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Spring practice video breakdown

Mar 22, 2013, 7:30 AM EDT

Amir Carlisle

We got our first behind-the-scenes look at spring practice, courtesy of’s FIDM team. And while it’s just a snippet of the usual spring goings on, fundamentals with a sprinkle of scrimmage footage here and there, that’s all you can ask for in March.

As we’ve done in the past, here’s a rather excessive look at the video — breaking down what you’re seeing, and then doing our best to leap to some serious conclusions.



0:10 — That’s senior wide receiver Daniel Smith (#87) breaking down the troops, leading you to believe that the veteran has taken a leadership role during the offseason. Smith’s numbers catching the ball aren’t all that impressive, but he’s a great blocker on the edge, something Kelly has talked openly about.

0:19 — Not sure who cleared the new music, but I’m liking it. And if you’re a video dork, think looks like a new HD camera as well. (7D maybe?)

0:21 — Blink and you might have missed it, but this could be our first look at the starting offensive line. From right tackle over, you can spot Christian Lombard (#74), Conor Hanratty (#65), Matt Hegarty (#77), Chris Watt (#66) and Zack Martin (#70).

0:25 — I think Louis Nix (#1) might win the award for the biggest man to ever wear the number one on his jersey.

0:28 — That’s Carlo Calabrese (#44) pushing a blocking sled. Riveting.

0:29 — And Troy Niklas (#85) works on some in-line blocking techniques. Fifteen years ago, you’d throw Niklas at left tackle and he’d be a first round draft pick. At almost 6-foot-7, and 260-pounds, he’s already benching 29 reps of 225 and doesn’t have an ounce of fat on him. Scary athlete.

0:34 — Great throw (and pretty camera work). If we’re jumping to conclusions based off of three second clips, Everett Golson sure looks comfortable as the alpha dog.

0:40 — That’s Tony Springmann (#69), the Big Ginger, working on pass rush moves in a one-on-one situation with Chris Watt. Springmann is down about 15 pounds, so we might need to modify that nickname.

0:42 — That’s Chase Hounshell (#50) working against Lombard. A shoulder injury kept Hounshell off the field for most of the season, a blessing in disguise for the now junior, who has impressed Kelly and the staff with his offseason work.

0:48 — Not sure what we see here other than great cinematography. Maybe they got Caleb Deschanel to shoot this?

0:52 — After a quick throw from Golson, watch freshman quarterback Malik Zaire (#8) take a nice mental rep, right by the head coach’s side. Smart.

1:02 — Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco gets the defense fired up. You can see some of the added weight Ben Councell (#30) put on in the offseason.

1:08 — Tony Alford coaches up running back Cam McDaniel (#33).

1:12 — A quick look at receivers coach Mike Denbrock, with CJ Prosise (#20) standing by. It’ll be an interesting spring for Prosise, who clearly has the Irish intrigued as an athlete and a football player. Prosise was dropped down to outside linebacker last fall when numbers looked bleak after Danny Spond’s injury and now is moonlighting as a wideout. That’s impressive versatility.

1:13 — Bobby D on the prowl…

1:16 — Mike Elston coaching up the defensive line. You can almost see how small Tyler Stockton (#92) is relative to Nix and others.

1:17 — Chuck Martin, likely coaching  — and telling a joke — to quarterbacks Everett Golson and Tommy Rees.

1:20 — That’s Niklas catching a short out route in front of Matthias Farley (#41).

1:24 — Chris Brown (#2) gets an inside release on Josh Atkinson (#24) and beats him on a quick post.

1:30 — Justin Utupo (#53) and Sheldon Day (#91) work a pass rush drill.

1:33 — Springmann and Jarron Jones (#94) take on blocking dummies. When Jones makes Springmann (6-5.5, 284) look rather small, you start getting an idea how big these defensive linemen are.

1:38 — Freshman tight end Mike Heuerman (#9) fights off Matthias Farley for a nice catch, courtesy of Andrew Hendrix‘s pass. The youngster looks good.

1:45 — Austin Collinsworth (#28) makes a nice play breaking up a pass to George Atkinson (#4). Positive: Atkinson is going vertical in the pass game. Negative: Pass wasn’t caught. Positive: Nice coverage by Collinsworth on an elite speedster. Negative: Eh.

1:48 — Oh boy, that’s a nice look at Amir Carlisle (#3) catching the ball in the open field and turning on the jets. If this is what not-quite 100 percent looks like, look out for this fall. Here’s hoping that in year four of the offense we see a little bit more of the flexibility in the offense that’ll get Carlisle his touches.

1:55 — It’s hard to tell who made the throw, but someone overthrew DaVaris Daniels on a deep corner route and Farley makes a nice play on the ball. Not a throw you want to get used to making, but certainly an interception that’d be great to see next year.

2:07 — Cornerback KeiVarae Russell (#6) makes a nice play breaking up a pass to walk-on receiver Arturo Martinez (#86).

2:13 — Coach Kelly breaks down the team at the end of our practice video.


  1. mattnef - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    Man I love these videos.
    1:55 – If Tommy Rees is still wearing #11, that is Tommy making the over throw.

    • mtflsmitty - Mar 23, 2013 at 2:27 AM

      Tommy? Over-throw?


  2. bernhtp - Mar 22, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    OMG Carlisle looks quick. Keith is right, if this is less than 100%, he is going to be scary good if he stays healthy.

