With the first day of camp in the books, and the only one in Culver that would allow media access, we can all sit back now and completely overanalyze some of the snapshots we were able to take.
Here are just a few of mine.
Alize' on my mind...
Forgive me for starting this off with a player that's not going to play a single down this year, but we have to give credit where credit is due. Alize' Jones was the first one out on the practice field and by all accounts, he was extremely vocal with teammates. This kid messed up, owned it, and now is putting in the work with an incredible attitude. If he can work on his classroom struggles with the same vigor and mentality, a lot of "fans" bashing the kid have some backing up to do.
On secondary thought
I'm cautious to get too excited about Notre Dame's secondary this year. Losing two starters to the NFL may be no big deal at places like LSU, where defensive backs just seem to grow like weeds, but at Notre Dame it never seems that simple.
The glowing reviews of the young guys by Kelly and onlookers, mixed in with a very confident Max Redfield:
“Never played as fast as I’m playing now, never known as much as I do now. I think this is gonna be the best year of my life.” -Max Redfield— Irish Illustrated (@PeteSampson_) August 6, 2016
It's got me me thinking that maybe this year the unit will shine (if it can just stay healthy). Shaun Crawford, Nick Coleman, Cole Luke, Max Redfield, and Drue Tranquill. The athleticism and toughness in this group might be the best mix that we've seen in South Bend in a long time. I'm blushing.
I'll take a tweet from Pete Sampson, and then I'll steal his other thoughts. During an instant analysis video after the practice session, Sampson took note that Notre Dame was free of freaks. There is no Jaylon Smith or KeiVarae Russell or Will Fuller. The freaks are gone, and Kelly will have to do more with less. This isn’t a knock on the team, but merely an honest observation of the talent on hand.
What we won’t talk about
I’m not going to comment on any of the quarterback noise from day one. It’s day one, and we still have a long ways to go. Another topic to put on pause as well as the battle between DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire, is the rotation on the defensive line. While we will know more sooner when it comes to those big boys, we can probably take some pride right now in knowing that the group appears to be fairly deep- especially on the interior.
I’m wringing my hands and waiting for more.