Welcome to the first OFD practice report for the spring practice sessions. Take a seat, get comfortable, and don't be afraid to read too much in to anything that is said here.
Here are some free links to peruse:
BGI: Kelly in Observation Mode
BGI: ND Defense Undergoes More Education
South Bend Tribune: Photos from Practice No. 1
Now on to some of the news & notes from practice...
The 1st team offensive line was as follows from left to right:
- Z. Martin---Watt---N. Martin----Hanratty---Lombard
The 2nd team offensive line went:
Walk-on sophomore Dan Furlong anchored right tackle while freshman Steve Elmer missed practice with the flu. When Elmer comes back expect him to take over at left tackle and Stanley to switch over to the right side, per Kelly's comments after today's workout.
Elsewhere on offense the 1st team receivers were Jones, Daniel Smith, and Daniels. Not shocking with 2 returning starters and an experienced senior, but it looks like the staff may be experimenting with Smith in the slot in blocking situations.
At running back George Atkinson was sharing 1st team reps with Cam McDaniel, while Carlisle (more on him below) and Mahone worked with the 2nd team. The quarterbacks were as you would expect with Golson leading the 1st team. Niklas was seeing time on the line and also split out wide while Welch (several have commented that he's moving very well after knee surgery) was running with the 1st team as well at tight end.
Here were the two teams on defense for Wednesday morning:
*1st team defense:
DE Tony Springmann
NG Louis Nix
DE Sheldon Day
CAT Prince Shembo
MIKE Jarrett Grace
WILL Carlo Calabrese
DOG Danny Spond
CB KeiVarae Russell
CB Lo Wood
S Mattias Farley
S Elijah Shumate
*2nd team defense:
DE Chase Hounshell
NG Tyler Stockton
DE Jarron Jones
CAT Ishaq Williams
MIKE Kendall Moore
WILL Anthony Rabasa
DOG Ben Councell
CB Jalen Brown
CB Josh Atkinson
S Austin Collinsworth
S Eilar Hardy
Tuitt has a sports hernia and will likely miss 2 to 3 weeks of spring practice. He was working on the stationary bike with Bennett Jackson, Dan Fox, and Nicky Baratti---the latter three all recovering from shoulder surgery.
Springmann is playing defensive end and Kelly mentioned that's his primary position now (even when Tuitt comes back of course) but he can play inside if needed. That probably explains his weight loss.
Kona Schwenke missed his flight back to South Bend after spring break so he missed the beginning of practice catching up on some school work while 5th-year senior Tyler Stockton got reps with the second team at nose guard in his place.
Just a couple noteworthy moves so far the first being Shumate running with the 1's at safety ahead of Collinsworth. That could be nothing but Shumate looked pretty impressive at nickel corner last year and has put on the weight to stay at safety---he might hold that spot down all spring.
The other move is Rabasa to Will linebacker, but that could just be a temporary move with Fox sidelined. Still, there are not many bodies at this position without Deeb and possibly another freshman moving here in the fall so this might be Rabasa's long-term home.
Kelly Post-Practice Presser:
- Veterans have higher level of confidence. Offense is even with defense this spring, whereas last year the defense was way ahead.
- Kelly was observing the injured and younger players.
- He loved the way Lo Wood looked. Collinsworth moved well. Stanley is moving well. Prosise is explosive. Carlisle stands out the most with the guys coming off injury.
- Starters will be playing on special teams across the board, cites Alabama playing 11 starters on kick return coverage during the national title game.
- Talked to the players about the new NCAA rules going into effect this season.
- Team couldn't even get in to dime coverage (4 corners) last year because of depth issues. Will have that opportunity to do so this year.
- Carlisle will be on the field with another running back because of his ability to do many things and he has great hands.
From FIghting Irish Digital Media and UND.com: