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Counting down the Irish: 25-21– RECOUNT UPDATE!

Jul 25, 2012, 12:20 PM EDT

Robby Toma

RECOUNT UPDATE: If there was any question whether I’ve been out of the finance game too long, your fearless leader messed up his Excel spreadsheet and jacked up the rankings. This changes a few of the players we’ve tallied and puts Zeke Motta in at No. 25. My sincere apologies.


It’s time to unveil the beginning of our annual Top 25 list, counting down the best players on the Irish roster. It’s an especially interesting list, and the group polled had some outstanding, yet very different, takes on who makes up the upper echelon of the Irish roster.

Last year, the top 15 players on our countdown were upperclassmen. This year, underclassmen make up almost one-third of the countdown, with one slotting into the top five. The biggest variance in voting was at the quarterback position. All four quarterbacks received votes, with last year’s depth chart hardly representative in this evaluation.

Here’s our voting panel:

Eric Hansen, South Bend Tribune @HansenSouthBend
John Walters, The Daily @jdubs88
John Vannie,
Eric Murtaugh, representing  @OneFootDown
Ryan Ritter, representing @HLS_NDtex
Keith Arnold,’s Inside the Irish @KeithArnoldNBC


25. Zeke Motta (S, Sr.) Quietly, Motta has put together a fairly solid career in South Bend, all while flying through the program much too quickly. Playing as a true freshman, Motta used a year of eligibility on special teams, and then had no choice but to play as a raw sophomore when safeties Jamoris Slaughter and Danny McCarthy went down with injuries. He’s had some bad swings and misses tackling in the open field, but Motta certainly looks the part of a big-time safety, and now we’ll find out if he’s the type of player that can anchor a unit. He was left off only one ballot (mine), and was the 26th man I had listed.

(Highest ranking: 21st. Lowest ranking: Unranked)

24. Tommy Rees (QB, Jr.) To call Rees the most polarizing player on the roster is probably understating it. The junior quarterback is Notre Dame’s all-time leader in completion percentage, but is probably the fourth most popular quarterback on the Irish roster after 14 interceptions and five fumbles lost crippled the Irish offense. Rees’ lack of mobility limit the Irish offense’s ability to utilize the quarterback in the running game, but he’s got the best grasp of the system, after playing in 20 games over the last two seasons. Rees’ erratic play helps explain the difficulty in ranking him. Two voters left him off their ballots completely, while one placed him on the number.

(Highest ranking: 17th. Lowest Ranking: Unranked x 2)

23. Andrew Hendrix (QB, Jr.) That Hendrix slots in front of the quarterback he backed up all season is telling. Also telling is the diversity in opinions on the junior quarterback from Ohio, who was left off three ballots entirely, but was the top quarterback on two others. Hendrix has all the physical tools necessary to win the starting quarterback job, but his feel for the game still lacks after two seasons in Kelly’s spread system. After completing all four of his throws against Air Force, Hendrix completed just 14 of his next 33 throws, with bad interceptions against Stanford and Florida State. On the ground, Hendrix presents an intriguing option, with the 220-pound bruiser a powerful option.

(Highest ranking: 14th. Lowest ranking: Unranked x 3)

22. Davonte Neal (WR, Fr.) Neal was one of the top ranked athletes in the country as a high school senior. And while wide receiver is an educated guess on where he’ll end up playing, Neal could easily contribute at cornerback and certainly should get a look in the return game. Neal’s speed is his best attribute, and getting the 5-foot-10, 175-pound dynamo in space with the football should give the Irish a much needed game breaker on the edges of the offense.  Neal is the highest rated freshman on this list, and slots in one spot beneath where Aaron Lynch ranked last year.

(Highest ranking: 16th. Lowest ranking: Unranked x 2)

21. TJ Jones (WR, Jr.) It shouldn’t be surprising that a two-year starter at wide receiver is ranked this high, yet Jones’ production leveled off after a promising freshman season. At 5-foot-11, 187-pounds, Jones lacks the size needed for an elite outside receiver, and a career average of 11 yards a catch doesn’t point to top end speed. But Jones carried a heavy burden last season with the sudden death of his father, and his inclusion on the Biletnikoff watch list shows he hasn’t been forgotten. Three voters left Jones off their lists completely, but his rating was buoyed by three votes that had him in the top twenty.

