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Five Wide Fullbacks: The International Edition

Five Questions. Three are Canadian. I'm Canadian, I didn't want to be impolite and monopolize all the questions.

Jonathan Daniel

Now that OFD has gone international, it's time to add a little culture to this blog. So turn down the thermostat, put your favorite favourite toque on, grab a beer and let's do this Great White North style, hosers.

1. Which Canadian football rule do you think American college football fans would enjoy the most?

There are a lot of differences between Canadian and American football. For example

  • The field is 65 yards wide and 110 yards long
  • End zones are 20 yards deep
  • Canadian football has three downs
  • There are only 20 seconds between plays

I think American college football fans would really enjoy the Canadian rules governing motion. Basically the offensive line needs to be set, everyone else can move. Wide receivers who are on the line of scrimmage can go in motion as long as they stay on the line of scrimmage. The other receivers and running backs can move as much as they want as long as they don't cross the line of scrimmage before the snap of the ball. It's probably easiest to show you how this works. Check out this clip from the Canadian Football League's championship game (the Grey Cup game) this past year and you'll see plenty of motion. As a bonus, I found a clip that has a direct reference to Notre Dame football.

Crazy isn't it? Next thing you know we'll have cats and dogs living together up here in Canada. Could you imagine Tyler Eifert with the ability to line up 10 - 12 yards deep and be at a full sprint at the snap of the ball? What about the Navy coaching staff incorporating unlimited motion into their option attack. What would Oregon do with that type of motion? I think Canadian motion in the American college football game would be incredibly fun to watch. For those of you who are interested click here for a summary of key differences between American and Canadian football.

2. How would Canadian punt return rules improve Notre Dame's punt return?

Notre Dame would actually have to return punts. There is no fair catch in Canada. Yes, you read that correctly. Teams actually have to field every punt that is in play and return it. To protect the returners there is a 5 yard "halo" around the returner. No one is allowed to enter that "halo" until the returner touches the ball (there are exceptions to this, but I won't bore you with the details). Wouldn't it be nice to watch a Notre Dame game with no fair catches?

3. Who are the 5 best players currently on the Irish roster?

This is a tough one. I'm happy with my first three, but after that I'm really not sure. I'll go with the following:

  1. Zack Martin - In my opinion the most fundamentally sound player on the team
  2. Stephon Tuitt - Arguably the most physically gifted player on the team
  3. Louis Nix III - So big, but very quick and he can play quarterback
  4. Bennett Jackson - Played pretty well with a torn labrum in 2012, can't wait to see what he can do fully healthy
  5. Chris Watt - I'm not 100% sure on this one. I have to watch a little more film to be totally sure. I suspect that Watt is often underrated because he plays guard and he is overshadowed by Z Mart.

4. Which position group are you most excited about next year?

For me it's the outside linebackers. The depth at the cat and dog position is stunning. The potential three deep at both positions looks like this:

Cat: Prince Shembo, Ishaq Williams, Romeo Okwara

Dog: Danny Spond, Ben Councell, Jaylon Smith

Are you kidding me? This depth chart is insane. A few years ago there was much gnashing of teeth over Notre Dame's inability to recruit outside linebackers. Not anymore. This is a wildly talented group and I would be surprised if there is a program in the country that has a three deep like this at outside linebacker.

5. Now that OFD has gone international, who is your favorite favourite Canadian?

Terry Fox. Lost a leg to cancer and decided to run across the country to raise money to fight cancer (and it's a big country!). Sadly, part way through his run the cancer returned and Terry was hospitalized and died. Fortunately, his legacy lives on and every year literally millions of dollars are raised in his memory. Pretty inspirational stuff.

Thanks for putting up with all this Canadian content. Hopefully you enjoyed some extra u's in your words and a little extra motion in your football. I'll leave you with a final clip that I think really demonstrates the mutual respect and understanding Canadians and Americans have developed over the years.

6. Bonus question

Anyone know why I selected a TJ Jones picture for this post?