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Holiday weekend notes: Frosh numbers, redshirts, and more

Jul 1, 2011, 7:22 PM EDT

Matt Cashore Matt Cashore

Compare today to running an offseason marathon. No doubt, we are slogging along here, but the good news is we’ve just passed the 13-mile marker. We’re more than half-way there, and while that terrible realization that you’ve still got 13 miles left to run might cross your mind, the very good news is that we’re more than half-way there.

Before we take a nice long weekend to enjoy Fourth of July fireworks and all things Americana, here are a few assorted thoughts and notes stockpiled from a pretty slow week in Irish country. Don’t worry, on the flipside of the long holiday weekend, we’ll have just a month to go until the Irish break into fall camp.


Freshman numbers were officially released and for those of you wondering who is wearing what, query no more.

1 – Ishaq Williams
4 – George Atkinson
5 – Everett Golson
7 – Stephon Tuitt
16 – Davaris Daniels
18 – Ben Koyack
19 – Aaron Lynch
21 – Jalen Brown
27 – Kyle Brindza
30 – Ben Councell
33 – Cam McDaniel
34 – Eilar Hardy
41 – Matthias Farley
43 – Josh Atkinson
50 – Chase Hounshell
56 – Brad Carrico
56 – Anthony Rabasa
58 – Troy Niklas
59 – Jarrett Grace
65 – Conor Hanratty
69 – Tony Springmann
72 – Nick Martin
77 – Matt Hegarty

A few thoughts on uniform numbers (can you tell it’s July?):

If you’re looking for some fearsome defenders wearing some low-digits, I’d argue that throwing Ishaq Williams, Stephon Tuitt, and Aaron Lynch into jerseys usually worn by quarterbacks and kickers takes the cake for roster juxtaposition.

Any question about where George Atkinson will end up is officially over for the season. Paired with Gary Gray wearing No. 4, there’s no way that Atkinson can play defense this year. (Ditto for Brad Carrico and Anthony Rabasa — both assigned No. 56, with Carrico on the offensive line and Rabasa playing defense.)

Two numbers you won’t be getting confused with: No. 7 — Stephon Tuitt, at roughly 6-foot-6, 280 and TJ Jones, generously listed at 5-foot-11 and 187. No. 5 — Everett Golson, listed at 6-foot, 180 (in heels) and Manti Te’o, listed at 6-foot-2 and 255 pounds.


While most of the focus is on the actual freshman entering Notre Dame this summer, it’s an incredibly important summer for the other freshman, those that preserved a year of eligibility and stayed off the field in 2010. Here’s a quick rundown of those second-year students that will be playing with freshman eligibility.

QB: Andrew Hendrix — Critical season for arguably the Irish’s most talented signal caller. Best case: He’s the 2012 starting QB. Worst case: He’s sitting out 2012 as a transfer at another BCS program.

RB: Cameron Roberson — Roberson’s ACL injury during spring was one of the biggest setbacks for the Irish in the offseason. The scout team player of the year was ready to step in and contribute on offense.

WR: Luke Massa — After finishing fifth-wheel in a four-man quarterback derby, Massa showed his athleticism as a quick study during spring drills at WR. He could turn himself into a Robby Parris type of player.

TE: Alex Welch — Welch was almost too good to redshirt last year in fall camp, but Kelly wisely kept him out even after Kyle Rudolph’s injury. He’s not physically ready for the trenches, but he’ll be an asset in the passing game.

OL: Christian Lombard — If there’s a candidate for a Zack Martin-type ascension it’s Lombard, who had already beaten out Matt Romine at tackle and have the coaches feeling very confident in their depth along the line.

OL: Tate Nichols — After spending a season learning how to use his massive frame, the 6-foot-8 Nichols will likely continue to develop behind right tackle Taylor Dever. Either way, he’ll look good getting off the bus.

OL/DL: Bruce Heggie — The ultimate Kelly developmental project, Heggie looks every bit the part of a guy that’ll help a football team win. Where and when is still to be determined.

NT: Louis Nix — If there’s a player that’s got a bigger reputation from spending a season on the sidelines, I can’t seem to remember one. “Irish Chocolate” should make an immediate impact in the middle of the defense.

LB: Justin Utupo — A high school defensive lineman, Utupo spent his freshman season learning the inside linebacker position. He could be the heir apparent to fellow Haka dancer Manti Te’o.

LB: Kendall Moore — A hugely athletic inside linebacker that would’ve been used on special teams by any other Irish head coach since Lou, Moore instead won scout team defensive player awards for his work during practice. He’s got a chance to start next to Te’o this season.


Changing beats, Notre Dame and the Indiana Department of Labor reached a settlement agreement stemming from the fatal accident that took student videographer Declan Sullivan’s life. Under the terms of the agreement, Notre Dame will make an unannounced contribution to the Declan Drumm Sullivan Memorial Fund and had its fine reduced from $77,500 to $42,000, which will be paid to the Indiana Department of Labor.