(Highest ranking: 13th. Lowest ranking: Unranked x 3)


  1. kiopta1 - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    I think Toma could be an under the radar weapon this season. Maybe I am off but he seems to play like Welker.

  2. bodonnell1120 - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    what is with everyone’s love affair for Toma? Personally, and nothing against the guy, but if he is an “answer” for ND then we are in trouble!

    • jimbasil - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:41 PM

      Having Toma on a list of ND’s top 25 in no way indicates “he’s an answer” (I assume your thinking to mean he’s the new Floyd). It means he’ll play meaningful minutes and do a good job.

      I’m a Toma fan. He’s been under utilized his entire career at ND. He has quick moves, makes catches and plays with tenacity. That’s the love affair with him. He embodies the heart we see missing all to often on the field with some ND players.

      If he plays meaningful minutes and is utilized well, it means guys like Eifert and Daniels (hopefully Goodman) and possibly Jones will be open to make plays as well. If those guys are covered and you have an open Toma he’ll make his play and make the Defenses pay for there poor coverage of him.

      • jimbasil - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:46 PM


      • bodonnell1120 - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:26 PM

        it has nothing to do with him being in this top 25 but everything to do with several people who post on this blog that go on and on about toma…Davonte Neal may walk onto campus and be a better option than him…but i guess time will tell

  3. nd1975fla - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Toma doesn’t have the size or the speed, but he seems to catch almost everything that’s thrown near him. I agree he’s not “the answer”, but he can be the outlet guy when the other options seem to be covered.

    I wish we had an embarrassment of riches at the receiver positions but, besides Eiffert, he seems to be one of the few that makes the catch consistently.

    • irish4006 - Jul 26, 2012 at 2:24 PM

      A good assessment. I can’t recall seeing him drop anything yet. 3rd and short, 4th and short, he gives you the yards you need. He may have limitations (I can’t recall seeing him break a big one after the catch), but good set of hands for sure.

  4. kiopta1 - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    This is the year a wr make a name for himself…we shall see who.

  5. bodonnell1120 - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Davaris Daniels

  6. bodonnell1120 - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    nude where you at on this one… been following this blog for a year and a half now and you seem to always be the “voice of reason”

    • nudeman - Jul 25, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      I’m right here.

      Was gonna’ sit this one out, because my knee jerk reaction was about the guy listed at 25 and how I don’t think he’s in the top 50. But people are annoyed with my sniping about that. And I’m even annoyed so …

      On Toma, I have no problem there. As Mayock says he always manages to produce when he plays. He’s not an All American candidate, however he’s like the gritty 2nd baseman who hits .255 but can always get a bunt down or drill a single through the infield with 2 outs and a guy in scoring position.
      I like him a lot.

      Daniels? Not sure he’s earned a top 25 ranking yet.
      Neal? His press clippings and hype alone make him a top 5.
      TJ? OK, no problem. Seems about right.
      AH? I suppose so.

      Overall a good start to the top 25, except … never mind

      • jrct2450yahoo - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:27 AM

        Nude, I read this forum primarily for your perspective…and humor which I think is under appreciated. Keep it up.

      • nudeman - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:35 PM


      • madmick69 - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:03 PM

        I’m with you…however I’d say it’s a pretty good start to the top 24…I’m just saying.

  7. grattanstanford - Jul 25, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Though he doesn’t have the potential flash or wow factor of a Davonte or Devaris or even TJ, Robbie Toma has proven he is effective in the slot position. His sure hands and red zone reliability are what land him on this list. To claim that anyone is heralding him as “the answer” is ridiculous, but the young man has given BK no reason to take him off the field. With a receiving core as uncertain as ours, any dependability is welcome, and Mr. Toma has been a pleasant surprise in that regard.

    It will be interesting to see how TJ Jones approaches this season. In my opinion, he has the opportunity to emerge as the replacement to Michael Floyd, but he may fall by the wayside amidst a breakout season by one of the athletic young receivers.

    Go Irish Beat Navy

  8. c4evr - Jul 25, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    This is all a bunch of filler. And personally I think it detracts from the concept of ‘team’ by delineating the talented from the not so talented. That’s my 2 cents…

    I gotta go do something ’cause I got way too much time on my hands.

