Notre Dame came back from break and returned to the practice field Wednesday morning for their 3rd session of spring ball. Give thanks everyone, we have real football to discuss.
Golson continues to take all the 1st team reps. Kelly mentioned that EG stayed in Chicago with some extended family for the 2-week break from school.
BK - Golson won't be a three or four yard per run guy, but he'll be there for a big play in the running game when we need it.— Irish Sports Daily (@ISDUpdate) March 19, 2014
Kelly did talk a little bit about Golson's wheels putting stress on the opponent. Even with 15 pounds of extra muscle there are no plans to call his number in the run game a bunch of times which makes sense. However, I still expect Golson's running to be a big part of the offense in the close games this season.
Zaire is developing nicely with Kelly commenting on him picking up the big-picture things but now Malik has to focus on the little things. The media seemed to be impressed enough with his passing. Looks like the staff and player read Larz' mechanics post?
And here's Malik Zaire delivering a pass in the pocket during 11-on-11 drills Wednesday at #NotreDame. pic.twitter.com/hgTsTEMe2q— Blue and Gold News (@BGInews) March 19, 2014
A lot of the running back comments in today's presser focused on Greg Bryant.
BK - Greg Bryant has really adjusted to life at Notre Dame. He's settled in and will be a great player for us.— Irish Sports Daily (@ISDUpdate) March 19, 2014
Following those rumors of transfer it looks like Bryant is settling in just fine with the Irish. Let's hope he does become a great player for this team.
Carlisle continues to look impressive in the slot.
Amir Carlisle impressed in the slot, one of the biggest catches of the practice. Worked in the slot, but motioned in for handoffs too.— Irish Illustrated (@NDatRivals) March 19, 2014
Kelly mentioned that Carlisle lost his confidence once Folston passed him on the depth chart last year. Now, Amir is regaining his swagger and playing a lot better.
It's interesting to note that Carlisle and Prosise are the top two options in the slot right now. That looks like one prototypical slot athlete and one bigger athlete primed for a blocking role. What happens if Carlisle gets hurt or has to move back to running back? Will we ever find consistency at this position?
Don't sleep on Will Fuller. His name continues to come up this spring. Kelly mentioned that his potential is 'great' and I'm starting to think Fuller is solidifying himself as the top receiver on the roster as Daniels continues his suspension.
Some bad news to report as Will Mahone was seen on crutches by the media. As of right now I haven't seen or heard what that's about but it has to be disheartening for someone who missed last year with a foot injury.
You know who is on the Doing Good Things List™ right now?
Oil City's finest, that's who.
Kelly singles out Ben Koyack as a player that can be a dependable receiving option in the #NotreDame offense.— Andrew Owens (@BGI_AndrewOwens) March 19, 2014
We always knew he had it in him but it looks like Niklas' departure is allowing Koyack to gain a ton of confidence now that he knows he's The Guy at tight end. Anyone care to predict his stat line for 2014?
Also noteworthy according to this report from BGI ($$$) was Durham Smythe being used as the lone target on the short side of the field in a trips formation with Brent, Carlisle, and Fuller to the wide side.
Not much to report at OL with the exception of Connor Hanratty working with the 1st team at right guard in place of Christian Lombard. Lombard sprained his wrist and the media saw Hanratty with the top unit during their viewing session.
No word on the extent of Lombard's injury. I'm sure he'll be fine soon, though.
The rest of the 1st-team was the same as the beginning of spring ball: Stanley (LT), Elmer (LG), Hegarty (C), and McGlinchey (RT).
Just finished our second look at spring practice. 4-3 defense continues to be the most popular look.— Dan Murphy (@BGI_DanMurphy) March 19, 2014
If you've read our multiple front post (part 2 coming Friday) you know how the Irish are mixing things up with the big bodies on defense. If you're like me and interested more in where guys are lining up the two deep in the 4-3 front was as follows
- DE Ishaq Williams, Isaac Rochell
- DT Sheldon Day, Justin Utupo
- DT Jarron Jones, Jacob Matuska
- DE Romeo Okwara, Anthony Rabasa
A noteworthy change is the absence of Hounshell from this lineup with Matuska backing up Jones at the nose tackle spot. With Springmann out with an injury I'm sure the staff is trying to find another body who can eat blocks on the interior. Perhaps Matuska can be that guy?
Maybe the biggest news of the 3rd spring practice was the seeing Jaylon Smith get some work inside.
BK - We're moving Jaylon Smith around because we don't won't offenses to know where his is.— Irish Sports Daily (@ISDUpdate) March 19, 2014
More specifically, Smith was getting a lot of work as one of the two linebackers in the middle during the nickel packages (you can clearly see this in the video below) that the team worked on Wednesday. This foreshadows a post I'm currently finishing up for consumption in a couple weeks and I absolutely love this move.
Watch out now, but it appears John Turner might have found himself a role on this team.
BK - John Turner was recruited as a safety and it wasn't translating very well - but it's clicking now at LB. Change did him good.— Irish Sports Daily (@ISDUpdate) March 19, 2014
Turner is working behind Jaylon Smith at the Sam linebacker spot with Councell recovering from knee surgery and Turner also was getting a lot of work on sub packages as well.
Nothing crazy happening at corner with Russell and Luke still running with the 1st team. Josh Atkinson and Jalen Brown are working with the second team. It sounds like Farley remains strictly a nickel corner.
Still haven't heard a word about redshirt freshman Rashad Kinlaw.
Max Redfield is still starting with Austin Collinsworth but it looks like Redfield continues to be a work in progress.
BK - we're still in the learning curve with Max Redfield, but he's so athletic and talented.— Irish Sports Daily (@ISDUpdate) March 19, 2014
Let's hope he makes some big strides throughout the rest of spring. Whatever is happening it's not bad enough to have Shumate or Hardy moved up to first team.
Lastly, one curious note from Kelly today...
Sophomore James Onwualu could play both receiver and safety at times in the fall. Moved to defense this spring.— Blue and Gold News (@BGInews) March 19, 2014
How should we feel about this? Does it make sense? Onwualu was working at 2nd string safety during the second practice but was apparently not there today--although he was one of the nickel linebackers. Shouldn't he stick to one position and develop there?
*Joe Schmidt interception right off the bat. From the sounds of things the former walk-on isn't going to fade into the background after seeing some snaps last year. He was even working opposite Jaylon Smith on the inside during nickel packages, too.
*Do I see Golson with white socks and white spats???
*Nice grab by Prosise at 1:32 coming across the middle on a ball thrown a little behind him by Golson.
*Starting at 2:05 we get a glimpse of Zaire's escapability. Nice moves! He makes another play to end the video as well.
*That's true freshman Andrew Trumbetti at 3:06 running a stunt and putting center Mark Harrell on his butt. That's nice to see some strength out of the young player.