Inside the Irish
A best-case scenario for Notre Dame’s spring
Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:41:19 +0000
At the end of nearly every fall, one can look back at the praises of spring and see misguided conclusions. Such is the nature of competing against oneself for months at a time. Last year, the greatest misread from Notre Dame’s spring actually may have been the underrating of the Irish defensive line. Its struggles
Things To Learn: Notre Dame’s spring questions focus on four non-QB positions
Wed, 14 Mar 2018 10:15:24 +0000
Notre Dame held two practices before spring break, both without pads. At the most, they set a base line, but much more should be learned in the coming month building up to the Blue-Gold Game on April 21. Instinct, public opinion and headlines may presume the most-important thing to learn this spring focuses on the
Monday’s Leftovers: Who should Notre Dame’s fourth captain be? And DeShone Kizer heads to the Green Bay Packers
Mon, 12 Mar 2018 10:00:06 +0000
Last week, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly named three captains for the 2018 season. He also said he would hold a team vote for a fourth captain by the end of spring practice. That naturally leads to some speculation as to who could prevail in that balloting. Kelly indicated “six or seven” players were
Tranquill’s move to linebacker should benefit both him and Notre Dame
Fri, 09 Mar 2018 11:00:27 +0000
Drue Tranquill returned to Notre Dame for a fifth season for a few reasons. Being named a two-time captain may have been in-line with the less tangible of them, but it was not necessarily a driving motivation. The vague pieces of Tranquill’s return are the usual platitudes of college football, but when he delivers them,
With two captains gone, only natural another pops up on Notre Dame’s offensive line
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 11:00:12 +0000
Notre Dame’s offensive line was always going to be a question mark this spring. That is the natural result of losing two first-round draft picks, not to mention the position coach as well, to the NFL. When Irish head coach Brian Kelly discussed the line before the first practice of spring, he immediately acknowledged how
Notre Dame names three captains: LB Drue Tranquill, C Sam Mustipher … and punter Tyler Newsome
Wed, 07 Mar 2018 12:00:56 +0000
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly made it clear to his roster: Their votes for 2018 captains should not be based on friendships or popularity, on seniority or production, on prestige or position. He wanted the Irish captains to be the players the roster would least want to disappoint or let down. That metric yielded
Position changes, weight loss and quarterback questions welcome Notre Dame’s spring
Tue, 06 Mar 2018 10:00:51 +0000
Position changes? Check, highlighted by two offensive skill players adding to their descriptions without shedding their previous tags. Strength and conditioning praise? Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly offered that as well Monday, noting an emphasis on change of direction bursts. Positive remarks about the early-enrolled freshmen? Kelly made it three in a row by
Monday’s Leftovers: Spring begins, a 2019 QB de-commits from Notre Dame & NFL Combine results
Mon, 05 Mar 2018 11:30:14 +0000
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly will meet with the media today at 2 p.m. ET to preview spring practice, which will begin tomorrow morning. Typically, this will include a positional change or two, some strength and conditioning praise, and positive remarks about the early-enrolled freshmen. In those respects, it seems likely someone or other
Spring Outlook: Notre Dame’s quarterbacks, a competition between Wimbush and Book … and Davis?
