Skip to content

2011 in 100 words… Braxston Cave

Mar 2, 2011, 2:28 AM EDT

Braxston Cave

Still a few weeks away from Spring Practice kicking off, we’re starting a new series that’ll look at a dozen players that hold the key to Notre Dame making a BCS run next season. We’ll dedicate 100 words exactly to what each player needs to do to help the Irish take the leap. Send any thoughts or comments my way.

Player Overview:

There’s no player on the Irish roster that’s done more for Notre Dame off the field than Braxston Cave. The lone contributor on the Irish roster that grew up under the shadow of the Golden Dome, Cave’s house has long been a sanctuary for out-of-town teammates and potential recruits looking for a home-cooked meal or a place to stay.

Yet Cave’s path to contributing on the field wasn’t quite as clear cut. The four-star recruit that wowed people with his brute strength struggled to get onto the field and it was only after concussions kept senior Dan Wenger off of it that Cave seized the starting center job after apprenticing for nearly two seasons.

2010 Season:

Cave opened the 2010 season at center and for the most part played admirably. That said, Cave — as you’d expect from a first-year starter struggling to learn a new system — certainly didn’t grade out flawlessly.

“He’s gotten the message that he has to be more consistent,” head coach Brian Kelly said of Cave early in the year. “Braxston is an unbelievable kid and he’s going to give you everything he has. The problem is we don’t like some of his choices relative to who he blocks. He chooses to block the wrong people sometimes. Not a good thing, especially when there’s somebody on the nose.”

Cave’s work improved as the season wore on, and the Irish relying on their running game certainly played to Braxston’s strengths as a physical player in the trenches. With Wenger still hoping to return for a NCAA-approved sixth season, the center position is hardly Cave’s by default, and the Irish will need improved play out of Cave (or whoever wins the job for next season) if the offense is going to improve its consistency both running and throwing.

100 word preview for Braxston Cave in 2011:

If the Irish are going to play elite football, they’ll need a top-flight center anchoring their offensive line. Cave wasn’t that player last year, but there is reason to hope he can become a leader on this line.  Heading into 2010, the Irish worried about two rookie tackles, and the struggles on the interior surprised people. With Stewart gone, it’s up to Trevor Robinson and Cave to fulfill the promise they showed when they decided to don the Blue and Gold. If they don’t, expect to hear from guys like Chris Watt, Andrew Nuss, Mike Golic and freshman Christian Lombard.

Importance in 2011:

If the Irish want to run the type of offense Brian Kelly knows he needs, a center that’s capable of making good decisions in split seconds needs to emerge. If Ed Warinner can turn Cave into that guy, it means only good things for the Irish. Cave’s got all the intangibles needed to succeed. Now he’s just got to put the pieces together.

Latest Posts
  1. Kelly: Irish need to play their best to beat Stanford

    Sep 30, 2014, 4:29 PM EDT

    Notre Dame v Stanford Notre Dame v Stanford

    Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly addressed the media today to discuss Saturday’s showdown with Stanford. And a week after surviving a five-turnover game against Syracuse, Kelly made it pretty clear that he knew that type of effort wasn’t going to cut it.

  2. The good, the bad, the ugly: Notre Dame vs. Syracuse

    Sep 29, 2014, 11:42 AM EDT

    William Fuller, C.J. Prosise William Fuller, C.J. Prosise

    On second inspection, Notre Dame did some very impressive things in their 31-15 victory over Syracuse. But the head-scratching mistakes that revealed themselves in the season’s fourth game also gave us our first sign of some flaws that many had hoped this young team was past.

  3. Five things we learned: Notre Dame 31, Syracuse 15

    Sep 28, 2014, 1:56 AM EDT

    Torii Hunter Jr., Corey Robinson, Ben Koyack Torii Hunter Jr., Corey Robinson, Ben Koyack

    Earlier in the week, Brian Kelly was asked about his last time in MetLife Stadium. He almost chuckled to himself, wondering when Notre Dame’s humbling, one-sided defeat to Navy in 2010 would be drudged up again this week.

  4. Live Blog — Notre Dame vs. Syracuse

    Sep 27, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

    Everett Golson Everett Golson

    Returning to the New York metro area for the first time since the Pinstripe Bowl, Notre Dame looks to get to 4-0 on the season with a victory over Syracuse. For the Irish, it’s their first opportunity to play on the road, though lucky to start in the friendly confines of MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands instead of the Carrier Dome.

  5. Syracuse Mailbag: Everything under the kitchen sink

    Sep 27, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT

    Amir Carlisle Amir Carlisle

    This is such a long mailbag I’m just skipping the witty intro. Or even the halfway decent intro. So let’s get right to a tough set of questions.

  6. Daniels talks to ESPN about academic suspension

    Sep 26, 2014, 11:58 PM EDT

    DaVaris Daniels, Ricardo Allen AP

    Wide receiver DaVaris Daniels broke his silence Friday, talking with ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler about his exile as five Notre Dame football players still awaiting their university hearings. Daniels, Eilar Hardy, Kendall Moore, KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams have all been withheld from football activities while the university process continues.

