Thank you to the staff for bringing me on board as an official OFD writer. I've been called upon to do this week's 5WF for my maiden voyage.
The all-important Blue-Gold game is this weekend where we fans can project starting lineups and All-American stats for our favorite players in what is really just another Saturday practice for the team. I, for one, can't wait. Go Irish! Beat Irish!
Your dorm football team has made the interhall football championship game and will be playing inside Notre Dame Stadium for the chance at eternal glory (in the form of a letterman jacket). You are allowed to select one player off the 2012 roster to play for you in the big game. Who do you pick?
Since Tommy Rees is the obvious choice, I will go off the radar and NOT PICK TOMMY REES. Do you go with one of the big boys up front and run behind him all day? No one in interhall will be able to match up with Zack Martin's size or strength. Do you take all-world LB Manti Te'o or the unblockable Stephon Tuitt and shut down the run game? Or maybe you just want to lob it up to Tyler Eifert down the field all game long.
Personally, I'll take Cierre Wood and just watch him run circles around everyone on offense and let him play safety. There are some pretty darn good athletes playing interhall, but Cierre would just make them look silly, and I'd love to see that on my way to a championship.
The Twitterverse has not been kind to the Irish this offseason. With coulda-woulda-shoulda CB Yuri Wright's antics, the ongoing Aaron Lynch saga, Louis Nix's uncomfortable tweets, and Tyler Eifert's minor recruiting violation, Notre Dame has had plenty of 140-character-at-a-time drama recently. You are the football program's social media czar. What is your policy?
These young whippersnappers these days, I tell ya what. Maybe if they get off their Googles and their Tweeters and get their nose in a book once in awhile, Notre Dame can get back to where they were back in my day! You think Ara Parseghian let them send dem tweets out like that? Kick them off of Twitter or kick them off the dang football team!
You are an elite recruit with offers to play anywhere you want. You have your 5 allotted official visits, and you can take them anywhere. I'll assume Notre Dame gets one of them. Where are you heading for the other 4?
I'd definitely want to see what two coaches in particular are pitching to these guys, so I am going to Ohio State to visit Urban Meyer and to Alabama to see Nick Saban. I mean, what is actually going on at these places during recruiting visits? I gotta know.
Keep me away from USC and Michigan. Not a chance I'm going to either of those places. But Stanford? Yea, I'm going to check out Stanford. My last visit would probably depend a little on my position, but in this dream scenario, I'm a big Midwestern boy, and I'm heading to Wisconsin to see what they are feeding their offensive linemen on their way to the NFL.
We have heard a wide range of comments from the coaches about Notre Dame's wide receivers this spring, from effusive praise (John Goodman) to deafening silence (TJ Jones). I think we would all assume that Tyler Eifert is going to lead the team in receiving. Who will come in second?
I think the easy choice at this point would be Goodman. We have heard a ton about him this offseason, he has a seniority, size, and speed combo that should make him a reasonably worthy candidate, and he is stepping into Floyd's position which was used regularly in the offense the past couple years.
But I'm not one for easy choices, so I'll take someone else. How about TJ Jones, who has started more games than the other WRs combined? Or freak athlete extraordinaire Davaris Daniels, who is sure to contribute this season? Maybe Cierre Wood and/or Theo Riddick out of the backfield and sure to see a lot of slot action this season? And don't forget incoming freshman Davonte Neal either.
Nah, I'll put my money on Roby Toma. I think he emerges as a steady target out of the oft-used slot position and occasional YAC man. The slot position seems as though it is taking on an increased role in the offense, and Toma has shown himself to be nothing if not reliable in his time of the field for Notre Dame. I think Manti's little buddy surprises everyone with a very productive senior season.
Notre Dame has a fairly high-profile position battle this offseason at the quarterback position. What other position battle most intrigues you this offseason and who do you predict will win it?
There are plenty of positions to choose from, some more worrisome (wide-side CB perhaps?) than others (I'll take my chances with Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick). Two battles really stand out to me, though. Neither will probably end up being a "battle", but I will be curious to see how much playing time the presumed second stringer will be able to snag from the starter.
Louis Nix will be the starting NT for the defense this season, the question is how much Kona Schwenke has actually closed the gap? Or is he mostly being used as a motivational tool right now for Nix? I'm going to guess Schwenke will play more and be more noticeable than Sean Cwynar last year, but at the end of the day, Louis Nix will leave no doubt who Notre Dame's defensive line anchor is.
Similarly, I want to see Ishaq Williams on the field a LOT this season. Don't get me wrong, I think Prince Shembo is in a much better position to succeed this year and will be productive, but I am drooling over Ishaq's potential and want to see how much of that he shows in his sophomore season.
Enjoy the Blue-Gold game everyone! I hope Notre Dame wins!