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Spring practice video breakdown: Part three

Apr 2, 2013, 7:35 AM EDT

Davaris Daniels

I’m not sure if it’s me slacking or the FIDM team, but it dawned on me that I’m a little behind on the video breakdowns from spring practice. Let’s get right into it and breakdown the past two videos, which featured some interesting looks at the Irish getting physical and some clues as to what the offense might look like in the near future.

Again, anything shown on a team sponsored video has likely been cleared for public consumption, but at this time of year, any glimpse is better than none.

Here’s a frame-by-frame look at March 25th’s practice video, where we saw some physical work as the Irish donned pads for the first time.


0:11 — That’s Ben Koyack (#18) blocking a linebacker (I’m guessing Ben Councell), as George Atkinson bursts through the hole.

0:15 — Freshman Mike Heuerman (#9) goes head up with cornerback Lo Wood (#23) who makes a nice play on the running back darting through the hole.

0:18 — Impressive work by Ishaq Williams (#11), who stands up Troy Niklas (#85) in the hole and stops the ball carrier in the backfield. Any worries about Williams holding up as a down lineman certainly seem alleviated for one snap, as he did a nice job handling Niklas, a pretty imposing specimen.

0:21 — Looks like chaos. Safeties John Turner (#31) and Matthias Farley (#41) stackup against James Onwualu (#17) and Daniel Smith (#87) before Farley slips Smith and makes a nice play on running back Amir Carlisle (#3).

0:27 — Elijah Shumate (#22), Jalen Brown (#21) and Josh Atkinson (#24) go head up with blockers as Malik Zaire (#8) makes a deep handoff to Will Mahone (#32).

0:32 — Cam McDaniel (#33) does a nice job following the pancake block of tackle Zack Martin (#70).

0:36 — That’s Chris Brown (#2) running a pattern that ISN’T a go-route.

0:43 — A wide view of Manti Te’o’s replacement, junior linebacker Jarrett Grace (#59) taking on a block and making a tackle. Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco looks fired up.

0:46 — If I had to guess, that’s a zoomed-in look at the exact same snap we saw at the 0:27 mark. (That’s why I make the big bucks, folks…)

0:51 — Senior tight end Alex Welch (#82) looks pretty mobile for a guy still making his way back from ACL surgery.

0:58 — Fun watching a lefty quarterback fling it around. Zaire seems to have a pretty throwing stroke.

1:03 — That’s Ben Councell (#30), Ishaq Williams (#11) and Romeo Okwara (#45) fighting blocks as they stack up Cam McDaniel.

1:09 — Jumbo edition, as Tyler Stockton (#92), Kona Schwenke (#96) and Sheldon Day (#91) win a battle at the line of scrimmage.

1:13 — Remember last spring when many expected Andrew Hendrix (#12) to be Notre Dame’s quarterback of the future? Now the third option, Hendrix delivers a strike to Troy Niklas.

1:17 — That’s Everett Golson throwing strikes on the move to James Onwualu (#17) and Corey Robinson (#88).

1:28 — Sheldon Day tosses aside Matt Hegarty, making his blocker look silly. Then George Atkinson returns the favor, hitting the e-brake as Day flies right by him, with a ridiculous juke move.

(Look carefully enough and we get our last look at Davonte Neal, who was quick to celebrate with Atkinson.)


Here’s a look at the mini-update from March 27.


0:08 — A nice extended look at Davaris Daniels (#10), who in all likelihood will be the Irish’s No. 1 receiver next season. Daniels does a nice job shaking Lo Wood, then does a nice job talking about it — mic’ed up at practice.

Daniels goes one-on-one with Eilar Hardy (#4) in a blocking drill, one of our limited looks at Hardy, who should be back to full health after a knee injury.

0:40 — Your standard blocking video. Not much more to add here, though we do get the feeling that freshman Onwualu is more than just a willing participant, as he gives Matthias Farley all that he can handle.

0:50 — Cam McDaniel sure looks good running the ball in daylight.

0:53 — That’s Everett Golson finding CJ Prosise (#20) on a short pass, then Joey Brooks (#81) making a nice catch on the out route.

1:03 — Don’t sleep on Luke Massa (#14) who shakes a DB off the line and makes an easy catch. When there wasn’t much depth last spring, Massa looked good until a knee injury sidetracked him.

1:11 — Bobby D coaching them up…

1:20 — A zone read look, with a really nice cut by Atkinson turning an almost TFL for Ben Councell into an explosive gain.

1:23 — Carlo Calabrese (#44) blows past Nick Martin (#72) and flushes Golson, who runs right into the waiting arms of Sheldon Day (#91).

1:29 — Nice catch, Mike Heuerman (#9). It’s really refreshing to see the way the snaps spread out during spring ball for the Irish under Kelly. It’s hard to imagine that Brady Quinn or Jimmy Clausen spent too much time throwing patterns to fourth-string freshmen.

1:32 — Golson likely wants that throw back, hitting Farley in the chest for an interception.