  7. Pregame Six Pack: Syracuse in the way of perfect September

    Sep 26, 2014, 9:26 AM EDT

    Corey Robinson Corey Robinson

    Win September. Sounds easy enough, but Notre Dame has only started 4-0 a dozen times since 1970 and just twice since the turn of the century. But by beating Syracuse on Saturday night the Irish have a chance to enter the most difficult stretch of their season on a perfect role.

  8. Notre Dame, Texas A&M announce series in 2024-25

    Sep 25, 2014, 4:03 PM EDT

    Kenny Hill Kenny Hill

    Notre Dame and Texas A&M have agreed to play a two-game, home-and-home series, starting in 2024. The Irish and Aggies will open the 2024 season in College Station before playing a late September game the following season. The two programs haven’t met on the football field since 2001.

  9. Schafer prepares for challenge from Irish offense

    Sep 25, 2014, 12:52 PM EDT

    Scott Shafer Scott Shafer

    Coming off a difficult loss to Rutgers, Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer doesn’t expect things to get easier this weekend. With the Orange giving up home field advantage as they’ve moved the game to MetLife Field, Syracuse enters the game double-digit underdogs as they prepare to take on a Notre Dame team that’s ranked No. 8 in the country.

  10. Mailbag: Now Open

    Sep 25, 2014, 10:35 AM EDT

    Mailbag

    Drop your questions below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.

  11. O-Line shuffles, Torii Hunter’s debut, and other Irish notes

    Sep 24, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Amir Carlisle Amir Carlisle

    While Brian Kelly tried to downplay the finality of the significant adjustment to the two-deep depth chart along the offensive line, he talked about the rationale for flip-flopping Christian Lombard and Steve Elmer, as well as Nick Martin and Matt Hegarty on Tuesday afternoon.

  12. And in that corner… The Syracuse Orange

    Sep 24, 2014, 9:45 AM EDT

    Maryland v Syracuse Maryland v Syracuse

    Notre Dame begins its scheduling alliance with the ACC this weekend, as the Irish take on Syracuse this Saturday night in another primetime kickoff for the Irish. Second-year coach Scott Shafer’s squad is 2-1, coming off a disappointing two-touchdown loss to Rutgers that statistically could’ve played out like a blowout win for the Orange.

  13. Conclusion of academic probe still at least a week away

    Sep 23, 2014, 5:06 PM EDT

    Rev. John Jenkins,Jack Swarbrick Rev. John Jenkins,Jack Swarbrick

    After not meeting with the media last Tuesday, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly took to the podium for his regularly scheduled weekly press conference. While he addressed changes on the offensive line, injury news and the game Saturday night against Syracuse (we’ll get to that later), he also spoke about the status of DaVaris Daniels, Eilar Hardy, Kendall Moore, KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams, still held out of football activities as an academic investigation continues.

  14. Martin to guard, Lombard to tackle in OL shakeup

    Sep 23, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT

    Temple v Notre Dame Getty Images

    Rumors of some offensive line tweaks have been confirmed. On Notre Dame’s weekly depth chart, the Irish starting five up front have shifted dramatically.

  15. With bye week behind, next four Saturdays will define season

    Sep 22, 2014, 7:49 PM EDT

    Purdue v Notre Dame Getty Images

    Notre Dame enjoyed a Saturday off, a casual observer on a crazy weekend that served as the first shakeup of the season. But as Brian Kelly prepares his team for Syracuse, he’ll start a four-week stretch that’ll likely define Notre Dame’s season.

  16. Bye-week Mailbag: Life at the quarter turn

    Sep 19, 2014, 2:46 PM EDT

    Purdue v Notre Dame Getty Images

    As summer officially ends after this weekend, Notre Dame fans get one last uninterrupted Saturday to soak it in. So while the Irish are off, let’s take a look at who Notre Dame’s future opponents are playing and then get to the mailbag.

  17. Rumors swirl about offensive line shuffle

    Sep 18, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT

    notre-dame-ol

    Over the weekend, Brian Kelly talked candidly about finding a better performance from his offensive line. With talented personnel that’s still finding its identity after Zack Martin and Chris Watt graduated, Kelly and offensive line coach Harry Hiestand have an off week to find the five optimal starters — and their positions — before taking on Syracuse next weekend.

  18. Mailbag: Now Open

    Sep 18, 2014, 11:31 AM EDT

    Mailbag

    Questions before a weekend without Notre Dame football? Drop them below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.

  19. Jenkins addresses football suspensions to Notre Dame faculty

    Sep 17, 2014, 1:36 PM EDT

    Rev. John Jenkins,Jack Swarbrick Rev. John Jenkins,Jack Swarbrick

    After missing the first three games of the season, the fate of DaVaris Daniels, Eilar Hardy, Kendall Moore, KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams is still up in the air. After announcing an official investigation into academic dishonesty in mid-August, updates on the status of the five players have been limited to head coach Brian Kelly’s weekly loop of uncertainty.

  20. Notre Dame bye week number crunching

    Sep 16, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

    Everett Golson Everett Golson

    With the Irish getting a much needed Saturday off, we won’t hear from Brian Kelly until he’s previewing Syracuse for us next weekend. But with one quarter of the season in the books, let’s take a look at some of the surprises after three games, digging deep in to the stats after victories over Rice, Michigan and Purdue.