Counting down the Irish: 20-16

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Working off of yesterday’s kick-off to the Top 25 players on the Irish roster, we’re ready to roll out the next five members of the Irish Top-25.

But first, a few observations:

* 2/3s of us put Nick Tausch in the top-fifth of the roster, which makes sense when you consider that a football team has 11 starters on offense and defense and a few key reserves. That said, I’m not just giving the job to Tausch after the season that David Ruffer had. For all the wonderful walk-on to hero stories in ND lore, Ruffer’s heroics got lost in the wash while the season went down hill.

* Mike Ragone was another popular name, with three people putting him at 22. While it looks like ResLife isn’t going to take a chunk out of Ragone’s season, I’m hesitant to rely on him as an offensive playmaker until I start hearing good news out of preseason camp on Ragone. While most of us realize that Ragone has gotten a tremendous opportunity, what he makes of it will determine his impact this season.

* Shaq Evans only made one Top-25 list (unless he’s ranked higher than 16 on somebody’s board), which puts into perspective the hype vs. impact conundrum that occurs with high-ranking wide receiver prospects. For every Michael Floyd that walks in the door and makes a difference there are guys like Shaq and Deion Walker, two highly-touted prospects that aren’t quite ready for primetime.

Without further ado…

IRISH TOP 25: 20-16

Frank of UHND.com

20. Darrin Walls, CB: Expected a lot more out of Walls last year. Hopefully Chuck Martin can help Walls fulfill some of his potential in 2010.
19. Gary Gray, CB: Gray was the most consistent Irish corner in 2009. Why he didn’t play more I have no idea.
18. Harrison Smith, DB: Toughest player on the team to rank. Talent is clearly there — production hasn’t been.
17. Zach Martin, LT: Hasn’t played much but was a fast riser in spring ball and could be the starting LT. If he is, let’s hope this ranking is too low.
16. Kapron Lewis-Moore, DE: Was a training camp star last year, but was inconsistent in the fall.

Anthony of ClashmoreMike.com

20. Robert Blanton, CB: Good one-on-one cover skills and strong in run support.
19. Theo Riddick, WR: Speed and quickness should prove valuable in the slot.
18. Ian Williams, NT: Interior defensive lineman has shown flashes of great play, needs improved consistency.
17. Cierre Wood, RB: Excellent straight-line speed, great in the open field.
16. Jamoris Slaughter, DB: Hard hitting safety brings plenty of athleticism to the position.

Matt of HerLoyalSons.com

20. Nick Tausch, K: Consistency at the kicker position at Notre Dame? Sign me up!
19. Ian Williams, NT: Former 1st team All-Freshman after 40 tackles, followed up with a 2009 with 39 tackles.
18. Chris Stewart, LG: Once the size of a planet, the man can do a split and about 20 more pull-ups than I can manage. But can he block?
17. Braxston Cave, C: Enjoys pain, suffering, and long walks on the beach — for other people.
16. Jonas Gray, RB: Quick, shifty, versatile. Perhaps ideal one-back type for a Kelly offense.

Chris and Matt of RakesofMallow.com

20. Cierre Wood, RB: What the speedster from Oxnard, CA lacks in experience he more than makes up for with confidence.
19. Theo Riddick, WR: Riddick showed flashes of dynamism last season, but also looked like a true frosh at times (Opening play fumble vs. Stanford). Look for him to show his explosiveness in the kick return game this season.
18. Darrin Walls, CB: Last chance for the speedy, but inconsistent corner.
17. Jonas Gray, RB: Fumbling issues have bugged Gray in his first two years, but his size, speed, and toughness are frequently lauded by fans.
16. Brian Smith, LB: I may catch some grief for having “Puppy” this high, but I think the switch back to the outside, and to the 3-4 defense, will keep Smith out of the doghouse.

Pat, man of the people:

20. Brian Smith, LB: It really is now or never for Smith, and while he made a lot of mistakes, he did have 71 tackles last season, 5.5 TFL, and 1.5 sacks along with 2 INTs.
19. Darrin Walls, CB: Seemed to regress last season, but he did miss a year and hopefully can duplicate his early performances.
18. Cierre Wood, RB: The first recipient of my “Really Looking Forward to Seeing Him in a Real Game” award based on his Blue-Gold Game performance.
17. Trevor Robinson, OL: While he may have underperformed to some people so far, he has been a two-year starter and should be a lineman-to-watch next season.
16. TJ Jones, WR: His performance in the spring game co-earned him my “Really Looking Forward to Seeing Him in a Real Game” award.

