Football is finally here. That means we get to overanalyze video, jump to conclusions, and see just how good a team can be in shorts and helmets, one of my favorite (honest, I love it) exercises of the year.
Thankfully our friends at UND.com haven’t let us down, coming up with some spiffy new features in their videos including some heart-pumping score and a snazzy new intro to their videos.
Since most of you don’t have the time to break these videos down frame-by-frame, I thought I’d do it for you. Thoughts coming beneath the video.
0:12 — Ominous new tunes for the FIDM video crew. It’s clear even the video team is ready to forget last season, turn the page, and welcome the challenge of 2012.
0:17 — I’ve got a feeling we’ll be seeing this photo in montages across the internets. From left to right we’ve got senior guard Chris Watt (66), Zack Martin (70), Braxston Cave (52), and Mike Golic (57).
0:23 — Anyone worried that Louis Nix didn’t come to camp in shape should worry not. Big Lou looks in terrific shape (down right svelte) as he heads to practice.
0:34 — That’s freshman safety C.J. Prosise returning kicks in a special teams segment. He might be next to George Atkinson in returns, giving the Irish two burners back there.
1:18 — The video crew is trying to keep me quick, sandwiching quick cuts of Robby Toma making a nice catch and Theo Riddick running around the outside. These two seniors are going to be huge X factors this season if the Irish offense wants to get on track.
1:24 — Our first look at vaunted freshman Davonte Neal (#19). He may be slight — he’s listed at 5-foot-9, 171-pounds — but the speedster is already receiving good reviews and passes any eyeball test you can make in four seconds of video.
1:28 — Gunner Kiel (1) to All-American Tyler Eifert. Let’s just say if that happens this season, a whole lot has gone sideways.
1:34 — Our first look at freshman KeiVarae Russell (6) running as a cornerback with junior wide receiver TJ Jones (7). Russell is a good enough athlete to make the transition and it wouldn’t surprise me if he finds his way onto the field early.
1:40 — Everett Golson took the first snaps with the No. 1 offense on Saturday. Here he dumps a screen pass to Jones over the middle. If the Irish offense is going to make some evolutionary steps forward, they’ll need to have a better screen game… among other things.
1:52 — That’s Davonte Neal again, running a nice pattern and coming down with the ball after veteran safety Danny McCarthy closes in on him.
2:00 — Blink and you might miss it, but that’s freshman receiver Chris Brown (2) running a deep route and coming down with the ball.
2:08 — That’s fellow freshman Justin Ferguson (15) making a catch of his own. Interesting to note that both Brown and Ferguson check in at 6-foot-2, with Ferguson having almost 25 pounds on Brown checking in at 196 pounds (Brown is 172).
2:20 — That’s impressive work by Russell (6) in coverage, looking pretty smooth as he looks back for the ball and goes up against Ferguson. It’ll be fun to see how quickly this freshman class, a group that had many focusing on the guys that didn’t come, makes its mark on the field.
2:25 — Hey there, Davaris Daniels (10). That’s a mighty fine catch.
2:30 — Our first look at freshman running back Will Mahone (32). There’s a little bit of juice in those moves for a guy that was billed to be a power back coming into school.
0:08 — You can tell Jack Nolan is fired up. I half-expected him to drop a big long “YEEESSSSSS!” at the end of the intro.
0:27 — That’s defensive coordinator Bob Diaco donning his floppy hat again as he just beams intensity in his all-gear attire.
0:34 — New wide receivers coach Mike Denbrock teaching his wide receivers corps how to escape a jam from a defensive back.
1:05 — New offensive line coach Harry Hiestand giving Christian Lombard (74) some one-on-one blocking instructions. Mike Golic (57) and Braxston Cave (52) get the next reps.
1:52 — Defensive line coach Mike Elston giving the ABCs of defensive line play. Interesting stuff with the “ear hole” block, explaining to all of us loyal viewers that if an offensive lineman isn’t looking at you and heading past, you’re probably going to be the target of someone else coming down the line.
2:24 — As Tony Alford runs the backs through drills, it’s good to see Cameron Roberson (31) working his way through drills. Roberson is still recovering from a serious knee injury that had many worried he wouldn’t play football again.
Quarterback linebackers coach Bob Diaco works coverage drills with his troops. At 6-foot-4, 239-pounds, Romeo Okwara is a big dude. Especially considering he should still be in high school.