Notre Dame's 12th practice of spring finished up earlier this afternoon with full media viewing. Just two more workouts on Monday and Wednesday of next week before the Blue Gold Game kicks off one week from today.
Wrapping today’s practice with @timprister in Instant Analysis, talking top performers. ($). http://t.co/WbN4o2O9Mp pic.twitter.com/HnlkLZNND4— Irish Illustrated (@PeteSampson_) April 12, 2015
Check out Saturday's report from #NotreDame's open practice: http://t.co/1L9G6SX7eg @EvanSharpley— Notre Dame 247 (@NotreDame247) April 11, 2015
#NDInsider practice report includes plays of the day, QB performances and visitor notes ($): http://t.co/EsT7tUxkNL pic.twitter.com/trZQQl1mM2— Tyler James (@TJamesNDI) April 11, 2015
You'd figure that we get a lot of commentary about the quarterback situation following this practice but there isn't at this point. Most are remarking that both quarterbacks looked good. It would be Brian Kelly after practice who had quite a bit to say about Golson and Zaire.
Unofficial (and somewhat meaningless) QB stats from 11-on-11, 7-on-7 work: - Malik Zaire: 16 of 29, 2 INTs - Everett Golson: 15 of 27, 1 INT— Mike Monaco (@MikeMonaco_) April 11, 2015
The rushing stats for the signal callers saw Golson gain 16 yards on 3 carries, while Zaire gained 23 yards on 7 carries.
Golson hasn't spoken to the media this spring and for the first time since practice started we heard some enlightening comments from Kelly on the senior's situation.
Kelly said he can't say for certain if Golson will remain with the team this fall, but this has been his best spring at #NotreDame.— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) April 11, 2015
#NotreDame HC Brian Kelly says "I expect (Golson) to be here and help us win games in the fall."— Tim Prister (@timprister) April 11, 2015
Kelly: There hasn’t been any indication that Everett Golson is going to go elsewhere after spring. Said he would've pulled the plug himself.— Rachel Terlep (@eTruth_Irish) April 11, 2015
Let's think this through for a second. The players and coaches see Golson practicing and working out all spring. There's been zero indication of any problems and none of those post-bowl game transfer talk which felt eerily similar to those false rumors back in 2013. Everyone knew, presumably Golson especially, that Kelly wouldn't name a starter after spring because he's never done it before. Now, he's having his best spring of his career and competing hard. Why would he leave?
Count me as back in the group that would be very, very surprised if Golson transferred once he graduates next month.
Kelly said they are still working w/ QB Malik Zaire on his thought process. As expected, Golson is far more advanced in that regard.— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) April 11, 2015
Kelly said that Zaire still makes decisions that they dont understand.— Bryan Driskell (@CoachDrisk78) April 11, 2015
#NotreDame HC Brian Kelly says sometimes Zaire will check into plays where the coaches wonder what he was thinking; Golson does not— Tim Prister (@timprister) April 11, 2015
This ought to provide Zaire with some motivation next weekend for the Blue Gold Game. There have been several media members who concur with Kelly that the decision making process is slower for Zaire and the variety of throws limited in comparison to Golson. With Zaire continuing to be the more physical and willing runner there just isn't much changing throughout spring with this competition.
Kelly said a decision still hasn't been made as to who's calling plays. OC Mike Sanford still learning offense.— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) April 11, 2015
Mike Sanford really isn't offensive coordinator, you guys.
We haven't heard much on Tarean Folston this spring. He's in the tough situation of knowing he's still the No. 1 guy but with that comes inquiries about how all the other runners are doing to challenge his status.
Kelly said Folston is more advanced physically and is a better pass blocker. But he has to be challenged a bit more.— Bryan Driskell (@CoachDrisk78) April 11, 2015
The spring of hype continues to roll on for C.J. Prosise.
Brian Kelly says CJ Prosise good enough to get 10 touches a game this fall as a running back.— Irish Illustrated (@PeteSampson_) April 11, 2015
#NotreDame HC Brian Kelly compares Prosise toughness, physicality between the tackles to former Irish RB Theo Riddick.— Tim Prister (@timprister) April 11, 2015
Kelly said Prosise is putting Folston & Bryant under pressure: "If I were those two guys, I’d feel I better be careful. He has elite speed."— Rachel Terlep (@eTruth_Irish) April 11, 2015
Prosise had to longest run of the day, a 70-yard TD untouched down the sideline. No DB could gain ground in a full sprint.— Irish Illustrated (@PeteSampson_) April 11, 2015
Is it ridiculous to think that Prosise could finish with the second most carries on the team? 10 carries per game probably isn't happening but the fact that Kelly is even talking about that--and saying the Floridians need to watch their backs--is interesting. Prosise is bigger and faster....
Not much talk about the receivers for this practice. The depth chart hasn't changed yet either. Chris Brown and Will Fuller remain the first team outside receivers with Amir Carlisle in the slot.
Corey Robinson and Corey Holmes work with the second team and Torii Hunter is in the slot.