More importantly, Notre Dame will launch a nationwide educational program that’s directed at other universities and educational organizations about the dangers of outdoor scissor lifts. The program must be launched within 180 days.

“Notre Dame has said multiple times publicly that it wants to ensure nothing like Declan’s death occurs again on its watch, and that it wants to honor Declan’s memory,” IDOL Commissioner Lori Torres said in a written statement. “We believe this unique agreement allows Notre Dame to live up to those statements, and it allows our agency to carry out its primary mission, which is to advance the safety of employees throughout the state.”

Speaking on behalf of the Sullivan family, Mike Miley, Declan’s uncle, had this to say to the South Bend Tribune:

“The university contines to be forthright in communicating with the family,” Miley said. “Every step they are taking is in conjunction with the family needs.”


  1. 1notredamefan - Jul 1, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    The lucky #13!!

  2. notredave - Jul 2, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    @ 1notredamefan:

    * goosebumps*

    As excited as I am for the season as a whole to get started, I’m just a tad more excited to see our defense. I think we have guys the can absolutely de-cleat some offenses.

    • 1notredamefan - Jul 2, 2011 at 6:41 PM

      I know….Right? They look awesome in that video and can’t even imagine what’s in store!

  3. 1historian - Jul 2, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    From the day it happened the response of the Notre Dame administration to the Declan Sullivan tragedy has struck me as being more corporate than catholic. In my opinion they are liable to a huge lawsuit from the Sullivan family, they know it and they have been doing everything possible – killing them with kindness – to keep the family from filing suit.

    FYI – I have worked construction in the South Bend area and I know from experience that the wind can come up out of nowhere and can be frightening. All the accounts I have read from that day say that the wind was indeed frightening. SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE SAID SOMETHING. The fact that there was no one with the authority to do something is disgraceful, and what seems to be a never-ending stream of ‘mea culpa’ from the administration is not going to change that.

    I do not hate Notre Dame – I love her. I was a student there for 2 1/2 years, and I am excited at the upcoming season and those to follow with Coach Kelly at the helm.

    I used to be proud to say I had gone to Notre Dame. That is no longer the case.

    • 1notredamefan - Jul 2, 2011 at 6:54 PM

      Well if you are in construction then you are probably well versed in the dangers of man-lifts, scissor lifts, etc. What is more of a case of pure negligence of information about the danger a lift can present in high winds shows me your ignorance to the fact of life, that no-one can know all things about all things and the people you are implying where at fault for this negligence are the exact people without the knowledge of the danger!

      Repetition causes comfort and comfort kills! We who are in the field of construction are all at fault of falling into a comfort level and we all have seen accidents! Hopefully the ND administration has witnessed their last one when it comes to these dangerous machines!

      R.I.P.Declan Sullivan

      • 1historian - Jul 3, 2011 at 7:38 AM

        I am retired. While I was working I spent some time up on scissor-lifts so I KNOW how scary they can be.
        I have read many accounts of that day and ALL of them described the wind conditions on that day not only in South Bend but in the whole area of NW Indiana, as dangerous.
        When the accident happened I wrote the Observer suggesting that in the future ALL those who were to go up on the lifts not do so before contacting LL 645 in South Bend for instructions in operating scissor-lifts – they offer a safety course in the operation of the machines.

        “A case of pure negligence of information about the danger a lift can present in high winds shows me your ignorance about the fact of life that no one can know all things about all things and the people you are implying where (sic) at fault for this negligence are the exact people without knowledge of the danger!”

        Precisely my point – There was no one on the site who knew of the danger involved in going up on a lift in HIGH WINDS and could have said “it’s too dangerous – no one goes up today!” THAT is negligence, and you can bet your bottom dollar that the lawyers @ Notre Dame know that and are keeping their fingers crossed.

    • bernhtp - Jul 3, 2011 at 8:42 AM

      Re: “From the day it happened the response of the Notre Dame administration to the Declan Sullivan tragedy has struck me as being more corporate than catholic. In my opinion they are liable to a huge lawsuit from the Sullivan family, they know it and they have been doing everything possible – killing them with kindness – to keep the family from filing suit.”

      Sorry, this is a bizarre analysis given the facts. Fr. Jenkins quickly responded with a letter taking full responsibility for the University’s failure in the matter. This was a deeply heartfelt act given how personally devastated he was over the horrible tragedy (I know from personal sources). He immediately established an outside/independent investigation to review it and to provide recommendations so that it would never be repeated. See:

      Yes, this was terrible and there was negligence that was quickly admitted with action aggressively taken. Everything – absolutely everything – I see in this case speaks to a fully “Catholic” (vs. evasive) response. Other than change history, which is beyond the University’s power, I have no idea what else you would have them do.

      • 1historian - Jul 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM

        Given the facts – that the University was clearly responsible for the tragedy and he and everyone else knew that – what else could Fr. Jenkins do except issue that statement?