  9. joeschu - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    “All four quarterbacks received votes…”

    So the intrigue begins. Is Kiel ahead of these two, or did he not make the top 25?

    • nudeman - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      OK, I have to say it: How can TR be on this list? I don’t give a fig if he’s started 20 games.
      He can’t throw, can’t run, can’t beat any team not named Navy or Maryland
      Uses poor judgment
      And he is coming off an astoundingly bad year where he actually got worse every week.
      If he was an OT, we’d be saying “can’t run block, not very good at pass blocking, frequently gets flagged for holding, bad attitude, but is small and slow”

      If ND doesn’t have 25 players better than him, we are in massive trouble

      • joeschu - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:44 PM

        Sorry Nude… I thought you had it under control. I’m afraid I may have brought it out, but I’m glad I did. I respect the authors of the list, but as you correctly point out, there HAVE to be 25 guys on this roster “better” than Rees.

        If the list was “guys who may have an impact” or “guys who will have their name brought up a lot” then I could see Rees making the list. However, “best” doesn’t seem to be a descriptor that fits. Rees is the 4th of the 4 scholarship QB’s. If you make the argument that the 21 guys who start at the non QB positions are “better” too, you can’t have him higher than 25th. As soon as you look at the backups at RB, NG, and OLB are all in “1A/1B” kind of personnel battles, you couldn’t possibly have Rees in the top 25 football players on the Irish roster.

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:13 PM

        …OR MAYBE….JUST MAYBE….the writers polled for this little game tried to view the roster objectively…..

        For example…one might say that OBJECTIVELY…if you earned the starting spot at QB for an elite FB school your a probably in the top 25 players on the team.

        OR…one might say that the value of a SMART football player is greater than that of a player with a lesser football IQ, hence playing such a player in the top 25

        But those are just two examples of how somebody might OBJECTIVELY view the top 25 players.

        …not saying OBJECTIVE thinking is for everyone…just saying that, OBJECTIVELY I think these writers MIGHT have viewed this process with an OBJECTIVE mind

        For your reference…


        Adjective: (of a person or their judgment) Not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

      • jimbasil - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:09 PM

        Honestly, I hate agreeing with you. It makes my day longer. However; TR, if he’s on the list, they’ve got to be thinking we have three injured QB’s all gone down relatively early in the season and there is no other choice but to put in the slow weak armed guy who makes the offense a one dimensional attack.

        If it’s not figured out by now by the coaching staff, it doesn’t work with him in there, there’s a problem. Sure, he’s a dependable back up (dependable meaning hes been there before) who can spell a decent QB for one or two plays but he’s not a go to guy.

      • shankello - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:53 PM

        If were doing an OBJECTIVE (gotta shout it) skills breakdown of even just the 3 QBs we saw in the blue gold game

        Knowledge of the playbook: clearly TR
        Accuracy: somewhat of a wash, I would say i hated AH’s int most, since he’s the incumbent lets give it to TR
        Arm Strength: EG and AH > TR
        Turnovers: Tommy is maddening with the football, but so is Hendrix
        Mobility/Ability to run read option: EG and AH > TR
        Dynamic playmaking ability/ability to make defenses have to worry about them : EG and AH>TR
        Confidence: I hate to say it but ever since the last few games of the year leading into the spring game the same Tommy who was able to lead ND down the field with ice water in his veins just hasnt been there

        I was at the Champs Sports Bowl and in the second half Tommy looked dead in the water, completely lost out there. I know we’ve talked about the QBs umpteen times. I was a huge Tommy supporter and if Kelly gives him the nod I’m just gonna have to hope he can get the old swagger back.
        But realistically with the other talent at the position OBJECTIVELY the momentum seems to be swinging into a different corner

      • nudeman - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:37 AM


        C’mon. How do you “objectively” rank 25 players?
        Can you objectively compare the value of a stud OT vs a stud LB?
        This isn’t baseball where everyone has a batting average, OB%, a throwing arm and a fielding % that can be OBJECTIVELY compared

        There’s subjectivity all over this, and there’s no other way to do it.

        The other thing I MUST take issue with is your line about a “smart football player”
        I will make the assumption you’re talking about Rees, since we’ve been told over and over how well he knows the playbook, checks us into good plays, and is a coach’s son.

