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Through The Wire
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Discussion Starter #161
Well whats been new since the last post. Well ND hired a new OL coach (Frank Verducci), a new RB coach (Tony Alford), and a new DL coach (Kevin Hart). Former All-Pro DL and ND alum Bryant Young has joined the team as a graduate assistant. We landed 5* LB Manti Te'o which was freaking huge and brought in a fairly solid class. Here are some of my thoughts for next season:


-Weis has decided to take over the Offensive Coordinator position for Mike Haywood. There's some good and some bad to this. As a head coach you need to show interest in all area's of your football team not just your specialty. Although in his case he almost can afford to do this. We have one of the best defensive minds in the country in Jon Tenuta, and one of the best young defensive coaches in the country in Corwin Brown. Secondly playcalling is one of his strengths as a football coach. With a healthy Clausen, a handful of talented young playmakers, and a weak schedule as long as his playcalling shows some variance and we can mix things up the offense should see a huge turnaround. First things first though he needs to help Verducci fix our mess of an OL.


-The runningback position on our roster will be an interesting battle especially with a new coach. IMO Robert Hughes is the best RB we have. He can break tackles and seems to always move forward and doesn't spend much time dancing around. Armando Allen is a nice change of pace back but unless our OL improves drastically he shouldn't start. He should get about 10 or so touches a game and be the primary back in passing situations (especially screens and such). Interestingly enough Armando has yet to fumble the football in an ND uniform. James Aldridge should still receive some carries and get a chance but he is a step below the others in terms of running the football. He has shown flashes of being a decent back but he never can seem to put it together (thanks again OL). Jonas Gray i'm still not sure on. He looked good in the limited role he had but he had trouble holding onto the football. Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick should be redshirted.

-I think we could see some true freshman see the field this season but not as many as the past couple of years. WR Shaq Evans, LB Manti Te'o, LB Zeke Motta and DT Tyler Stockton are the most likely options. Nick Tausch at Kicker and Ben Turk Punting are also likely to see some PT next fall. I think many redshirt freshman will get their chance to play. Deion Walker, Steve Filer, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Braxston Cave, Brandon Newman, and Hafis Williams. Dayne Crist could see time if Clausen is hurt or struggles like he did against Navy, USC, and BC last season.


-CB Darrin Walls is back in school which is absolutely huge for us, since we lost CB Gary Gray until the summer. We should have one of the best Defensive Backfields in the country next fall. Walls had an outstanding '07 season and showed flashes of being an All-American candidate. Raeshon McNeil played well last season. He needs to improve his tackling ability but he is a solid cover guy. Robert Blanton is only going to be a sophomore but he is already a fan favorite. He was one of the best players on the field for either team in the USC game (as a true freshman none the less) and showed his super potential. Rivals said he would never be a true cover corner but I think after last season you couldn't name me 5 better corners from his class up to this point in time. If the front seven improves our defense could be solid-good next season.


Thats it for now. I'll be back with a depth chart and a prediction for next season in the next few days. Go Irish!
 

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Through The Wire
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Discussion Starter #162
Nevada W
@Michigan W
Michigan State W
@Purdue W
Washington W
USC L
Boston College L
Washington State (at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas) W
Navy W
@Pitt W
UConn W
@Stanford W


A very early, homerish projection for the season. There is no way with this schedule (not only weak but only 4 road games?), the way we have been recruiting, and the experience we return to win less than 10 games. I expect us to drop one or two winnable games though and finish with 8 or 9 wins. I guess we will see though.
 

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I have to say, I expect Jimmy Clausen to take a big step this yr. He's too physically gifted, and now has been in the system for a couple of years. Plus, ND's added quite a few more weapons for him and stuff.
 

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Through The Wire
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Discussion Starter #169
I have to say, I expect Jimmy Clausen to take a big step this yr. He's too physically gifted, and now has been in the system for a couple of years. Plus, ND's added quite a few more weapons for him and stuff.
I'm waiting to pull the trigger on that just yet. He showed some flashes last year, and the Junior year is when most pro style QBs take their biggest leap. If he can get some average contributions from the running game/OL he will be in New York in December. ND bias, Clausens talent, and the receivers around him will almost assure him of that if he stays healthy and the OL/RB's step up. Tate, Floyd, Rudolph, Allen out of the backfield, Kamara (who was overweight last season but is in shape as of today from all reports) showed flashes in '07, and Evans, Goodman, and Walker were all highly recruited. I have never questioned his talent (some of the throws he can make are unbeleivable but at times they have been both unbelivabely good and bad.) but once the pressure off him and the passing game is eased and his decision making improves he will take off. I'm still waiting to pull the trigger on any predictions for him yet though.
 

