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Notre Dame Reacts: Are You Worried About Deion Colzie and Jayden Thomas?

Plus, your thoughts on CMU and Jim McElwain in general.

North Texas v Florida Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Notre Dame fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate in the weekly emailed surveys.

As Irish fans prepare for Saturday’s game against the Central Michigan Chippewas, we have two questions about the game ahead and one about last week’s 45-24 win against the N.C. State Wolfpack.

The first question is our standard “taking of the temperature” of the fanbase, which asks you to evaluate all aspects of the Notre Dame football program when deciding your confidence in the direction of Marcus Freeman.

With the Irish as 33 12 point favorites over Central Michigan, there may come a time Saturday when the game is easily in hand. Or perhaps not! As recent forays against Marshall and Toledo have proven, Group of Five opponents won’t simply lay down and take their payout.

So how are you feeling? Is this the perfect game to bury on Peacock? Or are you simply happy to see your team play 12-14 times per year, regardless of the opponent?

The third question is lighthearted. If you know Jim McElwain, it may be because of his ascension to the head Florida job after Will Muschamp’s spectacular flameout. Before heading to Gainesville, McElwain was a quarterback at Eastern Washington from 1980-1983. His tenure in Cheney overlapped with Colin Cowherd, now known as a outlandish sports media personality. Cowherd, himself a quarterback in high school, roomed with McElwain and the two lived on “dreams, no money, Skoal and nothing else.

In May 2017, McElwain was coming off a underwhelming 9-4 campaign when Twitter began circulating a picture of a man naked and laying across a shark he had allegedly caught and killed. Someone suggested the unnamed man was McElwain, a claim that dogged the coach off and on for the next five years. McElwain was fired seven games into the successive season, not long after claiming the he and his players were receiving death threats but being unable to corroborate that claim.

The McElwains exited Gainesville, but not before taking a substantial loss — approximately $400,000 — on their home. The mansion was not an original McElwain family dream; it was designed for a previous owner who was wheelchair-bound.

Rick Staab had two disabled kids, one of which was 20 years old and looking to live semi-independently. Staab had bought a dinner at a charity auction and notice the home’s friendly touches to mitigate disabilities. When McElwain was fired, the Staabs reached out to the family through a realtor. Their offer was $1.4 million, four hundred thousand less than the McElwains paid for the home in 2015. But the coach and his family accepted it.

“The McElwains have a good heart,” their real estate agent, Daurine Wehbe, told The Tampa Bay Times. “No one knows that. No one appreciates that.”

By 2019, McElwain had moved from Gainesville to Ann Arbor when Central Michigan came calling. Chuck McGuirk, a Chips mega-donor, asked the McElwains where they wanted to live in Mount Pleasant.

“We’d like to live in a barn,” they reportedly said.

McGuirk happened to have a 6,000 square foot barn near campus — and the rest, well, you can read on ESPN.

Finally, the last question relates to the lack of production for arguably Notre Dame’s top two receivers, Jayden Thomas and Deion Colzie. Thomas has caught eight balls off 11 targets this season, but was held without a catch against the Wolfpack. Colzie went without a target for the second consecutive game, as tight end Holden Staes had five balls thrown in his direction (catching four) and wideout Jaden Greathouse caught three balls on three targeted throws.

Is Thomas’ and Colzie’s lack of production — both last game and, for Colzie, so far this season — cause for concern?