        If all that is true (and I’m not sure it is), that makes him WORSE in my book.
        Once the ball is snapped he becomes the fu%**ng Hindenburg
        He has no business in the top 50, let alone the top 25
        Subjective? Yes
        Sue me

      • dmac4real - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:38 AM


        Dont need to get into an argument or come at you, but saying TR is not a top 50 is just complete bull shit. Ill let you be you and freak out about him being in the top 25 (which honestly, he probably should be) but to say hes not top 50 is just plain stupid. Im sorry, I cant let that go because its ridiculous. You may hate every part of him, but its not like he just lead us to a 3-9 season…

        • nudeman - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:46 AM

          Maybe an overreach on my part, I concede.
          But think of it this way: The essentials duty of a QB are (in any order you want) 1) protect the ball 2) throw the ball well; 3) use good judgment when throwing the ball; 4) read defenses 5) change plays
          I don’t think there’s a single one of those things he does well. Not one.

          The BS about him checking us out of bad plays is BS. If that was true, why does he make so many bad plays?

          As I said before, compare him to an OT whose essential duties are pass blocking, run blocking, not getting caught holding. If you’ve got an OT who can’t do any of those would you put him in the top 25 just because he’s started a bunch of games?

      • dmac4real - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM

        As you know, I dont love the guy, but I do feel a little bad for him. People make him seem like the worst QB of all time, and thats not true. I view it this way:

        Dayne Crist: Big, Strong, Smart, polished. California boy. Everything you want in a QB. Throws the ball well, didn’t make to many mistakes, looked great in practice. When it came to game time, he went 4-6 (Or somewhereabouts). Didn’t get it done with everything on his side.

        Tommy: Small. Weak arm. I was say he is okay at reading the defenses, then horrible at making the right play with the read (Ex- The last pick vs FSU. Made the right play call, then screwed it up by throwing a dumb ball). But with the same team as the ultra talented Crist, he went 12-5.

        He wins is the lamest argument in this case, but lets be real: all we care about it wins and he produced more wins. Now he probably shouldn’t start this year, but he has to be doing something right to get that record.

      • nudeman - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:57 PM

        There was a time when I felt bad for him as well. But that ended late last year when he acted poorly after the Stanford, FSU and then the BG game.

        He’s getting a free education at the University of Notre Dame. He’s QB’ing the team. A lot of responsibility comes with that. He hasn’t handled it well.

      • irish4006 - Jul 26, 2012 at 2:37 PM

        “same Tommy who was able to lead ND down the field with ice water in his veins just hasnt been there” – I nominate this to be the Quote of The Day.

        Dude, which Tommy are you talking about? The one I saw who was applauded for “short memory” and “winning” and “blah blah”, to me at least, seemed one who didn’t have anything in terms of physical attributes needed for a QB and whose only play (other than handoffs) was to toss it up and pray someone can catch it. I sometimes wonder (I don’t actually, I don’t have that much time on my hand) how many of his completions would be interceptions or incomplete passes had we not had Eifert or Floyd jumping up 3 feet to get over the top of the corners or improvising in some way (stopping mid route, coming back for the ball etc.) to get them. When you play the same way when you have a 20 point lead or 14 point deficit, it can be one of the two things – you are really good and not impacted by the scoreboard (e.g., Tom Brady) or really bad whose toolbox does not contain enough tools to do anything different (e.g., Tommy Rees).

        • nudeman - Jul 26, 2012 at 2:52 PM

          In this case, the correct answer is “Option B”

      • shankello - Jul 26, 2012 at 2:55 PM

        my point was simply because of his lack of physical tools the only thing Tommy really had going for him was the fact that he had some swagger. Now that that is gone there really isnt much left to his game, which is why like nude I dont think his talents make him worthy of anywhere #25 on this list

      • irish4006 - Jul 26, 2012 at 5:09 PM

           [swag-er] Show IPA

        verb (used without object)
        1. to walk or strut with a defiant or insolent air.

        2. to boast or brag noisily.

        Or, if you take the more colloquial meaning, it may mean a number of things; I am not so sure if any of these can apply to TR’s play; unless, of course, one of them is incompetent.

        You kind of lost a little more credibility with “I was a huge Tommy supporter and if Kelly gives him the nod I’m just gonna have to hope he can get the old swagger back.” comment. It just sounds wrong. at. so. many. levels.

