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Weekend notes: Guess goes home, Army 180, and BK’s back

Jun 8, 2012, 4:50 PM EST

Lorenzo Guess

Assistant director of strength and conditioning Lorenzo Guess has left Notre Dame for a similar position at his alma mater Michigan State.

Guess, who played basketball and football for the Spartans, hails from Michigan and was coached by Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio when Dantonio was a position coach and Guess was a safety. Dantonio had also hired Guess as a staff assistant when he was the head coach at Cincinnati.

Dantonio had nothing but good things to say about Guess in the school’s official release:

“We’re very excited about Lorenzo Guess coming back to Michigan State,” Dantonio said. “A member of our 1997 recruiting class, he was the state’s best all-around athlete, coming out of Wayne Memorial. Lorenzo was a two-sport athlete at Michigan State. I had the opportunity to work with him every day as his position coach and later as one of my graduate assistants (at Cincinnati). He also played for Tom Izzo on some outstanding MSU basketball teams. I remember he closed out his college career with a huge game (career-best 12 tackles) against Fresno State in the 2001 Silicon Valley Bowl.

“As a coach, Lorenzo has been associated with winning programs, at Cincinnati, South Florida and Notre Dame. He’s really a proven commodity. Lorenzo has a tremendous work ethic, and he brings a working knowledge of Ken Mannie’s training program, having been through it himself as a player. In addition, he’s an ideal role model for our student-athletes because he’s already walked in their footsteps.

“When creating this new position, we immediately targeted Lorenzo as a potential candidate. We’re thrilled to have him along with his wife Bianca and daughter Nadia back on campus. He’s an outstanding addition to our program.”

Only in the throws of the offseason does a move like this make news, but Guess was a great asset for the Irish football staff. While there are restrictions on the time players and coaches can spend together in the offseason, the strength and conditioning staff is responsible for the coaching throughout the offseason months, including the summer session. Having a guy like Guess, who coached tight ends for Kelly at Cincinnati and came over to Notre Dame as a strength coach, with a clear knowledge for the game as both a top-flight player and collegiate position coach, helped keep a consistent message between the strength and football staffs.

“It’s awesome to be returning home to Michigan State,” Guess said via the Spartans’ release. “I’ve known Coach Dantonio since he began recruiting me in 1996. He was my position coach at Michigan State, and later, I had an opportunity to work for him at Cincinnati. So my relationship with Coach D certainly played a major role in my decision to return to my alma mater.

“It’s an exciting time to be associated with the Spartan football program. Coach D, his coaching staff and the players have done a great job in bringing the program back to a position of national prominence. I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to work with the coaching staff and student-athletes. I couldn’t be more excited.”

***

In the course of one morning news cycle, Notre Dame and Army planned and unplanned a Yankee Stadium reunion for 2013. News out of Army athletic director Boo Corrigan, by way of the Times Herald-Record, had the Irish and Black Knights in the midst of discussing a renewal of the traditional series.

“We’re working through details with the University of Notre Dame on a series,” Corrigan told the Times Herald-Record. “It’s coming in the future. We’re excited about a series that we are going to play with them.”

His explanation on where the game was taking place likely kick-started the rumor mill.

“My place (Michie Stadium), their place (South Bend), the Yankees place, wherever else. We are in the final throes.”

From there, the Chicago Tribune and a number of other media outlets picked up the story, with the highlights being a potential rematch in Yankee Stadium after the successful off-site match-up in new Yankee Stadium’s first football game in 2010.

Notre Dame, who usually remains silent on a schedule until it’s completed, actually felt compelled to kill the rumor before the snowball rolled out of control.

“That was absolutely not true,” Notre Dame associate athletic director John Heisler told Blue & Gold Illustrated. “We are not playing Army in 2013 there or anywhere else.”

The 2013 schedule already looked pretty well formed, making that game next to an impossibility to begin with. The Irish already have Temple, Oklahoma, Arizona State, Air Force and potentially BYU set to join traditional opponents like Michigan, Purdue, Michigan State, Southern Cal, Navy and Stanford, with just a few dates left to be ironed out.

So stick a fork in that rumor, though it’s more than likely a game is in the near future.

***

Lastly, while you wouldn’t know it by the pace of Irish recruiting, head coach Brian Kelly underwent back surgery for a herniated disc, according to Irish SID Brian Hardin.

The surgery was performed yesterday and Kelly is expected back and better by August, in plenty of time before Notre Dame opens fall camp.

 

 

  1. gtizzo - Jun 8, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Heal up Coach Kelly.

  2. smurphdoggy29 - Jun 8, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    All the best in your recovery Coach Kelly.

    Keith can we get some information on Massa’s progress, what Collinsworth is up to, and some insight on Alex Welch.

    Keep up the good work !

    • bernhtp - Jun 8, 2012 at 10:29 PM

      Don’t forget Amir Carlisle.

