SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Cam McDaniel's name isn't talked about much when looking ahead to Notre Dame's 2013 backfield. George Atkinson III, Amir Carlisle, Greg Bryant, Will Mahone and Tarean Folston have made sure of that.
But despite running back corps loaded with talent heading into next fall, McDaniel isn't discouraged by the seemingly-daunting task to see the field.
"I mean, I see myself on the depth chart. I love every one of those guys … but each one of us is competing for the No. 1 spot on that depth chart," he said. "We're all well aware of that, and so I guess for me, I see myself as competing for that spot, or at least just a spot to where I can be an impact player on this team next year."
McDaniel developed a cult-like following among Notre Dame's fanbase last year, serving as a garbage-time running back, backup cornerback and kick returner. He earned the game ball for arguably Notre Dame's biggest win of the season, a 30-13 victory at Oklahoma that vaulted the Irish into the discussion for the BCS Championship.
The move to cornerback was made to fill in a thin depth chart last year, although McDaniel said he'll exclusively play running back going forward. His attitude, though, is to earn playing time, no matter how difficult the task is.
"If you have a different mentality than that," he said, "then you probably should't be here."
ASU fighting to keep Irish on 2014 schedule
Notre Dame's agreement to play five ACC opponents beginning in 2014 has caused a schedule squeeze, with Arizona State reportedly notified that they're on the chopping block. ASU athletic director Steve Patterson, though, isn't going to lose Notre Dame -- and a likely sellout at Sun Devil Stadium -- without a fight.
"The school didn't have the courtesy to have the athletic director (Jack Swarbrick) call the athletic director at ASU to discuss it," Patterson said on a Phoenix-area radio show this week. "They had their PR guy call (ASU's media relations office) to give us a message Friday afternoon while everybody was out of town at the Final Four. At least in the little Catholic town I grew up in -- Beaver Dam, Wis. -- the good nuns wouldn’t have thought that was a very appropriate way to honor your word."
[MORE: Arizona State still plans to play Notre Dame in 2014]
Notre Dame has already scheduled 11 games for 2014, with two -- Syracuse and Pittsburgh -- being ACC opponents. With an open spot on their schedule, Notre Dame will have to drop two games, likely from a pool of Rice, Northwestern, at Temple and at Arizona State.