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25 NFL teams to send scouts to Notre Dame, Ohio State season opener

Vincent Frank

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Ohio State Buckeyes will do battle in the Horseshoe a week from Saturday. The opener consists of two top-five teams doing battle in what is one of the most anticipated matchups of the 2022 college football season.

Among the tens of millions interested in this game, 25 NFL teams will reportedly send scouts to Columbus for the matchup.

As we saw recently with Alabama head coach Nick Saban receiving a record extension, college football is a now a big business. NFL teams will play a role in that as they look to figure out the next great pro prospects. To say that Notre Dame and Ohio State have a number of them would be an understatement.

Related: 2022 Ohio State football schedule

Top Ohio State NFL Draft prospects heading into the 2022 college football season

ohio state quarterback c.j. stroud
Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

It starts with star quarterback C.J. Stroud. The redshirt sophomore is expected to be a top-five pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and is considered a top-end Heisman candidate after a strong 2021 campaign.

  • C.J. Stroud stats (2021): 72% completion, 4,435 passing yards, 44 TD, 6 INT

Left tackle Paris Johnson Jr. will be protecting Stroud’s blindside starting Sept. 3 against the Irish. He’s also seen as a top-10 prospect. Meanwhile, wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba will replace Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave as Ohio State’s top pass-catcher. He’s also expected to be a top-10 pick when April of 2023 comes calling.

Related: 2022 Notre Dame Football schedule

Top Notre Dame NFL Draft prospects headinginto the 2022 college football season

notre dame tight end michael mayer
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Freeman is entering his first season as Notre Dame’s full-time head coach following the shocking departure of Brian Kelly from South Bend. With Irish ranked No. 5 in the nation and taking on a second-ranked Ohio State team, there’s a lot of talent on this roster.

From a prospect perspective, it starts with All-American tight end Michael Mayer who is seen as a generational type player at his position.

Michael Mayer stats (2021): 71 receptions, 840 yards, 7 TD

Safety Brandon Joseph is also seen as a first-round prospect as he takes over for Kyle Hamilton as the face of the Notre Dame secondary. The All-American safety transferred from Northwestern back in January and is making waves in South Bend.

“He has been really good. He has taken the next step as far as he day-in, day out approach. The edge he brings to practice, to meetings, it hasn’t wavered through fall camp. I’m very pleased with where he’s at there. And with everything we’ve seen in coverage, where he executes and helps us has carried through the fall as well.”

Notre Dame safeties coach Chris O’Leary on Brandon Joseph

Notre Dame and Ohio State will kick off at 7:30 PM ET fom Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Sept. 3. It will air on ABC.