The Notre Dame Fighting Irish just had a big practice weekend with with open sessions to the media, and a large amount of onlookers due to the coaches clinic. Chances are, that you have already consumed the news and opinions that have come out of the weekend, but you haven’t heard mine.
YOUR STARTING QUARTERBACK...
I wasn’t one of the many that jumped all over Brian Kelly’s opening press conference for spring football when he basically named Brandon Wimbush the starter at quarterback. After all, we have an entire spring and fall camp before the Michigan game. As I sit here, however, I can’t help but fully support that theory.
I’m not alone, as most of those covering Notre Dame football are under that same assumption.
For those needing a spoiler alert, I don’t think there’s much Brandon Wimbush will do during the spring to lose that spot. On the flipside, I don’t think there is much Ian Book will do to change that status. These statements may burn a hole in some asses out there, but until that game against the Michigan Wolverines, nothing is going to change.
JAFAR ARMSTRONG FOR THE LONG HAUL
One of the biggest issues coming into the spring was what Notre Dame was going to do at the running back position. It was a quick depletion of the roster in January. C.J. Holmes and Deon McIntosh were dismissed from the team, and Josh Adams declared for the NFL Draft a year early. Only Dexter Williams and Tony Jones Jr. remained with early enrollee Jahmir Smith entering the fold.
Obviously, Notre Dame needed more numbers at the position. Names were being thrown around from all over, and ultimately, Brian Kelly announced that Jafar Armstrong would see some time there this spring.
Brian Kelly has had some success with these kinds of moves in the past - most notably Theo Riddick and C.J. Prosise. By most accounts, the move with Armstrong appears to be a good one. Not only is he getting work at running back, but he is also out there at WR in TEMPO. In the latest Irish Illustrated podcast, Tim O’Malley talks about how physical Armstrong was playing - and that’s music to our ears.
While many still believe that C.J. Holmes could still find a way to get back on the roster in the fall, the emergence of Armstrong and the June arrival of C’Bo Flemister is starting to make that scenario less and less likely.
LET’S GET DEFENSIVE
The offense has so many different issues that it would be easy to concentrate soley on that side of the ball. It’s even easier considering the stability of the defense as it stands right now. I do still have some thoughts here...
- Jerry Tillery has a concussion. After he passes his protocol, Tillery should not be used in any contact drills - including the Blue-Gold game. The risk just isn’t worth it for Tillery or Notre Dame.
- As stable as the defense may seem, there are still a ton of questions at safety that won’t be answered until this fall. Best guess (along with most people) is that it will be Alohi Gilman and Nick Coleman.
- I’m riding the Asmar Bilal train at ROVER until told otherwise. The thing is... there really isn’t much coming out about it. Is that worrisome?
"I promise you I will give you everything I have this year...We're not settling for anything less than a National Championship. That's our goal. That's what we're pursuing each day."— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) March 27, 2018
Hear what 2x Team Captain @DTranquill will bring to the Irish this year.#GoIrish ☘ pic.twitter.com/d0sV7jKywF
THE BIGGEST STORY NOT TOLD
Notre Dame lost one of the greatest holders in Fighitng Irish history when Montgomery VanGorder graduated, and opted to transfer to the Youngstown State Penguins for his 5th year. How are the Irish going to fill this position of need?
We are totally sprung for spring.