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Jarrett Patterson Named Nation's Top Returning Interior Lineman

Pro Football Focus ranks Notre Dame center Jarrett Patterson as the nation's top returning interior lineman

Notre Dame got a huge boost when three-year starting center Jarrett Patterson decided to return for a fifth and final season. His return gives the Irish a veteran presence and a talented blocker, one that Pro Football Focus ranks as the nation's best returning interior blocker.

"Mr. Clean should seek out a partnership with Patterson because their brand’s name is the perfect representation of the Notre Dame center’s play. Bucketing him with all Power Five centers this past season, Patterson ranks third in negatively graded run-block rate and first in pass-blocking grade. He played a whopping 526 pass-blocking snaps and didn’t allow a sack. In fact, Patterson still has yet to allow a sack on over 1,300 pass-block snaps in his career. Now, he did have an uncharacteristic issue with false starts this season (eight in total), but that’s not something to be concerned about in 2022. Patterson is the top returning center heading into the next year's college football season." - PFF

Patterson was a bit up-and-down last season, which was due in part to the struggles Notre Dame had at guard. As the season wore on we saw Patterson get better and better, and that was especially true once Andrew Kristofic solidified the guard position.

A key for new line coach Harry Hiestand will be getting the guard play to be better in 2022, which would also benefit Patterson. When the guards played well last season it often coincided with Patterson having his best games, which is due to him being able to focus on doing his job and not covering for the guards.

Another year removed from the foot injury that cost him the final four games of the 2020 season and out of the spring should also help Patterson build on his success from the 2021 season.

Four Notre Dame opponents also had blockers named to the list. Ohio State center Luke Wypler ranked No. 5, Boston College guard Christian Mahogany was ranked No. 7, USC center Brett Neilon ranked No. 8 and BYU guard Clark Barrington ranked No. 10.

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