  3. brazilianirish - Jun 8, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    And please, Keith, keep us informed about the next assistant of strength and conditioning. By the way, it could be interesting to know more about Coach Longo´s unconventional approach in these areas… And best recovery to Coach Kelly.

  4. dickasman - Jun 8, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    I have been saying this for the past 69 years, why can’t we brew some of our own coaches in house? I mean We got guys graduating magna (oh boy here we go, I’ve been dying to say this word in proper manner, “rubs hands”) CUM laude in science and we can’t brew our own to replace Lorenzo Guess? Cmonnn Mannng!

    • bernhtp - Jun 9, 2012 at 8:48 AM

      Unlike other schools, magna cum laude science grads from Notre Dame don’t become personal trainers.

  5. yaketyyacc - Jun 9, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    congratulatons on a successful back operation. something to be learned from this. how about putting some back bone into the Notre Dame Football team> beginning with the change of josh atkinson from defense to offensive wide out receiver.
    correct the flaw of last year and the spring practice. instill disciplline. saying “my people will get you.” is no different then a hit out of bounds or a personal foul call. running away from a police officer is no different then trying to make up for a poor game by forcing the ball and having a resultant interception. this coomment does not only apply to the two players mentioned, but to the entire team with a few exceptions.
    oh, yes. and the built in excuse for a bad season in 2012: THE MURDEROUS SCHEDULE. Notre
    Dame doesn’t have the reputation it has earned by scheduling manby pamby teams like the other, so called, power houses. at Notre Dame, we play football from the first game to the last, with no practice scrimages in between. now, the gentleman from USC, mr. Barkley has called us losers and quitters. Our answer will begin on Sept. 1st.

    • johndepasquale - Jun 10, 2012 at 12:46 AM

      i agree with your comment except the really ridiculous Atkinson to receiver part. That boy needs to be flying around in the secondary on defense. We need him there alot more than we need him on offense.

  6. yaketyyacc - Jun 10, 2012 at 5:50 AM

    there is method to my madness. while watching josh and george compete in the track events, I noticed that the sibling friendly rivalry caused both of them to better perform. and I think this would translate to sucess for Notre Dame, if this friendly competition continued.
    after all,, wasn’t it a friendly rivalry for the famous “Mr. Inside and Mr Outside” that propelled Army to the National Championship?

    • nudeman - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:45 AM

      Isn’t Josh under 6″ tall? I think they have enough short-ish receivers.
      I seem to recall they gave GAIII some WR reps last year (in practice, not games)
      To be polite, the feedback was that he wasn’t going to win any “best hands” awards.
      Then again, we’re just talking “PRACTICE”

    • bernhtp - Jun 10, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      Sorry, there’s more madness than method. Josh doesn’t have the size to be the X split receiver, which is where ND has need. We have no evidence that he has the hands or knowledge either. ND has tremendous depth at the Y slot, which is where Josh could plausibly fit assuming the hands and knowledge/experience.

      In contrast, ND lost its two CBs to graduation and this is the point of biggest need. Raw athleticism, especially speed, is a key component of that position, and this is what Josh has. To move him away from this position of need and where he best fits to one where we have great depth seems rather silly. It’s like moving Hendrix to safety. Ugh!!

  7. yaketyyacc - Jun 10, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    thanks for the constructive criticism. National Champioships result partially from the unorthodox. i..e. Aa choosing the third string quarterback as his starter. a guy named Hanratty. hmmm. don’t knock it until you try it.

    • bernhtp - Jun 10, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      Ara didn’t put Hanratty at corner. That would have been unorthodox, and dumb. Montana was also third/fourth string. Sometimes it takes the cream a while to rise from the bottom.

      I hope some cream rises to the top of the QB position this year along with CB (the two biggest question marks). We have the makings of a very, very good team if the right talent develops and excels at those positions. I’m less concerned with the split WR since Eifert can split with another TE and we have a lot of talent at the slot. There are lots of potential playmakers on offense.

      I don’t know if Josh has the quickness and hips to be a great corner, but he certainly has great raw speed and is big/strong enough (though a bit less than the 6’1″ prototype size they seek).

      • nudeman - Jun 10, 2012 at 8:46 PM

        Your comment is the first time I’ve heard Hanratty and Hendrix in the same sentence. Hendrix has about 1/3rd (to be kind) the QB ability that Terry Hanratty had. One was a classic drop back All American QB; the other is an elite athlete who isn’t a BCS caliber QB.

        Ridiculous

        Make fun all you want about my saying AH should be moved to safety. I don’t see anyone else here going out on a limb and making any bold predictions like that. Let me give you a scenario where that makes eminent sense:
        1) Golson starts this year and has ups and downs but overall is respectable
        2) AH plays some snaps here and there, and maybe even starts a game or two because of injury to EG or EG’s inconsistency. Has his own ups and downs.
        3) Rees … whatever.
        4) GK preserves a year of eligibility and gets more knowledgeable about the O and physically stronger.
        5) Zaire joins the team next year

        So where the f**k does Hendrix fit in, under this scenario which is not guaranteed but completely reasonable?

