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Notre Dame Football Spring Practice Report: April 11th

Notre Dame's full practice was viewed by the press for the final time before next weekend's spring game.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

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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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The spring of hype continues to roll on for C.J. Prosise.

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.

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?

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.

Nyles Morgan continued to work as the first team Mike linebacker ahead of Grace.

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.

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.

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.

No changes at punt returner with Fuller and Bryant getting the work there.

C.J. Prosise was the primary kick returner on Saturday.