    • bernhtp - Mar 24, 2013 at 6:53 PM

      Good article on Amir at ISD:

  3. italianirish - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    Good to see we’re making on-field adjustments in the accompanying photo.

    • 4horsemenrideagain - Mar 22, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      “I’m sorry, it’s the…it’s the pleats. Mm. It’s actually an optical illusion. It’s the pattern on the pants. It’s not flattering in the crotchal region. I’m actually taking them back right now. Taking them back to the pants store.”

      • keelio19 - Mar 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM

        I read somewhere their periods attract bears. Bears can smell the menstruation.

        Well, that’s just great. You hear that, Ed? Bears. Now you’re putting the whole station in jeopardy.

      • 4horsemenrideagain - Mar 23, 2013 at 2:13 PM

        Come on man! Thumbs down for an anchorman quote? Boy, lighten up

  4. 4horsemenrideagain - Mar 22, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Sure it’s only March 22nd, but Niklas looks pretty quick/fast for a huge human, Zaire looks pretty big and solid for a kid who should be thinking about prom, and Carlisle looks to have plenty of zip for a guy not fully healed from nerve damage. also, it’s great to see arturo martinez finally getting some love from the videographer.

    my only complaint: more will mahone and luke massa footage.

  5. dudeacow - Mar 22, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Video breakdowns and conclusion-jumping time is back! Next to the BG game, this is my favorite part of the offseason.
    I’ve always been really high on Amir, so it’s nice to see him play really well. He runs a legit sub 4.4. Let’s hope he can last a full season. He’s a lot like Marcus Lattimore, a really good back who just can’t stay healthy.
    And 4horsemen, I agree, let’s see Massa and Mahone. We need to know what our backups are like.

    • keelio19 - Mar 23, 2013 at 9:03 AM

      You say he’s like Lattimore, ‘ A really good back who just can’t stay healthy’. He was hurt during one of the first early spring practices, and we just didn’t really need for him to step in with Theo,Wood and GAIII, I’m not sure if he’s really as injury prone as you may think? I think he played quite a bit as a FROSH at USC, was he hurt in HS a lot?

      • dudeacow - Mar 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM

        He did play at USC…. until he got injured. But that’s why I say he’s like Lattimore, he played a lot in USC’s perennially star-studded backfield, which means he is obviously very good. I don’t know what he was like in HS though, so let’s hope that these injuries were flukes and he can stay healthy the whole season

      • bernhtp - Mar 23, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        Amir was the #4-rated RB out of high school per Rivals. He’s a complete stud. I see him taking over the Riddick role – can catch, cut and squirt through holes. He’s certainly not as strong as Theo yet, but much faster.

        I think that GA3 feels the competitive pressure. He’s really been hitting the weight room with great results and has quit track to focus on football. I expect a big improvement from Atkinson.

        Kelly’s competitive environment is working. These guys are busting their butts to rise to the top and play. I’m expecting a better RB corps than last year.

  6. jem5b - Mar 22, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Carlisle is really really quick and lightening fast, he will be a joy to watch.

  7. heisenbyrg - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    And at 2:02 we have a terrible double high-five from Diaco to Farley. Gotta work on that one boys.

  8. tburke9601 - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    I need some help from everyone out there, I work right across from a UM FAN. I am in need of some good names for the “Skunk BEARs” to get under his skin. Please remember I work in an office so try to keep it PG-13.

  9. larrydavid7000 - Mar 23, 2013 at 5:20 AM

    The one thing we learned at spring practice is ROLL TIDE.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • keelio19 - Mar 23, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      Is that really all Alabama players learned in their frist practice was how to say ROLL TIDE? Baby steps I guess. It’s alright, I’m sure the deer antler spray will help them kick it into gear real quickly. But you can’t practice being smart 😦

    • tony34343434 - Mar 23, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      Bama fans also learned

      how to commit felonies. armed and unarmed.
      they learned the proper way to poison a tree.
      and they learned to say ” Do you want fries with that?” because that is where a Bama degree will lead you.
      and they learn the difference between a single and double wide trailer! The double wide- That is LIVING!

  10. nchdomer - Mar 23, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    No comment. Just a question to the regular posters. Is the music played before kickoff commercially available and does anyone know who performs it and its title? Thanks.

    • tburke9601 - Mar 23, 2013 at 8:48 AM

      Its called “Shipping up to Boston” by Dropkick Murphys.

      • nchdomer - Mar 23, 2013 at 9:21 AM

        Thanks very much. Go Irish!

  11. almoose - Mar 23, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Well I stopped in the Beautiful Cathedral and said a Prayer for the School and Program. Hope distractions can lighten up this year a little. The Team and coach Kelly did great last year and I am looking forward to seeing the kids have fun on the field. There is just a certain feeling of pride every time I am there. Don’t want to bore anyone in not analyzing the film. In a Blink of an eye it will be Go Irish. Coach Kelly is getting better players and we will be able to compete with the Alabama’s of the world and have kids that graduate also. Ok I know it was a shot but I am proud of what the College turns out that last the kids a lifetime besides the memories on the field and in the Stands. Have a great season all!

  12. dudeacow - Mar 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Does anyone know the spring practice schedule? When the practices are, which ones will be open for the media, etc.

  13. irishdodger - Mar 24, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Anyone hearing that Amir Carlisle has broken his collarbone? This kid is destined to never see the field.

  14. 4horsemenrideagain - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    i read “unofficial” report of this. just like the fish said when it swam into the wall, “Damn.”

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