Keith:

20. Zack Martin, LT: From redshirt to blind side, it’s clear that the coaching staff must be pretty high on Martin. Spread offense or not, that’s high praise for the Indy native.
19. Duval Kamara, WR: While his career trajectory hasn’t been what anyone wanted, he’s still got a nice set of tools. In his senior year, it’ll be up to Duval to prove he’s also got a rock-solid tool-box to carry them in. I think the coaching change will be a big help.
18. Steve Filer, OLB: Ultimate wild-card. Hopefully Bob Diaco’s 3-4 defense will be the key to turning one of the Irish’s best athletes into a front-line defender.
17. Jamoris Slaughter, DB: I’m high on this jack-of-all-trades defensive back, who I think will bring better cover skills to safety than Kyle McCarthy, who he’ll be replacing.
16. Robert Hughes, RB: Hughes very well might be the man lost in the shuffle, but he’s a big body that can catch the ball out of the backfield, something BK will hopefully utilize.
 

Irish A-to-Z: Deon McIntosh

Deon McIntosh
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As part of Notre Dame’s two running back recruiting haul, freshman Deon McIntosh arrives on campus with a skill-set fairly unique to the runners in Autry Denson’s backfield. A prolific junior in Florida football hotbed Broward County, McIntosh is the closest thing to a scatback Brian Kelly has recruited.

Dubbed the “lightning” to classmate Tony Jones’s “thunder,” now McIntosh needs to find a role in the Irish offense, capable of playing in the slot or being utilized on special teams. While we won’t see what the Irish have in McIntosh until he’s given a shot to compete with Tarean Folston, Josh Adams and a very talented position group, McIntosh is another skill player brought in by this coaching staff with zero intention of waiting his turn.

 

DEON MCINTOSH
5’11”, 180 lbs.
Freshman, RB

 

RECRUITING PROFILE

A three-star recruit, McIntosh was the second all-time leading scorer at Cardinal Gibbons. He was ranked the No. 18 player in Broward County by the Miami Herald and had offers from Miami, Tennessee, North Carolina, and West Virginia.

 

FUTURE POTENTIAL

A 180-pound running back needs to do a few things that are extraordinary to survive at that size and we’ll find out if that’s what McIntosh can do when we finally see him in action at the college level. But until then, you can probably put his ceiling somewhere below elite, unless the Irish have pulled in another hidden gem.

Versatility will also be key for McIntosh. If he’s able to play in the slot, there’s less of a backup there than behind a very competitive three-deep at running back.

 

CRYSTAL BALL

I’m struggling to find a way for McIntosh to see the field this season unless he turns some heads during fall camp. Finding carries for Dexter Williams is hard enough. How someone behind Williams, Folston and Adams gets touches is beyond me.

That said, McIntosh’s time at Notre Dame will be defined by his patience and what he does when he finally gets a chance. Pulling talented football players out of Fort Lauderdale isn’t easy. Neither is keeping them in South Bend if they aren’t seeing the field.

Denson raved about McIntosh’s game on and off the field during Signing Day festivities. We’ll see how the young coach’s first crop of backs perform once they’re on campus.

 

2016’s Irish A-to-Z
Josh Adams
Josh Barajas
Alex Bars
Asmar Bilal
Hunter Bivin
Grant Blankenship
Jonathan Bonner
Ian Book
Parker Boudreaux
Miles Boykin
Justin Brent
Devin Butler
Jimmy Byrne
Daniel Cage
Chase Claypool
Nick Coleman
Te’von Coney
Shaun Crawford
Scott Daly
Micah Dew-Treadway
Liam Eichenberg
Jalen Elliott
Nicco Feritta
Tarean Folston
Mark Harrell
Daelin Hayes
Jay Hayes
Tristen Hoge
Corey Holmes
Torii Hunter Jr.
Alizé Jones
Jamir Jones
Jarron Jones
Jonathan Jones
Tony Jones Jr.
Khalid Kareem
DeShone Kizer
Julian Love
Tyler Luatua
Cole Luke
Greer Martini
Jacob Matuska
Mike McGlinchey
Colin McGovern

2018 LB Ovie Oghoufo commits to Notre Dame

Oghoufo Rivals
Rivals / Yahoo Sports
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Notre Dame’s recruiting momentum continues to build as linebacker Ovie Oghoufo is the latest commitment to the Irish program. An incredible fifth member of the 2018 class, Oghoufo made the news official on Friday, picking the Irish over Michigan, Michigan State, Boston College, Kentucky and a handful of other early offers.

The Farmington, Michigan native made the news official via Twitter and also spoke with Irish247’s Tom Loy about the decision. Oghoufo was offered earlier in the summer and was on campus again this week.

 

Give current freshman Khalid Kareem an assist for landing the 6-foot-3, 210-pound linebacker, who spent his visit in South Bend hearing from the fellow Michigander about the virtues of attending Notre Dame.

Irish247’s Tom Loy has the scoop.

“He’s practically my brother,” Oghoufo told Irish 247 of his relationship with Kareem. “I spent basically the whole day with him when I went up there for camp. We reunited. It was a great time with him. When we talked, he told me that if I go to Notre Dame, it’s a 40-year decision, not just a four-year decision. He says the caches are the best and the opportunities are great.”

That Oghoufo worked out for coaches says quite a bit about the early offer and commitment. This is a linebacker who hasn’t played his junior season of high school football yet, but was incredibly productive as a sophomore at Harrison High School.