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Through The Wire
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Discussion Starter #171
Only if he had a Heisman caliber sidekick in the backfield like a certain #1 draft pick in the '09 draft:biggrin:
 

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Only if he had a Heisman caliber sidekick in the backfield like a certain #1 draft pick in the '09 draft:biggrin:
Do you have much confidence in the Notre Dame coaching staff to develop their players? Weis has signed some *supposedly* great recruiting classes, but we haven't seen the result on the field yet. I think it's a combination of their players being over-rated coming in to the program, and poor coaching.
 

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Through The Wire
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Discussion Starter #173
No disagreements here, I totally agree with that statement. I think the big lack of development was in the trenches and that has killed us on both sides of the ball.
 

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Through The Wire
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Discussion Starter #174
Two-Deep as of 3/25:


Offense:

QB: Jimmy Clausen (Jr.)/Dayne Crist (RS Fr.)
RB: Armando Allen (Jr.)/Robert Hughes (Jr.)
FB: James Aldridge (Sr.)/Steve Pazkorz (RS So.)
WR: Golden Tate (Jr.)/Deion Walker (RS Fr.)
WR: Mike Floyd (So.)/John Goodman (RS Fr.)
WR: Duval Kamara (Jr.)/George West (Sr.)
TE: Kyle Rudolph (So.)/Mike Ragone (RS So.)
LT: Paul Duncan (Sr.)/Matt Romine (RS So.)
LG: Eric Olsen (Jr.)/Andrew Nuss (RS So.)
C: Dan Wenger (Jr.)/Braxston Cave (RS Fr.)
RG: Chris Stewart (Jr.)/Trevor Robinson (So.)
RT: Sam Young (Sr.)/Lane Clelland (RS Fr.)

-Trevor Robinson will be a starter somewhere whether it's inside or at the Left Tackle slot. It's just hard to project where exactly at this time.


Defense:


DE: Kapron Lewis-Moore (RS Fr.)/Morrice Richardson (Jr.)
DE: John Ryan (Jr.)/Kerry Neal (So.) (Neal better be starting come opening day)
NT: Ian Williams (Jr.)/Brandon Newman (RS Fr.)
DT: Ethan Johnson (So.)/Hafis Williams (RS Fr.)
LB: Scott Smith (Sr.)/Zeke Motta (Fr.)
MLB: Steve Filer (RS Fr.)/David Posluzny (RS Fr.)
LB: Brian Smith (Jr.)/Toryan Smith (Jr.)
CB: Raeshon McNeil (Jr.)/Jamoris Slaughter (RS Fr.)
SS: Harrison Smith (So.)/Dan McCarthy (RS Fr.)
FS: Kyle McCarthy (Sr.)/Sergio Brown (Jr.)
CB: Robert Blanton (So.)/Darrin Walls (Jr.)
 

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Through The Wire
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Discussion Starter #175
2010 Recruiting update:

Current Commits (As of 3/25/09):


Christian Lombard OL (5* on Scout, 4*/High 3* on Rivals more than likely)
Chris Martin DE/LB 5*
Daniel Smith WR/S (4* on Scout, 4* on Rivals possible high 3*)



Positions of Need:

OT:


Commits:

Christian Lombard


Targets:


Seantrel Henderson 5*
James Hurst 5*
Brent Benedict 4*
Chaz Green 4*
Eric Kholer 4*
Matt James 4*
Brandon Linder 4*
James Stone 4*

Outlook:

Probably need 3 Tackles in this class but might take 4 or 5 if that were to happen (highly unlikely). Hurst is an Indiana kid, and is either Irish or going to an SEC school. Henderson is wide open and is a long ways away from selecting but he could be on campus for the spring game which would be huge. If we get Seantrel and Hurst we may close shop, although our staff loves Matt James and Kholer is from Clausen's High School so you never know.



QB:


Commits:

None


Targets:

Blake Bell 4*
Jake Heaps 4*
Austin Hinder 4*
Nick Montana 4*


Outlook:

We probably need two QB's in this class although one will do. Hinder, and Heaps being our best shots as of now. Montana isn't like the rest of his family and is an Ohio State lean, while Bell is an Oklahoma/Big 12 lean.



Safety:

Commits:

Daniel Smith ATH


Targets:


Sean Parker 4*
Dietrich Riley 4*
David Anderson


Outlook:


We need two safeties this year for depth. Parker is the most likely and I would imagine if nothing else Daniel Smith begins his career at Safety for us.




bball2223's projected 2010 class (As of 3/25/09):


Commits:

Christian Lombard OL
Chris Martin DE/LB 5*
Daniel Smith ATH


Additions from now til signing day:

QB:

Austin Hinder 4*


RB:

Anthony Barr 5* (Likely LB for us however)
Gio Bernard 4*

WR:

Kyle Prater 4*
Tai-Ler Jones 4*
Corey Cooper (could play safety also)

TE:

CJ Fiedorowicz 4*


OL:


Seantrel Henderson 5*
James Hurst 5*
Brandon Linder 4*



DL:

Bake Leuders 4*
Denzel McCoy 4*
Owamagbe Odighizuwa 4*


LB:


VJ Fehoko 4*
Khairi Fort 4*
Tony Jefferson 4*


DB:

Sean Parker 4*
LaMarcus Joyner 5*


Obviously if this is our class I would go insane but these are probably the guys we have the best shot at landing.
 