        • nudeman - Jul 26, 2012 at 6:48 PM

          ” It just sounds wrong. at. so. many. levels.”


  10. smurphdoggy29 - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    Not commenting on #25 (C’mon Nude you have better will power !)

    As for Hendrix I wish he would just bust through and seize the day…..alas if “If’s and but’s were candies and nuts, we all would have a Merry Christmas”

    I stand steadfastly behind my contention the pass catchers are going to blow it up this Fall, the rankings here will be viewed next Winter through the lens of experience and we shall all marvel at how well (or coming up short) the rankings truly were.

    Toma is going to make something of himself and TJ will have columnists starting their writings with the the word Beast.

    GO Irish !
    Defeat Navy !
    Pray for those who have been victimized !
    Cherish our young people who, at present, are whole and okay !

  11. fnc111 - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    I’m in Nudes corner. ND is in big trouble if TR is considered one of the best players on the team. I saw the fellas coming off the practice field last Wednesday when I was down there. Had the pleasure of meeting Davonte Neal and kid has a heckuva strong handshake I know that much. Beast after beast walking past my father and I and then TR walks by heading to the Gug after the other three QBs. Let’s just say Hendrix, Golson, and Kiel look like athletes. I think this season is 5-7 because of the schedule and Kelly’s inability to get the CB and QB positions settled by now but no offense to no. 25 on this list, but if he plays meaningful snaps it will be 3-9 again. If coach Martin mixes and matches and they keep TR off the field and don’t turn it over there is a fighting chance at 7 or 8 wins.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:22 PM


      Don’t use that kinda language around her….”5-7″….we’re a civilized group. We can’t be talking like that! This isn’t Purdue….THIS IS NOTRE FREAKIN’ DAME!

      (sorry, my sarcasm font is broken)

      Seriously though, three reasons we won’t go 5-7

      (1) athletes and playmakers on offense
      (2) tough front 7 on defense.
      (3) Our hogs on both sides of the ball are better than the majority of our competition this year. Ya win in the trenches right?

  12. fnc111 - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    I hope you are right! Believe me I’m going to the Purdue and scUM games and don’t want to be ripping me hair out in the stands. I did say if Rees doesn’t play 7 wind is in the cards. Til the turnovers stop I will be looked at as negative. I agree there are a ton of great athletes on this team but if the QB turns the ball over 20 times in a season and our stud Te’o doesn’t create any turnovers it equals out the studs like Cierre, Davonte, Daniels, Tuitt, etc and what they can do. It’s a weird year to predict I will admit that. You could see ND win 10 and get blown out by Oklahoma and USC or you could see 6-6. I wish this season would get here already haha. Go Irish!

  13. bernhtp - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    I wouldn’t get too excited about Rees being in the top 25. We already have one QB that is ranked above him (Hendrix) and I can pretty much guarantee that Golson is in the top twenty. That makes Rees third on the writer’s depth chart, at best.

    The deep divide among the writers on Hendrix is interesting. I would love to see the individual rankings. I know that Eric Hanson is a Hendrix fan and probably had him in the top 15 or 20. But three had him completely unranked. I guess this is due to what persona of Andrew you focus on – the 4/4 and massive rushing yards we saw at AF, or the guy that has no touch and throws bullets into the chests of linebackers.

    My bet is that Golson makes it into the top 15 despite never playing a down and our only experience with him is in the spring game where he looked generally looked great except for a few plays that demonstrated his inexperience. It’s hard not to have your top QB not be in the top 15 if you have any kind of team at all. Hell, how many really good and successful teams have we seen where the QB isn’t in the top 5? LSU 2011 is the anomaly. We’ll soon see.

    Regarding Toma, I think he will contribute and I had him around 25 on my list, but that’s because of his great attitude. We have a bunch of receivers that have way more talent – size, speed – than Robby such as Goodman, Daniels, Smith, Jones, Riddick, Neal, and maybe another freshman. The WR position is actually pretty rich in raw talent. It will be interesting to see who steps up and performs.

    • nudeman - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:53 PM

      I would play Kiel before Rees
      Yes … He’s THAT bad

      • bernhtp - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:30 AM

        If Kiel gets hurt, is it too late to give Mulvey a fifth year?