The depth chart remains unchanged at tight end as Durham Smythe is getting first team reps with Tyler Luatua getting worked in primarily as the H-back. Nic Weishar and Chase Hounshell are the third and fourth options. This wasn't the first practice where the media watched as Mike Heuerman basically didn't practice with the tight ends or receivers. You have to think there's a medical scholarship or an understanding of a transfer impending after this semester.
With the every other rotation it was Alex Bars working at left guard again after Quenton Nelson got his shot yesterday. Your Saturday depth chart:
Stanley (LT), Bars (LG), Martin (C), Elmer (RG), McGlinchey (RT)
Bivin (LT), Nelson (LG), Mustipher (C), Montelus (RG), Harrell (RT)
With Sheldon Day now getting after it on a more consistent basis this has bumped Jay Hayes down to the second team defense at the 3-tech position. Jerry Tillery continues to take 1st-team reps at nose tackle and was lined up with Day, Rochell, and Okwara.
It hasn't been overwhelmingly popular to talk about this spring but Isaac Rochell has impressed plenty of folks during practices. Make sure to put him on your Most Likely to Breakout list.
Kelly said Rochell has improved his pass rushing. Also pointed out improvements by Trumbetti and Okwara as pass rushers— Bryan Driskell (@CoachDrisk78) April 11, 2015
It will be a collective effort on the #NotreDame pass rush, Kelly says.— Andrew Owens (@BGI_AndrewOwens) April 11, 2015
Although I'm not too hung up on the whole pass rushing issue as the average person (it's possible to have a great defense without spectacular rush ends) doing it by committee doesn't really work in terms of gaining big improvements. It might help to keep the line a little more fresh, which is nice, but a collection of C+ pass rushers is going to give you C+ production.
Can we get some odds on Jarrett Grace being one of the captains this fall?
Kelly said Jarrett Grace is the kind of player he wants representing the program. Brings leadership as a player.— Bryan Driskell (@CoachDrisk78) April 11, 2015
The timetable for Schmidt's ankle injury initially didn't have him doing much if anything during spring. The fact that he's going to be cleared for some more in-depth non-contact work for the last week of practice is awesome news.
Brian Kelly said Joe Schmidt will return to action Monday, will participate in 7-on-7/no-contact drills. Got officially cleared today.— Rachel Terlep (@eTruth_Irish) April 11, 2015
Nyles Morgan continued to work as the first team Mike linebacker ahead of Grace.
Kelly on Nyles Morgan: "He’s a lot more confident in his ability, certainly knows where to be."— Andrew Owens (@BGI_AndrewOwens) April 11, 2015
After cross-training at Sam linebacker for most of Wednesday's practice this workout saw Jaylon Smith back at his normal Will spot with James Onwualu on the outside.
The off-season positional battle between Devin Butler and Nick Watkins saw the latter working with the first team on Saturday. While Matthias Farley has continued his role as the nickel corner, the senior is offering depth as a backup at safety, too.
Both Redfield and Shumate continue to DGT™ and catch the eye of press and coaching staff alike.
Kelly said Redfield and Shumate are playing with more confidence. Redfield had 2 picks today, both very active vs run today in practice— Bryan Driskell (@CoachDrisk78) April 11, 2015
Besides the recent news about Bonner's turf toe shutting him down until summer we've been blessed with good news on injuries this year. Once thought to be on his way to retirement Nicky Baratti has been able to stay on track while recovering from shoulder surgery.
Kelly says that Nicky Baratti has not taken full contact, but has hit tackling dummies, not just player to player.— Irish Illustrated (@PeteSampson_) April 11, 2015
The real test for Baratti is going to come in August camp when he'll be able to take full contact. Building depth at safety before the season might be the most important to-do for the Irish defense. John Turner has moved back to safety and has been on the second team all spring.
Last we heard Tyler Newsome wasn't doing so hot kicking field goals. However, he's always been a punter first and according to the head coach has been dropping some bombs during practice.
Kelly also said punter Tyler Newsome has been "crushing" the ball in spring practice, including today punting into the wind.— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) April 11, 2015
No changes at punt returner with Fuller and Bryant getting the work there.
Kelly said Will Fuller, Greg Bryant are working as Notre Dame's return guys right now.— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) April 11, 2015
C.J. Prosise was the primary kick returner on Saturday.
VIDEO: Highlights from #NotreDame's 12th practice of spring camp. ($) https://t.co/U9AsilZlgX pic.twitter.com/2uHiL0FkJR— Jordan Wells (@BGI_JWells) April 11, 2015
#NDInsider photo gallery of today's #NotreDame football practice: http://t.co/BnSuegPeC4 @SBTribune pic.twitter.com/5WauOlubn6— Tyler James (@TJamesNDI) April 11, 2015
#NotreDame Spring Practice Photo Gallery from this morning in South Bend http://t.co/ZUZFbaVZWA @NotreDame247 (FREE) pic.twitter.com/siUgw8iGBB— Notre Dame 247 (@NotreDame247) April 11, 2015
"Silence is Golson" writes @BGI_LouSomogyi. Irish QB hasn't met with media since December. http://t.co/CANeT4Q17T pic.twitter.com/QIjrdQnuUE— BlueandGold.com (@BGInews) April 11, 2015