Center, marking year two of the coach Marcus Freeman era. While players weren’t in full pads, it still gave a glimpse into what the Irish might look like when they open the 2023 college football season Aug. 26 against Navy in Dublin, Ireland.
Here are some quick hit observations from Day 1 in which the media was able to watch in-full.
2023 Notre Dame football season preview:Everything you need to know heading into fall camp
No KK Smith for wide receiver drills
A true freshman, Smith was the only player of the wide receiver group not to practice Wednesday. He appeared to have his left arm in a sling while limited to riding a stationary bike.
Smith, a June enrollee, is one of four freshman wideouts on scholarship, alongside Jaden Greathouse, Rico Flores Jr. and Braylon James.
Position breakdown:Which Notre Dame football wide receivers can earn Hartman's trust?
Who might the Notre Dame football captains be?
There were 11 different lines during for warmups and stretching, with each leader being a logical candidate to be voted a team captain.
The 11 players were quarterback Sam Hartman, offensive linemen Zeke Correll and Joe Alt, wide receiver Chris Tyree, tight end Kevin Bauman, long snapper Michael Vinson, defensive linemen Rylie Mills and Nana Osafo-Mensah, safety DJ Brown, cornerback Cam Hart, and linebacker JD Betrand.
Captains will be selected and announced at a later date.
Potential first-team Notre Dame offense takes reps
Here were the 11 players who took snaps on the presumed first-team offense.
Quarterback: Sam Hartman.
Running back: Audric Estimé.
Wide receivers: Chris Tyree, Tobias Merriweather and Jayden Thomas.
Tight end: Mitchell Evans.
Offensive line: Joe Alt (left tackle), Billy Schrauth (left guard), Zeke Correll (center), Andrew Kristofic (right guard) and Blake Fisher (right tackle).
Potential first-team Notre Dame defense
Here were the 11 players that took reps on the presumed first-team defense.
Defensive line: Javonte Jean-Baptiste (end), Rylie Mills (tackle), Howard Cross III (tackle) and Jordan Botelho (end).
Linebackers: Marist Liufau, Jack Kiser and JD Bertrand.
Secondary: Benjamin Morrison (corner), Ramon Henderson (safety), Xavier Watts (safety) and Cam Hart (corner).
Where in the world was Chris Tyree?
Moving Tyree from running back to wide receiver in the spring was somewhat of a surprise, but Tyree looked comfortable in the position Wednesday.
The senior from Chester, Va., who was a 247Sports 5-star all-purpose player out of high school, made a couple nice catches in both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, filling the slot wide receiver position smoothly.
More:Breaking down Notre Dame football's running back rotation for 2023
Tyree was also one of the players returning punts along with wideout Matt Salerno, running back Gi’Bran Payne, cornerback Jaden Mickey, running back Jadarian Price and Greathouse. It appears either Salerno or Tyree are the favorites for that role based on the first practice.
Notre Dame football QB Steve Angeli shows potential
While Hartman has the starting job locked up barring disaster, Angeli showed why the Notre Dame coaching staff trusts him as the backup.
Angeli, a sophomre out of Bergen Catholic in New Jersey had some strong throws in the 1-on-1, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, including a beautiful fade route throw for a touchdown to James during 7-on-7.
Profile:Getting to know Notre Dame football QB Steve Angeli heading into 2023 season
Head games
The offensive coaches were wearing headsets during the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 portions, simulating what a game might look like.
New offensive coordinator Gerad Parker had a play sheet with him as well. This is the first fall camp with Parker as OC, as well as new quarterbacks coach Gino Guidugli.
Notre Dame linebacker Jack Kiser shows off the wheels
Although you can’t make contact with the quarterback in practice, Kiser would’ve had a sack on Hartman if it were allowed during 11-on-11. Hartman rolled out to his left and was immediately tracked down by Kiser, showing off his athleticism.
The graduate senior from Royal Center, Ind. (Pioneer High School) started six games in 2022, finishing second on the team with 58 tackles and adding 2.5 sacks.
Talking trash out of the gate
The trash talk was flying on day one. Both the offensive and defensive players traded verbal jabs throughout the head-to-head drills, with head coach Marcus Freeman even stopping practice at one point to talk to the entire team.
After about a five-minute delay, the skill position players kept practicing, while the offensive linemen trotted off the field toward the treatment area.
Notre Dame football Day 1 highlight
Jaden Mickey made a nice one-handed interception during 11-on-11, picking off the pass from Angeli. It was one of the few mistakes made by Angeli.

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