        Anyway, most fans will enthusiastically support Tommy here:

      • brendanfitzgibbons - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        Hey man! Im totally with you on that, I would rather watch a struggling but possibly promising Hendrix/Golson/Kiel than a below subpar and declining Rees.

  14. irishmurphy25 - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    I’ve never commented here before but I always read the articles, love the Irish, and enjoy Keith’s insights. All that being said, I’m going to give my two cents. #21-25 look fine to me except Rees. Rees is terrible and just doesn’t deserve to make this list no matter how you look at it. I don’t care that he was the starter last year, that doesn’t mean he was good at all. He may be football smart, but he is not smart once the ball is snapped. He turns the ball over, takes unnecessary sacks, and doesn’t make good post-snap reads. Beyond that, he is probably the least athletic player on the team.

    I really like Hendricks but he just doesn’t seem to have a great feel for the game. He doesn’t get rattled, is athletic, and is smart, but just doesn’t seem to have that “it” factor. I think Golson is the man even though we don’t know what he can do against top college competition yet. He just seems to have that “it” where he can make plays, create, and win.

    Time will tell…

    Oh, and love Toma!

    Go Irish!

    • nudeman - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:54 PM

      It’s “Hendrix”
      Like “Jimmy”

      • irishmurphy25 - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:16 AM


      • txirish2 - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:48 AM

        Yo nude, it’s actually “Jimi.”

        • nudeman - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:29 AM

          Got me on that one
          Actually though, it “was” Jimi

    • nudeman - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      irish murph
      ” He may be football smart, but he is not smart once the ball is snapped.”


  15. rrussellndfan - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Man some of you need to lay off Toma he’s done nothing but make play after play. He’s a hard nosed player if everyone played like Toma we would have an amazing team. He’s not the most athletic but the kid has heart and BK is bringing heart back to ND football as far as I can see on the field. If we go 6-6 so be it, as long as we don’t give up in the 4th quarter and quit like they did in the Weiss era I’m a happy fan.

    • nudeman - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:51 PM

      I agree on Toma
      Guy makes plays. Maybe not game breaking stuff but a solid possession receiver

    • ndgoldandblue - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      I don’t think they necessarily quit in the fourth quarter under Weis. I just think that Weis’ teams didn’t know how to stop a snowball from turning into an avalanche.

  16. idratherbeinsouthbend - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    As nude said above, i might play Kiel before Tommy too. But the real question that has nagged at me since the spring game is AH….he seems to draw a lot more BK “angry face” than any of the other QB’s

    And if we follow popular sentiments plus BK’s “apparent” mentality toward his current QB situation, i’ve gotta wonder why AH hasn’t been shifted to the defensive backfield.

    Most of us would agree that EG is the most dynamic and most exciting, Kiel is the future, and Tommy gives us someone to lean on if everybody else breaks their leg. Furthermore, if you look down the road a year, you’ve got Zaire potentially stepping into this mess. So, from the outside looking in, doesn’t it make sense to flip AH to another position? Nobody’s gonna argue that the kid is schmart and athletic…somebody make him a the next Ross Browner already!

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:14 AM

      ***my bad, got my Browners mixed up….Joey was safety (for USC)….Ross was a beast at D-End.

    • nudeman - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:40 AM


      Welcome aboard the “AH to another position” train
      You’re member #2

      For the rest of you … lots of good seats still available.

      • irishmurphy25 - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        I’m close to boarding. Here’s my one hesitation: If Golson starts and Hendrix switches positions, we don’t have a capable qb to come in if EG goes down. I don’t even really consider Rees a good backup and Kiel just isn’t ready yet. While AH is smart and athletic I’m not positive he has the skill set for many other positions (I could maybe see a small tight end, where we are pretty loaded or safety where we are also pretty loaded). I would rather have a backup qb without a drop in production and athleticism just like we had when Eifert came in for Rudolph. Put Tommy on the back of the bench and put EG and AH 1 & 2. Redshirt Kiel and bring in Zaire and we’ll be lining them up.

        • nudeman - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:29 PM

          My feeling about Hendrix switching is that it would be a NEXT year thing. You’re right … they don’t have the depth to do it right now; nor does AH have the luxury of an offseason to study and learn a new role.

