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Salvi earns scholarship, rebuilding, recruiting, and combine

Feb 24, 2012, 3:56 PM EST

Michael Floyd combine

News has broken from the Twitter accounts of several Notre Dame players that walk-on safety Chris Salvi has earned a scholarship for next season. The move will bring the senior back for a fifth-year, one that will give Salvi a shot at earning a graduate degree for free, and solidifies some depth on the back end of the defense, not to mention gives Irish special teams one of their best coverage men back for another season.

Salvi’s return was likely solidified when the Irish left a few empty seats on the recruiting bus, with Notre Dame only signing 17 players to the class of 2012. While an official announcement hasn’t been made, it’ll be interesting to see what players come back and fill out the 85 man scholarship roster. From what the whispers have been, it sounds like other than the obvious returning seniors — Kapron Lewis-Moore, Jamoris Slaughter, Braxston Cave — guys like John Goodman and Mike Golic Jr. will also return. No word on the others, but expect something soon.

Not everybody is going to have the straight-to-the-silver-screen story of David Ruffer, but Salvi’s run at ND is pretty impressive, too, with the game ball and game captaincy a pretty impressive feat. He’s thought of as more than just a walk-on to this staff, and after talking to some people close to the program, I know there wouldn’t be much hesitation to put Salvi in at safety, where he’ll likely be in the mix as well as on all coverage units. Congrats to the Lake Forest, Illinois native.

***

In other news, the guys over at One Foot Down have been doing a pretty cool feature on rebuilding the Irish football program. That term alone is enough to get some hard-core domers up in arms, but it’s a thoughtful read filled with some well-made points, and it’s worth your time if you’re combing the net for some good Irish reading this weekend.

To butcher their work accordingly, here’s the basic breakdown of their four-part series:

  • Part One: Build and keep a staff, and beat ranked teams. (Agree!)
  • Part Two: Avoid losing seasons, get good QB play. (Double-Agree!)
  • Part Three: Get your depth chart healthy, keep up in the arms race. (Yep!)
  • Part Four: Dominate bad competition, stop losing bad games, find the right guys. (Nodding.)

Nice work by Eric Murtaugh, who really dug into this one. Well worth your time.

***

Lastly, with Davonte Neal finally on board with the Irish, it’s time to begrudgingly turn our attention to the class of 2013. No, I haven’t been under a rock and I’ve noticed the early returns Michigan has had in recruiting, with Brady Hoke gobbling up some impressive verbal commitments, from a lot of guys that also had Notre Dame offers. Last season, it was easier to dismiss the players Hoke was taking, many of whom didn’t have offers from Notre Dame or didn’t seem like true fits in Brian Kelly’s scheme.

But there’s no question that guys like Kyle Bosch, Logan Tuley-Tillman and Taco Charlton were on Notre Dame’s radar, and the ridiculous 12 verbal commitments the Wolverines have currently puts them in Texas territory for this time of year.

Yet here’s a reminder to those Irish fans pulling your hair out. Those early commitments from guys like Taylor Decker, Ronald Darby, and Deontay Greenberry? They didn’t last. Coming off an 11-win season and a victory in Sugar Bowl, you’d expect a great return in recruiting and credit Hoke and company for taking advantage. But the Wolverines will have to earn it this season, facing a schedule that opens with Alabama instead of Western Michigan, and features away games at Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State.

If you’re getting worked up about recruiting with over 11 months to go before Signing Day, you might need to take a step back and reevaluate things. We already know that a commitment won’t stop the Irish coaching staff from coming after players (nor will it stop Urban Meyer). But the Irish will look to start building their recruiting momentum at an upcoming Junior Day.

***

Lastly, six Notre Dame football players are at the NFL Scouting Combine, the annual cattle call where college football’s best pro prospects are herded together and put through interviews, testing, and workouts.

Notre Dame has Robert Blanton, Taylor Dever, Darius Fleming, Michael Floyd, Jonas Gray, and Harrison Smith attending, with the microscope most closely focused on Floyd, who has some character questions thanks to last offseason’s DUI arrest.

