Chris Tyree suddenly went from a sophomore running back having a big Fiesta Bowl to being the veteran leader in Deland McCullough’s room.
It’s a role that has challenged Tyree as he’s usually soft-spoken, but the Virginia native has embraced it as well.
“I think it’s just up to me to be more vocal,” Tyree said. “Leading by example is just one thing a leader does. It’s not what we do here. I was pushed to become more vocal and hold people accountable. It’s been good for me so far.”
Another challenge was a sprained ankle, which led Notre Dame to be cautious with Tyree.
Notre Dame head football coach Marcus Freeman isn’t too concerned about that as he admitted Tyree could have practiced on Saturday but held him back due to the number of team reps live on the program.
“It’s getting better,” Tyree explained. “The first two days were really frustrating just because it’s an ankle and it’s really sore and swollen. It’s been a process for me just coming back. I’m almost there so that’s a good thing.”
In fact, it might be good for the racetrack in the long run as it led to Tyree stepping up to that voice role.
“I think honestly being out and not getting reps has helped me a lot just because I don’t get reps and I can’t just lead by example,” Tyree said. “I had to find a way to stay in that leadership role and being vocal and holding people accountable were some of those things. So honestly it’s been pretty easy for me because I don’t have a representatives.”
Notre Dame has four quality backs as Jadarian Price, the first listed, impressed midway through the spring drills.
Tyree is not far from being a freshman and adjusting to college football, which made him appreciate what he saw from Price.
“I feel like he did a really good job catching it so fast,” Tyree said. “He just arrived a few months ago and he’s already getting reps with those and playing really fast. I think it comes down to him being competitive and not meeting the norm like everyone else. “
And no, there’s no jealousy in the running backs’ room as four fullbacks battle to replace Kyren Williams.
It’s healthy competition and there’s support from Tyree all the way to Price.
“I think we’ve grown a lot, especially in the last two months with Kyren leaving,” Tyree explained. “I think we understood that everyone had to step up a bit and now we’re at the point where no matter who’s in it or what the situation is, I think we’re all going to be good at getting the job done. So, it did us good.”
Tyree has also enjoyed the increased competition in training under Freeman as it sets a strong tone for the whole year.
“I think his standard is based on competitiveness,” Tyree said. “No matter what we do, we’re always competing against each other. I mean, it’s crazy. But a big thing is competitiveness. I think another thing is to watch out for your brothers , the people next to you.”
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