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Through The Wire
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Discussion Starter #176
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=maisel_ivan&id=4032629


Well we get some positive light from ESPN. Deep down I still don't see this as a BCS team regardless of our schedule until I see the improvement in the trenches on the field.


Some spring practice notes:


-Prior to what many ND fans (myself included) thought there isn't much of a QB competition to be had at this point in time. Crist is competing but according to reports there is an obvious gap right now between him and Clausen. Crist is big, athletic, and has a strong arm but he has struggles reading defenses and grasping the offense (not a shock at this point). Once he gets the offense down he will be quite the replacement after Clausen departs.


-RS Frosh Hafis Williams (Defensive Tackle) has been a monster. He isn't a stat stuffer in the middle but he creates gaps for the LB's to run and make plays in the backfield. Plus the guys on the outside are getting more pressure on the QB as of late. Hopefully this translates to the playing field because we could use more guys that fit this description.


-Our secondary might be one of the best in all of college football. Darrin Walls has returned and he looks very good. Robert Blanton might have been one of the best freshman DB's in the country last year, and Raeshon McNeil is a very good cover corner. Kyle McCarthy and Harrison Smith hold down the safety spots. If the front 7 has improved like many think our defense could be pretty solid this fall.


-Joseph Fauria, and Mike Ragone look very good and could team with Kyle Rudolph to give us a very good TE trio.
 

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Through The Wire
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Discussion Starter #177
Going to the spring game this saturday. :champagne:


From the videos I have seen our OL looks like they could be better. Verducci is an NFL guy like Weis so I think he understands what the OL needs to do to be successful. Our run defense could be a concern but since we only play a couple of teams dependent on the run we should be ok. If I had to guess I think this team will resemble the ND team from '06, Quinn's senior year that is.


We have a pretty young defense but they will be more aggressive than in the past as Tenuta has taken the Defensive Coordinator reins while Corwin Brown is now associate head coach. The OL supposedly looks fairly decent, and the running backs coach seems to think we have some super talent in the backfield. If Clausen has taken the strides Weis says he has and he stays healthy we are going to win 9-10 possiby 11 games. I'll report back after the spring game with more. :champagne:
 

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Through The Wire
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Discussion Starter #178
So i'm back from the spring game:champagne:


The atmosphere was great, and the weather was outstanding. I believe attendance was 31,000 which is fairly good considering how spread out ND's fanbase is. The game was kind of boring with a vanilla game plan and everything. Here are some observations I gathered:


-I sat two rows behind 2009 ND commits Zach Martin, Chris Watt, Alex Bullard, Carlo Calabrese, and Nick Tausch. Also walking past my section were 2010 commits Chrstian Lombard, Daniel Smith, and Chris Martin along with visitors Matt James, James Stone, Kyle Prater, Corey Cooper, Khairi Fortt, Spencer Boyd, Lo Wood, and Cody Riggs. I didn't see Nick Montana but he was in attendance.


-Our QB's looked off today but switching after every series and switching in new receivers almost every series didn't help. Plus the passing game wasn't emphasized. Clausen threw a pick 6, but otherwise was fairly solid. He showed better mobility within the pocket and started going through more than a progression or two. He was 8-17 I believe but there was some drops and the secondary wasn't lettign the receivers get any seperation. He didn't play good but this wasn't a day where he needed to be at his best. I'm still holding off on all the breakout predictions as well but the INT's should go down this year and he should improve.

Crist has a cannon. He stands flat footed and without stepping into his throw was able to throw it with zip. His accuracy is something to worry about though. He was missing open guys rather regularly. He still has a couple of years to get better though so no worries. His potential is through the roof though.


Nate Montana got sometime at QB too. He is a walk-oh and yes the son of Joe Montana. He looked crisp today just making solid throws. He had a beautiful pass over the middle to Mike Ragone and he led two scoring drives. Nowhere near Clausen/Crist but he is better than most originally thought.


-The running backs were outstanding. Hughes, Allen, and Jonas Gray all looked very good. Allen is quick as hell, and looks like this could be a breakout year. Hughes was great between the tackles and losing 5-10 more pounds would make him shiftier as well. Jonas Gray is going to be good but I dobut he gets many carries. Cierre Wood won't see the field this year.