1:35 — Still feels like Hendrix takes too much time to pull the trigger, waiting to hit George Atkinson on the crossing route.

1:45 — Atkinson sure looks like his speed causes problems once he gets past the first level.

1:48 — Tommy Rees throwing the fade route to Corey Robinson. The bean-pole freshman makes a nice play on the ball.

1:53 — Nice timing from Zaire, who throws in rhythm to Onwualu in the flat, who beats John Turner to the corner.

2:07 — That’s Grace vs. Hegarty going head-up.




  1. yaketyyacc - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    thanks Keith for the videos. definite improvement, but still lots of improvement room left. sure the team and coaches know this.

  2. mattnef - Apr 2, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    I look forward to these video breakdowns.
    A few random thoughts:
    I think McDaniel is going to surprise some people.
    If Robinson can put on some weight this summer he is going to be a weapon. Imagine a goal line package with Robinson (6’5”), Niklas (6’7”), Welch (6’4”) and Massa (6’4”)/Smith (6’4”)/Brooks (6’5”). Impressive.
    That is two videos and two nice moves by Atkinson, very promising.
    Onwuala is a nice looking player.

    Oh, and I have to disagree with Keith, that play at at 0:46 in the first video is not the same as the play at 0:27 … but they are both nice runs by Mahone.

    • dickasman - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:50 PM

      Well that’s great and all but goal line isn’t a height contest. They have to be able to do something like run, catch, get separation, jump, block and sometimes hold without getting caught. Right now you put that line up at the goal line and if I’m the opponent I say bring it on and thank you for not running.

      • mattnef - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:59 AM

        The players I listed can all run, catch, jump, and block to varying degrees. And when you have multiple players that are 6’5”+ against secondary’s that are typically 6′ or less, they don’t have to jump as high or get as much separation.
        And did I say you can’t run out of that formation? 3 of the players I mentioned are TEs, and 1 is a WR that is good blocker. Robinson and Smith split out, Niklas and Welch inline and Golson and GA3 or Bryant in the backfield, you can’t run out of that formation? You can’t play action out of that formation? You can’t run fades out of that formation?

  3. jerseyshorendfan1 - Apr 2, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Keith, it’s you slacking.

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      Jeez, tough room. Nobody can take a joke anymore.

  4. sabanissatan - Apr 2, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    13 schools have won nat’l championships since Notre Dame’s last one

  5. dickasman - Apr 2, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Please Thank you very much Keith, great Job Keith, go Irish go, great job everyone totally awesome guys four horseman blue gold illustrated national championship please thank you very much.

    • 4horsemenrideagain - Apr 2, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      I sense sarcasm but it’s still better than hearing about various parts of your anatomy, and what narcotics you used to ingest off of various parts of hookers’ anatomy, which makes me think, dick, are you really charlie sheen?

      • dickasman - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:46 PM

        Kinda but replace crack with powder and there you have it.

      • dickasman - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:53 PM

        Oh and I forgot, please go irish go thank you very much please.

  6. dudeacow - Apr 2, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    GA3 looks good… let’s hope it isn’t false hope like the 2012 spring game was.

    • mtflsmitty - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:47 PM

      I couldn’t agree more, Dude.

      Was it six runs shown where he makes a great cut OR THREE, then accelerates for major yardage? Or was it seven runs? I realize its selected video. But I’ve heard a lot of folks here say he doesn’t have the eliveness to be a #1 RB. Tell that to Sheldon Day.

      220lbs. World-class speed. Now he’s making people miss?

      “Mr. Atkinson, meet 1,300 yards. 1,300 yards…Mr. Atkinson.”

      • 808raiderinparadise - Apr 3, 2013 at 4:18 PM

        Let’s remember last season the offense wasn’t a true spread from a running game stand-point, there was a lot of directional running/option with extra TE or double TE, etc …

        Some of that was Rees & Golson combo, some of that was Golson safety blanket, but as he progresses this off-season into a better passer and the WR core makes gains in the spread allignments that will open things up for Atkinsons type of run game.

  7. dudeacow - Apr 2, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    I miss Neal already… and Eifert. Welch definitely doesn’t have his natural athleticism.

  8. fnc111 - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    ND could be so good and hang onto recruits if the campus was in California, Colorado, AZ….. Heck anywhere but South Bend.

  9. fnc111 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    GA3 won’t run for more than 500 yds bro. He isnt strong enough or big enough to carry the whole load. Last years spring game he fumbled three times. Purely a role player. Should run track full time.

  10. 25kgold - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    Just heard that Davonte Neal is considering USC! WOW, isn’t his “daughter and girlfriend” in Arizona???? Didn’t he leave ND because he wanted to be close to them???? How many miles is L.A. to AZ?? Oh, I get it now… You leave the gray cold days of South Bend and a coach that knows how to build championship teams, who won’t just let you have your way on the field. For a coach (Lane Kiffin) who will give you the ball on every other play, all the women (baby mamas) and sunshine in the world! Neal is a big joke!!!

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Apr 4, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      When you put it that way, it doesn’t sound so bad.

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