Notre Dame football: Audric Estime is still severely underrated

It’s no secret Notre Dame football has a great offensive line and one of the best running back rooms in the nation. Still, their workhorse running back, the go-to guy should they start playing competitive games, is big power back Audric Estime.

The one issue that could prevent him from being an every-down back in the NFL is his pass-catching ability.

Estime has the size, frame, strength, and surprising burst to be a run-game workhorse in the NFL for just about any team. His ability to bounce off would-be tacklers and stay balanced to gain more yards after contact is truly unmatched in college football.

According to PFF, Estime leads all running backs with 16 missed tackles forced through two games.

The talented 5-foot-11, 230-pound junior has already amassed 211 yards on 29 carries to the tune of a 7.3 rushing average. While that’ll be nearly impossible to sustain throughout the season, he may not finish too far off from that number. Through parts of two seasons to begin his career, Audric had nine total catches. This year, in two contests, he already has three catches for 33 yards. These are not awe-inspiring numbers, but he’s certainly on track to be improved catching passes out of the backfield.

While Joe Alt and Blake Fisher are top-of-the-line prospects along the offensive line, Notre Dame football is employing a couple of new faces there. Still, even with the inexperience at certain spots, Estime is a machine along the ground.

Notre Dame has tallied 65 rushes this season, with Sam Hartman accounting for four of those. Add in Estime’s 29 carries, and a whopping 32 total carries have gone to six other running backs and one former back in Chris Tyree. With NC State, Ohio State, Duke, Clemson, and USC on the docket in the near future, expect the star running back to get a bigger workload.

Give Estime more touches and playing time; his numbers should only skyrocket even more, barring total disaster along the offensive line. I’m pumped to see what he can do for the remainder of this season, and I’m sure NFL coaches will be watching him closely as he works his way into early-round draft consideration.