-Wr's looked bad but that group has been banged up all spring. TE's looked outstanding however. Rudolph played very well, Joseph Fauria is huge and played terrific, and Ragone looks recovered from the injury.


-OL is hard to tell at this point. They opened up some running lanes but they were pretty bad in pass protection. Only time will tell.


-DL looked okay. Ethan Johnson is going to be a monster case closed, he was in the backfield all day. The rest looked rather inconsistent. I'm worried about this group but theres some talent.


-LB's looked great IMO. Toryan, and Brian Smith were all over the place reeking havoc. Steve Filer was great in coverage, and early enrollee Zeke Motta had 7 tackles. With Te'o, Calabrese, and Dan Fox coming in in the fall we should have a great core of LB's.


-DB's get an A+. They blanketed the receivers all day and made tackles when the time was necessary. Remeber Robert Blanton, he is going to be a star. He had a pick 6 and broke up two possible deep ball TD's from Clausen to Floyd. What was funny was after his pick 6 he organized a game of duck, duck goose in the end zone to celebrate. :laugh:. Rivals experts claimed he couldn't be a cover corner he may just be the best cover guy from the '08 class when its all said and done. Darrin Walls and Raeshon McNeil looked good. ATL tell Tucker thanks for Jamoris Slaughter too he played very good as well.


-Kicking game was good. Brandon Walker clanked an extra point off the bar but he nailed a 48 yard field goal.



-Golden Tate left late in the first half to play in a baseball doubleheader. A guy sitting behind where I was claims to be related to the baseball coach and he said he gave Golden the day off but Tate wanted to play. Tate is something else, very special player in both sports.


-I still say 8-10 wins based on what I saw today. Defense has the potential to be the best since '02 and is faster than any defense Weis has had. Offense looked sloppy but that's to be expected.
 

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Through The Wire
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Discussion Starter #179
Well before I start the whole prediction, depth chart hoopla I figured I would address a couple of other things.


-TE Joseph Fauria isn't enrolled for the fall semester due to personal reasons. This ****ing sucks, really bad. Weis coached offenses are at their best when they can utilize multiple TE sets. It seriously would have been a treat to watch S/LB's trying to cover Rudolph and Fauria. It's time for Mike Ragone to stay healthy and step up.

-5* DE Chris Martin is still solid to ND. Unless Weis is fired he is going to be Irish.


Now for the depth chart as of 6/26:


QB: Jimmy Clausen/Evan Sharpley/Dayne Crist
RB: Armando Allen/Robert Hughes/Jonas Gray
FB: James Aldridge/Steve Pazkorz
WR: Golden Tate/Deion Walker
WR: Mike Floyd/Shaq Evans
WR: Duval Kamara/John Goodman
TE: Kyle Rudolph/Mike Ragone/Bobby Burger
RT: Sam Young/Lane Clelland
RG: Trevor Robinson/Chris Stewart
C: Dan Wenger/Braxston Cave
LG: Eric Olsen/Andrew Nuss
LT: Paul Duncan/Matt Romine


DE: Kapron Lewis-Moore/Morrice Richardson
DT: Ethan Johnson/Hafs Williams/Tyler Stockton
NT: Ian Williams/Brandon Newman
DE: Kerry Neal/John Ryan
OLB: Scott Smith/Zeke Motta
MLB: Steve Filer/Manti Te'O
OLB: Brian Smith/Toryan Smith
CB: Raeshon McNeil/Jamoris Slaughter
SS: Harrison Smith/Dan McCarthy
FS: Kyle McCarthy/Sergio Brown
CB: Robert Blanton/Darrin Walls


Predicting W/L:


NEVADA W
at Michigan Toss-Up
MICHIGAN STATE Toss-Up
at Purdue W
WASHINGTON W
USC Toss-up/Likely L
BOSTON COLLEGE Toss-Up
vs. Washington State W
NAVY W
at Pittsburgh W
CONNECTICUT W
at Stanford W


I see 8 guaranteed wins with 3 toss-ups possibly 4 depending on how the early part of the season plays out. We should win 2 of 3 between Michigan, MSU, and BC if not take all 3. I think we stub our toe against one of the three especially with our luck against BC and MSU the past 15 or so years. My prediction as of today is 10 wins, an Orange Bowl berth, and depending on our opponent possibly a BCS win (Virginia Tech being the only ACC/Big East team I see us not having a good chance against).
 

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Through The Wire
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Discussion Starter #180 (Edited)
http://www.wsbt.com/sports/49209832.html


Fauria to transfer. ****, ****, ****. Our Res Life adminsitrator people are the biggest *****es. This is the 4th or 5th straight semester they have sent someone home for a semester, and in Faurias case they wouldn't even listen to his side of the story. If they are sending another kid home for drinking this is unbelievable. This isn't the little house on the paririe, let college kids live a little.
 
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