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Notre Dame Spring Practice Report: Friday, March 30th

Notre Dame was back at it this morning for another spring practice.

One Foot Down was not there but reports on the activities nonetheless.

Now with two werewolves on the roster, things are starting to get real interesting around South Bend.

Report No. 6 coming after the jump

Practice was moved indoors this Friday as the team got their work done inside the Loftus Center.

Prince Shembo was in a walking boot on his left foot due to turf toe---Ishaq moved to first team Cat linebacker. Shembo should only miss a few days.

(DC) DB Devin Butler were on hand to watch practice, as was (FL) TE Mike Heuerman.

Practice Report from Blue Gold Illustrated

Some highlights from that report:

  • Connor Hanratty was taking first-team reps at right guard, with Christian Lombard moving out to right tackle.

As they mention in the report, the right side of the O-line is very fluid. It's almost a guarantee that Lombard takes one of the starting spots available, but the question becomes who takes the other?

Having Hanratty up with the first team already---even if for just one practice or part of a practice---is a nice accomplishment for the young lineman.

  • Mike Golic was taking first-team reps at center again with Cave still out with an injury.

I still maintain that Golic will be the back-up at center and not factor into the starting position at guard when Cave comes back with full health.

  • The quarterback are still broke up with Rees/Hendrix sharing 1st team reps and Golson/Kiel running with the 2nd team.


This is going to be a boring spring as far as the quarterback competition goes.

Springmann remains sidelined, while Hounshell stretched with the team but went to the sidelines when contact began.

  • Linebacker Justin Utupo slid down to defensive end for a pass rushing drill with Tuitt in the middle and Lynch at the other end.

Curious move there if it means anything---you wonder if Utupo is ever going to break into the lineup at linebacker or if he'll eventually carve out a Steve Filer-type role as an upperclassman and be utilized as primarily a pass rusher off the edge.

Carlo Calabrese was running with the 1st team today opposite Manti Te'o.

Keep working on that game Carlo!

  • The Irish showed a nickel package and it consisted of Jalen Brown as the fifth corner.

Truly fascinating.

You have to think at some point the staff will be comfortable enough with someone like Austin Collinsworth (he is a werewolf after all) to come in at safety and drop Jamoris Slaughter down as the nickel corner.

Or maybe they really are intent on playing someone as inexperienced as Jalen Brown at nickel? That would seem to jive with Diaco's comments earlier in the week that a lot of corners will be seeing the field in 2012.

Here's an ISD article on Kelly's get together with the media today:

Well, would you look at that...Kelly comes right out and says Collinsworth will be the safety when they drop Slaughter down to play nickel corner.

Pretty interesting take on making the tight ends not named Tyler Eifert into blockers first. Still makes me think that Eifert will basically be a wide receiver all season.

Here's a nice quote from Coach Kelly on the quarterbacks:

"What we were making sure was that we kept the play alive," Kelly said of the drill for his quarterbacks. "We didn't turn it over, and then when we saw our opportunity, we ran with the ball. Today we did a very good job with all the quarterbacks of not turning the football over in those long situations and running the ball."

So basically the exact opposite of what happened in the Boston College game last year, then?

That game was an embarrassment for playmaking quarterbacks everywhere.

Here's Kelly's press conference in full:

Here's the practice update for Friday:

Why is the Loftus Center so dingy? Can they do something to the roof or add some windows? It kind of looks like something you'd expect the Hungarian track team to train inside of.

That's a pretty nice advertisement for Bob Elliot's coaching and experience.

He seems like a really high quality coach.

Zeke Motta looks like an impressive football player up close. Let's hope he steps up in his senior season.

Other practice videos:

BGI Running Backs

BGI Defensive Line

Other news and notes:

Irish Illustrated article on the running backs.

Irish Sports Daily article on Christian Lombard and Harry Heistand.

Parents rank Notre Dame the No. 4 "dream" college via Notre Dame news.

Schools that ranked ahead of Notre Dame were Stanford, Princeton, and Harvard.