Oghoufo joins quarterback Phil Jurkovec, running back Markese Stepp, and front seven defenders Jayson and Justin Ademilola in the 2018 class.

 

 

Irish A-to-Z: Colin McGovern

Colin McGovern 247
Irish247
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Senior lineman Colin McGovern provides the type of experience that’ll come in handy on an offensive line that some believe is the finest in college football, but still has some depth concerns. McGovern’s versatility—he’s in the conversation at right guard while likely providing depth behind Alex Bars at right tackle—is something we’ve seen in flashes since the Illinois native first came to campus. But finding a path to the field has been difficult, especially as poorly timed injuries struck.

Injuries or not, McGovern’s personnel battles made winning any job a herculean task. With Zack Martin, Ronnie Stanley and now Mike McGlinchey all profiling to be first round tackles, a shift inside was probably the most prudent to seeing playing time. Now as a fourth-year veteran preparing for his third season of eligibility, McGovern will enter fall camp hoping to win a starting guard job, but ready to fill in where needed.

 

COLIN MCGOVERN
6’4.5″, 315 lbs.
Senior, No. 62, OL

 

RECRUITING PROFILE

McGovern picked Notre Dame over offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, and a ton of other elite programs, a national recruit from the Chicago suburbs. He was better liked by some recruiting services than others, and his position was somewhat a question mark, too. Listed as a tackle, Notre Dame saw him as a guard prospect.

 

 

PLAYING CAREER

Freshman Season (2013): Did not see action.

Sophomore Season (2014): Played in two games as a reserve guard, seeing action against both Rice and Michigan.

Junior Season (2015): Made eight appearances, playing mostly on special teams. Played 16 snaps at right guard against UMass.

 

WHAT WE SAID LAST YEAR

Notre Dame’s tackles stayed upright last season and when Quenton Nelson went down it was Alex Bars who filled in.

Right now, the weak spot on Notre Dame’s offensive line is the depth at tackle and center. I’m not convinced that Hunter Bivin is the best option if someone goes down on the outside, and that’s a place where McGovern might be able to thrive.

Brian Kelly went out of his way to discuss McGovern this spring, praising both his size and ability, and talking about his opportunity to cross-train across the guard and tackle depth chart.

It’ll likely take someone going down for McGovern to get his chance, but if he has a strong camp, I get the feeling that he and Alex Bars will ascend to the key backups at tackle, while McGovern could also make a case for being a candidate to be sixth-or-seventh man.

 

FUTURE POTENTIAL

The road to the field seems very limited for McGovern if he can’t win the right guard job. That’ll likely come into focus in August, especially after the staff gets a look at Tommy Kraemer and the progress made by fellow candidates Hunter Bivin and Tristen Hoge.

McGovern has the feet and athleticism to survive at tackle, something that’ll keep him in the mix behind Alex Bars. A fifth year is likely if he’s able to provide some stability on the edge, knowing that McGlinchey isn’t likely coming back for a fifth year if he’s as good as we all think he is.

That’s not flashy upside. But serving as an understudy on one of the best offensive lines in the country is no small feat.

 

CRYSTAL BALL

I’ve always thought McGovern was a solid football player, but he just hasn’t been able to break through. Last spring’s concussion really seemed to set him back in a position battle that seemed up for grabs—we’ll see if that’s still the case entering fall camp.

A veteran without much experience is likely going to take over for Steve Elmer. It’s just tough to say it’ll be McGovern, when it looked like Hunter Bivin had emerged at the end of spring practice. McGovern’s experience and versatility will be where his value is established.

 

2016’s Irish A-to-Z
Josh Adams
Josh Barajas
Alex Bars
Asmar Bilal
Hunter Bivin
Grant Blankenship
Jonathan Bonner
Ian Book
Parker Boudreaux
Miles Boykin
Justin Brent
Devin Butler
Jimmy Byrne
Daniel Cage
Chase Claypool
Nick Coleman
Te’von Coney
Shaun Crawford
Scott Daly
Micah Dew-Treadway
Liam Eichenberg
Jalen Elliott
Nicco Feritta
Tarean Folston
Mark Harrell
Daelin Hayes
Jay Hayes
Tristen Hoge
Corey Holmes
Torii Hunter Jr.
Alizé Jones
Jamir Jones
Jarron Jones
Jonathan Jones
Tony Jones Jr.
Khalid Kareem
DeShone Kizer
Julian Love
Tyler Luatua
Cole Luke
Greer Martini
Jacob Matuska
Mike McGlinchey

Irish release Shamrock Series uniforms

ND Helmet
Notre Dame Sports Information
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When Notre Dame takes on Army in the Shamrock Series in San Antonio, they’ll be doing it with a uniform that pays tribute to the university’s relationship with the United States military.

Released on Thursday via social media, Notre Dame’s alternate uniform will feature an Army green jersey with a gold helmet and pants. Built into the uniform, both on the helmet and the shoulder of the jersey is the famous stone carving from above the side door of the Basilica of Sacred Heart, featuring the iconic “God, Country, Notre Dame.”