Immediate reports have Floyd acquitting himself quite well with reporters, and he’ll meet with several teams — some of whom will consider taking Notre Dame’s all-time leading receiver in the first round of the draft.

As of now, here’s the official measurements of the former Irish players in attendance, compared to their roster listing at Notre Dame (I’ll update as the reports come in):

Robert Blanton: 6-0, 196, 6-1, 200
Taylor Dever: 6-5, 298, 6-5, 301
Darius Fleming: 6-2, 245, 6-2, 255 (This will be an interesting, I expect Fleming to be 6-1, 245.)
Michael Floyd: 6-3, 220, 6-3, 224
Jonas Gray: 5-10, 223, 5-10, 230
Harrison Smith: 6-1, 213, 6-2, 214

  1. dickasman - Feb 24, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    With the 19th pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, Da Chicago BearzzzzzzZZZZzZZZZzzzZzzzZzZZz select Michael Floyd cmonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn dowwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnn!

    I buy you a draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnkkkkkkkkkkkkkk sooooooooooooooon! Oh wait, I meant a thai iced tea! Man, I hope da bears draft him. I don’t want that midget Kendall Wrong!

    • nudeman - Feb 25, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      Bears fan here. Not sure I want Floyd.

      I don’t think he’ll be an NFL bust at all, but they need an immediate impact guy at WR, not a rookie.

      Window of oppty to get back to the SB is closing for that D (Briggs, Urlacher, Peppers and Tillman). Would rather see them get a wideout from FA and draft a solid OL, DL or FS with the 19 pick

      • 1historian - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM

        Nudie – Pats fan here.

        FYI – I have been watching pro football for more than 50 years – I remember watching “The greatest game ever played” on a B&W TV about the size of a teacup.

        The Bears team that destroyed the Pats in the 1986 SB was the greatest team I ever saw at the

      • 1historian - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:59 AM

        TOP of their game. That defense was scary.

        (sorry about hitting the send key before I was ready)

        Anyway – IMO as long as the McCaskey family owns the Bears the team will continue to be mediocre. I don’t say this with any relish because the Bears are DA BEARS – in a real sense to old farts like moi they ARE pro football – They had been here for years before my original favorite team the Baltimore Colts came to be.

      • nudeman - Feb 27, 2012 at 11:32 AM

        ihisty
        When you hear the phrase “’85 Bears” it’s like hearing “’27 Yankees”. Pure dominance

        HOWEVER … a part of that era’s Bears legacy is underachievement. How did they only win one SB? I could write a 100 pg dissertation on that subject, but in the end it came down to:
        – Egos: McMahon and Ditka in the lead roles. Both became more interested in commercials and money than paying the price to win

        – QB: When McMahon got hurt, they had Steve Fuller to back him up. The most scared person I’ve ever seen play in the NFL. He was so bad, they signed Flutie, which I thought was a decent move, but it didn’t work. Again, I could do 100 pages on THAT

        – McCaskey: Any talk of Bear failure MUST include Michael McCaskey who seems to have accomplished the trifecta of completely alienating fans, players and the rest of the NFL.

        Oh well …

  2. dickasman - Feb 24, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/don_banks/02/22/2012.nfl.mock.draft.2/index.html?sct=nfl_t11_a3

    here’s the SI mockdraft which has him going to da bearskis! BOIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGG!

  3. smurphdoggy29 - Feb 24, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Keith Thanks for all you do ! This little Series of mock letters is pretty cool !

    Now I just want to throw out my 2 cents on the rather far off (189) season.

    With Chuck Martin taking over the reins on offense, and an apparent void on offense at least from an outside observers view, I think this team has the makings to really surprise some people. The defense is only going to progress, and hopefully the coordinator along with it, while the Special Teams can do no more than simply get better.

    I think the offense will surprise for 2 reasons. The first will be that Quarterback will be solidified and there shall be no shenanigans heading out of Fall camp.