        I DO guarantee this: The conversation about AH to safety (after this year) has taken place among the coaching staff.

      • turknd - Jun 10, 2012 at 9:37 PM

        Nude, just curious, did AH play D in high school? Doesn’t seem to shy away from contact.

      • bernhtp - Jun 11, 2012 at 12:05 PM

        Nude: I don’t believe you’re looking at this objectively. First, you’re way too quick to write Hendrix out of the QB picture. He’s frankly shown more promise than Clausen or Quinn did in their first outings. He does need to get more instinctive in reading defenses and fight his proclivity to throw clothesline passes into the chests of OLBs.

        You’re a huge Golson fanboy. I’m a fan too, but I am less certain he is better than Hendrix. From what I hear, Golson has his issues, at least in practice. With that said, Montana wasn’t a great practice player but he somehow made magic happen once he got onto the field. There are also (way) more supporters of Tommy on the team than outside. Even the great MMF advocated for Rees over Crist. We see an infinitesimal fraction of what the coaching staff does, and with a far less knowledgeable eye. I’m not quite so presumptuous as to call the definite winner.

        What we do have lots of evidence about and what doesn’t require a super-skilled eye is the simple fact that QB play was a major liability for ND last year, and this needs to change. We hope that one of the three others can step up and turn this around. Many, including you, have hitched their wagon to Golson. I’m hedging given that all we’ve seen of him is two spring games and a high school highlight video. FWIW, Hendrix was rated more highly coming out of HS.

        As for Hendrix to safety, by the last game he was the #2 QB. He might now be #1, 2 or 3, depending upon how camp and Tommy’s punishment goes. I see approximately zero chance for Hendrix being moved from QB this year given the indeterminate state of the position. Golson might win the job, but flame out or get hurt. I also don’t think that Hendrix has safety speed, which I think is in the 4.7 range. He’s a strong and elusive runner, but not super fast by defensive standards.

      • nudeman - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:24 PM

        bern
        You make many good points but let me respons:
        1) Although I am inclined to dispute your observation that I have “totally written off Hendrix”, I guess in some ways I have. He’s potentially a respectable QB – way, WAY better than Rees – but has some limitations. I don’t like his throwing motion, but that’s something of a nit. More importantly I think he lacks judgment, vision and touch on his passes. Those are concerns backed up by his performance.

        2) I like very much the fact that he’s in the mix this year and think he’ll contribute. My concern with him beyond this year is that I think GK and Zaire are the answer going forward.

        3) I am not the outrageous EG fan you make me out to be.
        Do I think he’s potentially scintillating and a game changer? Absolutely.
        Improvement over TR? Uh … yes.
        Does he concern me with his apparent playbook problems and fumbling the snap? Yes.
        But at SOME point, BK has to get on with it and commit to someone other than Rees. He makes no one better and lacks any of the qualities of a good QB.

        4) Rees defenders here keep saying “well, he checks us into good plays”. Really? How do they know what play he checked OUT of? And more importantly, if he keeps checking into good plays, why is their offense so moribund with him at QB? Please, let’s get past the Rees era.

        5) You might be right about Hendrix not having the speed for safety. But what if he had an entire offseason to do speed training, perhaps change his body a bit to become more safety-like? Maybe 4.7 is the best he can be. Maybe not. Is getting to 4.5 out of the question with proper training? I don’t know.

    • nddc21 - Jun 10, 2012 at 4:26 PM

      “Reply” button. Use it, love it.

  8. cpfirish - Jun 10, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Hey Nude I totally argree with you about AH. There is no room for him at qb in 2013. And he will the qb this year to give EG a breather.. I really dont see him starting any games for the irish. TR would start before him.. Shit!!! all I can say is that EG better get a firm grip on the nd playbook!! He talent with take care of thr rest and we all know that! Go irish!

  9. yaketyyacc - Jun 11, 2012 at 7:29 AM

    not talking about hendrix as quarterback. insight, innovation, and forward thinnking is what traditionalists lack, and why teams go year after year settling for the “miss congeniaity” crown, that is a bowl bid, rather then the big prize, the national championship. no. 1 is it,the rest are also rans.
    how about two quarterbacks in the same backfield, or ten field goal kickers on a team, or interchangeable players. yes, we a dealing with a variation of talent, but how much variatiion is there? you have 85 players, and to leave 60% stand on the sideline, as any businessman will tell you, is a waste of labor and money.

    5

    • nudeman - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      I have no idea if you’re just jerking everyone’s chain here or what.

      I agree that GK (#1) is the future. Beyond that you don’t make a hell of a lot of sense. If you’re playing all 85 players, that means the best and the VERY best are spending a lot of time watching.

      How does ND beat USC, UM and OK with Luke Massa taking snaps and the 3rd string O-Line playing? If the 3rd and 4th stringers want to play more, I have this advice for them: Get better.

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