Fri, 02 Mar 2018 18:00:24 +0000
Notre Dame will hold a quarterback competition this spring. That much is clear, and necessary. Given it is only spring practice, though, the odds are extremely slim any result comes from the competition before August. Spring Roster: Rising senior Brandon Wimbush, rising junior Ian Book and rising sophomore Avery Davis. Summer Arrivals: Incoming freshman Phil
Spring Outlook: Notre Dame’s offensive line, a search for a fifth starter
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 12:00:09 +0000
Despite inheriting a line coming off a Joe Moore Award-winning season as the best offensive line unit in the country and returning four starters, the questions still abound for new Notre Dame offensive line coach Jeff Quinn. More than who, Quinn must ponder a few versions of where. Spring Roster: — Fifth-year center Sam Mustipher,
Spring Outlook: Notre Dame’s defensive backs, stellar cornerbacks and concerning safeties
Wed, 28 Feb 2018 19:00:27 +0000
When having these discussions, it would make sense to split this broad group into two not only by positions of cornerbacks and safeties, but also by strength and likely weak point, respectively. Notre Dame has cornerback depth and proven talent — so much so, all the cornerback options cannot line up at the position at
Spring Outlook: Notre Dame’s receivers, now without both St. Brown & Stepherson
Tue, 27 Feb 2018 17:00:42 +0000
Unknown applies to Notre Dame’s receiver corps, but that is as much because of struggles at quarterback as it is due to the very different exits of Equanimeous St. Brown and Kevin Stepherson. With only eight receivers around this spring, each should get a genuine look. Come fall, the position group will welcome three more
Monday’s Leftovers: Guessing Notre Dame’s win total over/under along with some Michigan math
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 20:00:11 +0000
Various bookmakers will start publishing season win total over/under projections for all of college football, including Notre Dame, shortly after spring practice. That may not be until early summer, but undoubtedly one will be unexpectedly early, setting the number for the rest of the world to overreact to. Let’s guess what that number will be.
Spring Outlook: Notre Dame’s defensive line, a returning strength
Sat, 24 Feb 2018 11:00:30 +0000
Notre Dame returns eight of its top nine defensive linemen. Such a year-to-year retention is nearly beyond most possibilities, so it should not be understated how much that defensive line could determine any Irish success found in 2018. Spring Roster: — The theoretical starters: Rising junior Daelin Hayes at drop (pass-rushing) end, rising senior Jerry
Spring Outlook: Notre Dame’s tight ends, a surplus of depth, unproven talent
Fri, 23 Feb 2018 11:00:24 +0000
Notre Dame has such tight end depth, it was somewhat surprising when the Irish pursued a second tight end in the class of 2018, but the possibilities of yet another playmaker in Tommy Tremble combined with a physical option in George Takacs forced the coaching staff’s decision. “I always like to have that versatility each
Spring Outlook: Notre Dame’s linebackers, a proven two and then many questions
Thu, 22 Feb 2018 11:00:10 +0000
Any concerns about Notre Dame’s linebackers were allayed when Te’von Coney spurned the NFL to return for his senior season. That decision, and Drue Tranquill making the same move, means the Irish do not need to replace their two best playmakers at the position from last season. Nonetheless, defensive coordinator Clark Lea does need to
A second four-star defensive lineman, Hunter Spears, joins the Notre Dame class of 2019
Wed, 21 Feb 2018 11:00:13 +0000
When Notre Dame got five heralded defensive line recruits on campus together in January, it turned heads. When Irish defensive line coach Mike Elston offered public optimism about the possible 2019 commitments, it raised expectations. Notre Dame has now secured a second of those five with the Tuesday commitment of consensus four-star defensive end Hunter
Spring Outlook: Notre Dame’s running backs, as few of them as there are
Tue, 20 Feb 2018 11:00:22 +0000
Notre Dame will open spring practice in about two weeks. As always, the proceedings will be filled with positive reviews, optimistic outlooks, and an injury or two. A quick look at each position group should lend a better understanding to those perspectives and effects, beginning with the group lacking many questions — the running backs.
Monday’s Leftovers: Geography, as much as academics, caps Notre Dame’s recruiting possibilites
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:00:32 +0000
A year ago, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly acknowledged a practical ceiling on Irish recruiting efforts. “Since I’ve been here, if you look at the average rankings, we’re anywhere from 5 to 15,” Kelly said on 2017’s National Signing Day, a day on which Notre Dame secured the No. 13 class in the country,
Notre Dame’s successful early signing period now begets early visit questions
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 11:00:19 +0000
Notre Dame used the first early signing period to its advantage, but in many respects, succeeding in that initial foray was by default. The Irish already had strong relationships with the recruiting class of 2018 when the NCAA finally agreed upon setting a 72-hour window for December. No other recruiting changes went into effect in