    The second will be the emergence of the playmakers left in Floyd’s considerable wake. Short of Eifert at Tight End all the receivers and backs who will be given a chance to produce will step up and make everyone notice. Now the reason I say this is because when the foundation was crumbling last season anyone in their right mind under center threw it wherever they thought Eifert would be, or hoped Floyd might get it. This Spring and Fall all the guys will be able to show the skills that got them to South Bend, and henceforth thereupon which more than a few will blossom.

    It will be satisfying to hear the majority of Irish Fans say, sometimes in unison, “Who is that and where did he come from?” Followed by raucous cheering and self congratulatory pats on their own backs (as in I knew he had it in him all along).

    Hope all the Irish faithful out there are well and safe !

    • nudeman - Feb 25, 2012 at 10:06 AM

      smurph
      Agree completely. Maybe I’m still intoxicated from the Neal signing washing the bad taste out of my mouth from the guy who went to Houston. Or maybe it’s the fact that Golson seems to be the odds on favorite to be the QB.

      Whatever. I like the way the team is shaping up. And I LOVE the fact that Chuck Martin will be running the O. 10-2 is a distinct possibility.

  4. papadec - Feb 24, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    A good move by ND coaching to recognize, reward & encourage walk on players. Congratulations Chris Salvi for all your hard work and contributions to ND football.

    • dickasman - Feb 24, 2012 at 7:00 PM

      Thank you papa, appreciate it. I’ll do my best to get the coldest water to starters as soon as they come off the field. I promise!

      • papadec - Feb 24, 2012 at 9:26 PM

        dick – nice to see you’ll finally be doing something useful for the team. Don’t forget to ice the Gatorade while you’re at it

  5. turknd - Feb 24, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Dickassman, this is something you will never understand because all you do is sit on the sidelines and post caustic messages. This guy worked his butt off, as a walk on, probably becuase he loves N.D., earns a scholarship to one of the most prestiges schools (and football programs) in the country and earns a scholarship. Much respect to him even if hadn’t earn the scholarship. You will never understand or apprecite, you are a loser.

    • nudeman - Feb 25, 2012 at 12:40 PM

      Why the hate for dickasman?
      He’s yanking all your chains and too many of you fall for it every time.
      I have no doubt he’s a legit ND fan. Have seen many solid – although admittedly idiosyncratic shall we say? – posts from him.

      He’s part of the variety of the board here. Relax

      Tommy should start

      • papadec - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:36 AM

        nude – why do I have this image of you, dickas, & the Hunchback fighting in the belltower to yank chains?

  6. rambler09 - Feb 24, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Congratulations to Chris Salvi! You have to hand it to Michigan with the job they’ve been doing in recruiting. They started out hot last year, too. Here’s to hoping that a few surprising losses for them and a few surprising wins for us bring a few of those guys into our fold.

    Also, there’s no way Dever weighed in at 228. 288, maybe?

    • Keith Arnold - Feb 24, 2012 at 11:20 PM

      Smurph — Thanks for the nice words. And Rambler — You were right, it was 298, not 228. That’d be one svelte lineman. Dever didn’t do himself any favors with the bench press, only repped 18 times. Not great for a lineman.

      • rambler09 - Feb 25, 2012 at 12:11 PM

        To put that into perspective… Brady Quinn did 24 reps at his combine. Not very good at all. We always hype up Longo’s program… but the numbers these guys put up at the combine will be the first real test of his strength program. They’ve all been in it for 2 years. I really hope that the rest of these guys put up some incredible numbers.

  7. nudeman - Feb 25, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Tommy Rees should be the starter
    1. He’s a coach’s son
    2. Most experienced
    3. 14-0 as a starter
    4. Good kid
    5. Ball comes out on time

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Feb 26, 2012 at 3:47 PM

      probably should have typed this message with the sarcasm font

  8. 1historian - Feb 27, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Dickasman – I’m going to call you Richard. You seem to have found some chains to yank with some of your detractors. Most of your stuff is good, the bad stuff I ignore.

    Keith – Keep up the good work – your material is consistently informative and well written. Thanks

    Whatever happened to Trevor Robinson? He was at least a 3 year starter. Isn’t he even good enough to be invited to the combine? Maybe he’ll pull a Sam Young and get a 5th or 6th round call.

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