Sep 11, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Northwestern Wildcats safety Brandon Joseph (16) runs back a punt against the Indiana State Sycamores during the second half at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
The Notre Dame football has a special player coming in at safety this offseason, and he could be the best safety in the entire country.
Losing a talent like Kyle Hamilton would hurt any college football team, and the Notre Dame football program is no different. During his time with the Irish, Hamilton rounded into one of the best defensive players in the country and decided to leave with eligibility left this past season.
Hamilton was smart to do so, however, as he is a potential top-3 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and maybe the most NFL-ready defender coming out this year. His being gone leaves a gaping hole in the Irish secondary, but one that will be filled by another All-American talent this upcoming season.
Brandon Joseph was an All-American during the 2020 season with the Northwestern Wildcats, and in his first season in South Bend, will be expected to come in and dominate. This defensive backfield is one with a lot of question marks going into next season, but Joseph should not be one of them, as he has proven he can stop the best of the best during his college career.
During the team’s appearance in the 2020 Big Ten title game, Joseph locked down the combination of Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, a tandem that are both likely slated for the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
For Joseph, the 2023 first round may be a real possibility.
Last season, there was no doubt that in terms of talent and production, Hamilton was the best safety in the country. His ability to go sideline-to-sideline was unmatched by any other player out there, and the team should get similar production from Joseph in 2022.
Joseph has posted nine interceptions over his last 21 games, and if he can improve his tackling, he should be ticketed for the first round in 2023. He is an incredible athlete, has remarkable ball skills, and is going to be expected to come in and lead a secondary that has another potential early-round pick in cornerback Cam Hart.
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Overall, if you are going to replace an All-American talent like Kyle Hamilton, you might as well do it with another All-American talent. Joseph was a special player at Northwestern, and maybe under Freeman and his staff, he can become the best safety in the country.
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