Notre Dame opened fall camp on Friday to officially kick off preparations for the 2015 football season. By the time you read this the Irish will have finished their second practice and will remain at Culver Academy for one practice each day through Tuesday.
Some snuff from Friday's opening workout in shells...
It was an up and down for Zaire who appears to have picked up where he left off in the spring looking confident running the ball (no contact, obviously) but still not incredibly polished throwing the ball. A few mentioned his mechanics are improving, that he settled down, and played just fine for the first practice. Others, were a little bit more critical while noticing just how different the passing game looks on the 1st team without Golson.
DeShone Kizer received strong reviews. Lots of talk about improved fundamentals with good confidence. Also a little bit of concern about his longer throwing motion, an arm not quite as strong as the other two guys, not going through his reads enough and checking down too much.
The talk about freshman Brandon Wimbush largely revolved around his erratic footwork in combination with an awfully impressive arm. Some interesting dichotomy in the media as some are using inside sources to say Wimbush will likely redshirt while others are saying he's going to play.
The plan for the first practice was not to kill Folston as Prosise got a lot of 1st-team reps. That'll probably be a theme during camp--keep Folston fresh. Both freshmen, as expected with the low numbers, got work with the 2nd team at times.
We'll have to wait until the pads come on to hear more from the backs.
The talk of the wideouts was led by Torii Hunter who earned nearly universal praise for his speed, hands, and play-making ability. The rising redshirt sophomore was working with the 2nd team in the slot and made several impressive catches that caught the eyes of those in attendance.
The two deep featured Fuller and Brown on the outside with Carlisle in the slot followed up by Robinson and Holmes on the 2nd team with Hunter.
The tight ends didn't do a whole lot but there were a lot of them involved on Friday. A day after Brian Kelly praised true freshman Alize Jones the Bishop Gorman product was receiving a little bit of action with the starters.
No real surprises with the lineups up front which were as follows from left to right:
For the left guard positional battle it was Nelson who received the vast majority of the 1st team reps. After causing a false start he was pulled out but came back in and dominated several reps.
Some notes on Mustiper struggling with snapping which was a concern in the spring, as well. Also a few mentions that he's much better as a run blocker where he excels, as opposed to pass pro.
True freshman Trevor Ruhland at left tackle is curious but someone has to take those reps. It might be good to help improve his footwork.
Also not much of a surprise on the defensive line, as follows:
The more experienced Blankenship getting work ahead of the spring star Bonner is mildly surprising but perhaps not as the latter athlete is coming off injury and the former has made some exciting weight gains during the summer.
A couple of the more talked about players from Friday were Hayes and Trumbetti, the latter seems like the team's best pass rusher off the edge.
Jarron Jones didn't look to suffer any ill effects from his lisfranc surgery.
The Irish were without Jarrett Grace for the first practice as he was finishing up a commitment for his MBA program. He arrived later on Friday and will practice on Saturday.
The placement of the freshmen is newsworthy, I suppose. After enrolling early Tevon Coney remains at the weak-side backing up Jaylon Smith. Also working at the weak-side is Josh Barajas, while Asmar Bilal is joining him on the third team at the strong-side.
The DGT™ train continues to roll on for Max Redfield who was noted by many for his outgoing leadership and decisive play-making.
The corners were lined up as expected with Luke and Russell rolling with the 1st team backed up by Watkins and Butler. All signs point to Russell looking good after too much time off away from the team.
One of the areas to focus on was backups at safety and for the first practice it was grad transfer Avery Sebastian working behind Redfield at free safety. Rising sophomore Drue Tranquill was behind Elijah Shumate at strong safety.
An interesting bit of news to pass along at nickel corner where Farley was working with freshman Shaun Crawford (to be expected) but Russell was also seen getting some reps there too.
Very positive reviews from young punter Tyler Newsome and kicker Justin Yoon. Loud, high, and accurate were apt descriptions for both players.
As expected, freshman C.J. Sanders was getting some return work with the likes of Prosise and Fuller.