          But by this time next year they’ll have Zaire on board and GK with a year under his belt. It would make a lot of sense then

  17. gtizzo - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    Keith this list doesn’t make sense,

    First what were the selection criteria? Putting Neal on the list when the kid just got onto campus seems a little odd. Production would rule out Jones and Toma, and there is very little to judge Hendrix on. Posting the article after Tommy has an off the field issue also gives the list some taint (I sure Nudeman is more then willing to go into great detail on why Tommy should be removed from the list or even mankind). We haven’t seen Kiel or Golson on field during an actual game yet so putting them on the list would also be premature. Plus anyone who follows ND football even casually can pick 2 or 3 of the top 5 easily so what is the point again?

    • nudeman - Jul 26, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      I asked Keith a week ago what the criteria are for being on the list.
      No answer.

    • italianirish - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      I think the best way to view the criteria for this list is that group are essentially Vegas odds-makers deciding who’s most likely to get voted Team MVP at the end-of-the-year awards banquet. Tommy Rees is effectively a 25-1 gamble and Te’o will likely be going off near 1-1.

      Saying that Neal or Golson can’t be on the list because they’ve never played before is irrelevant. The list is about most likely to have a big impact this season.

  18. nd1975fla - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    I agree that TJ Jones should get a “pass” last season for dealing with the sudden loss of his father.

    I can’t recall the specific game last year, but he made one catch over the middle that was the definition of “soft hands” as he pulled in the ball with such fluidity and then continued down the field for a few more yards without missing a stride. If he could play like that every down, he would be a receiver stud. It’s just nice to know that he has the god-given ABILITY to play like that.

    • nudeman - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:42 AM

      I’ve always been impressed by his ability
      His size though has him getting tossed around like a rag doll too often
      Still, good receiver. Like him

    • andy44teg - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:12 PM

      Hate to beat a dead horse, we might’ve seen that happen a lot more last year, but TR can’t lead a blind man across the street, much less lead a receiver 10+ yards down the field. Hopefully ’12 has better things in store…

      • nudeman - Jul 26, 2012 at 2:01 PM

        Actually I’m willing to concede he could probably get a blind man across the street
        I’ll give him that

  19. bodonnell1120 - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Give the keys to Everett Golson to run the offense! that is all…

  20. ndirish86 - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Nude, another “no argument on TR but…” post

    No argument on TR but… I don’t think Keith can be accused of carrying a candle for TR after this article. In a few short sentences he describes TR as:

    1. Polarizing
    2. 4th of 4 QBs
    3. 14 interceptions and five fumbles lost
    4. crippled the Irish offense
    5. lack of mobility
    6. limits the offense
    7. erratic play

    Yes he throws in a few bones (“all-time leader in completion percentage” and “best grasp of the system”) but this is not a summary that campaigns for TR in any way, shape or form.

    I think he’s served his time for the “we would be just fine” comment.

    • nudeman - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:31 PM

      Fair enough

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:56 PM

        ….my favorite Nude comment in a long time….just two words, but it says “somebody else’s opinionn could be right”

        Really, that’s all i’m ever hoping for…on these boards, and in general throughout my life…somebody that can say, “i disagree, but you have a point” or “i didn’t think about that” or “maybe i need to revisit my opinion”

        Perspective…it goes SO FAR in having meaniful discussions….just to bad that they banned Perspective in Washington D.C. Nobody in that town has ever been wrong or heard a good idea from the other side of the aisle.

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:56 PM

        ….my favorite Nude comment in a long time….just two words, but it says “somebody else’s opinion could be right”

        Really, that’s all i’m ever hoping for…on these boards, and in general throughout my life…somebody that can say, “i disagree, but you have a point” or “i didn’t think about that” or “maybe i need to revisit my opinion”

        Perspective…it goes SO FAR in having meaniful discussions….just to bad that they banned Perspective in Washington D.C. Nobody in that town has ever been wrong or heard a good idea from the other side of the aisle.

  21. idratherbeinsouthbend - Jul 26, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    NBC sports needs to get a there blogs on better servers…this site’s page loading and indexing is crap

    • nudeman - Jul 26, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      Amen Brother there.
      Thought it was just me. I don’t know if it’s the graphics or WordPress or NBC
      But no other site I go to – whatever the reason; news, sports, etc – is so slow

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