        I worked as a union laborer for 36 years, the 1st few of them in South Bend on the twin towers across from Stepan Center – I know how suddenly a high wind can come up there. Everything I have read about that day indicates that there were high winds all over Northern Indiana, extending as far as Northwest Indiana.
        During my career I spent some time up on scissor-lifts outside, and at all times there was someone else above me who could have said – “it’s too dangerous – you can’t go up.” His word was LAW.

        At Notre Dame on that awful day there was NO SUCH PERSON to tell the students – who were doing their jobs to help pay tuition – “The wind is too dangerous and you can’t go up on the lifts.” That is my point – there was no one there with the authority to forbid anyone from going up on the scissor lifts no matter HOW dangerous it was, and to me that is negligence.

        Let me put it like this – there should have been someone there with that authority and the fact that there was no one strikes me as negligence. 20 year old kids don’t know any better and there should have been someone there with the authority to tell them not to go up.

        Everything since that day strikes me as CYA.

      • 1historian - Jul 4, 2011 at 8:07 AM

        It should have never happened. It did happen because there was no one with the experience and the authority to forbid anyone from going up that terrible day.

        And there should have been.

  4. papadec - Jul 2, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    Too bad you were not there, with your experience, to prevent the tragedy. Apparently, most people, including the State of Indiana officials who investigated the accident, feel Notre Dame is doing the best they can to prevent another tragedy nation wide.

  5. 1historian - Jul 3, 2011 at 7:47 AM

    Sarcasm duly noted. The point is that not only was I not there to prevent the tragedy – NO ONE was there to prevent the tragedy. There was NO ONE who had the knowledge – from experience – and the authority to say ‘it’s too windy it’s too dangerous and no one goes up today.’ That to me is a pretty good definition of criminal negligence. Don’t kid yourself that the lawyers at Notre Dame don’t know that.

    Notre Dame’s response – banning scissor lifts altogether – is a good one.

    As I said – I don’t hate Notre Dame, I love her.

    But I am no longer proud of her.

    • 1notredamefan - Jul 3, 2011 at 10:47 AM

      Criminal negligence would have to be noted only if they knew of pending catastrophe and did nothing! I can almost guarantee that this was not the first day a storm blew in with high winds and they continued filming! This was what could be called a freak accident, and for the university to take responsibility in the way it did should make you proud! They could have took another path but they did what was right! The Sullivan family is grieving over this and I’m sure they have dully noted all possibilities to this tragedy! Some people will sue over spilled milk, the Sullivan family should be commended to the highest degree for there understanding of the situation at hand!

      All lawsuits that are filed for money alone are of criminal decree! A lawsuit that is filed in order to better the situation at hand is what I believe the point of a lawsuit should be! The Notre Dame administration is doing all things necessary to better the situation not only on campus but around all campuses around the country, and this is being done without a judge ordering so!

      • 1notredamefan - Jul 3, 2011 at 10:48 AM


      • 1historian - Jul 4, 2011 at 8:02 AM

        There is no question that the administration is doing a fine job of cleaning up the situation.

        Your remark – “I can almost guarantee that this was not the first day a storm blew in with high winds and they continued filming.” Precisely my point – when a storm blew in with high winds and they continued filming they should have STOPPED filming. But they continued, IMO the single main reason being the fact that there was no one with the EXPERIENCE and the AUTHORITY to say – “no one goes up today.”

        I repeat what I have said – There should have been someone there with the experience – and the AUTHORITY – to forbid anyone to go up that day. That there was no such person strikes me as negligence.

  6. 1historian - Jul 3, 2011 at 7:48 AM

    the above post is a reply to ‘papadec’ 7/2/11 @5.12 p.m.

  7. 1historian - Jul 4, 2011 at 8:15 AM

    July 4, 1776 was a Tuesday.

    I listened to the USC game in 1966 on a short wave radio in the mid-east. When it got to 17-0 near the end of the 1st half I got a little nervous because of 1964 but the Irish got 2 quick touchdowns.

    After the game the USC coach whose name I have forgotten is reputed to have said “I’ll never lose to that Armenian b…..d (Parseghian) again!

    The next year USC showed up with O.J. Simpson.

    Good movie – ‘Super 8’. 2 hours of escapist entertainment, stay for the credits. Trust me.

    Anyone remember “Ara stop the snow!”?

    Happy Independence Day friends and neighbors!

    • 1notredamefan - Jul 4, 2011 at 8:49 AM

      We’ll just have to agree to disagree 1historian……@ Keith, I hope not to steal any thunder but this article is an excellent rite up and should be shared!,0,1015542,full.story

      • 1historian - Jul 4, 2011 at 11:06 AM


        Keith – whoever (and wherever) you are – this is indeed an excellent write up.

        60+ days until the kickoff

  8. 1historian - Jul 4, 2011 at 4:44 PM


  9. b114 - Jul 7, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    To all, the initial phrasing of any criminal act is “Knowingly and Intentionally…”. Without the intent or, both parts, there is no criminal violation. It is a shame and a horrible ACCIDENT! Let us pray that this incident will save others from a similar fate. God bless the Sullivan Family

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