Apr 2, 2013, 7:35 AM EDT
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.
Aug 3, 2015, 1:06 AM EDT
As a true freshman, James Onwualu found his way into the starting lineup, an unheralded freshman finding playing time by doing the little things right. As a sophomore, Onwualu made the rather unheard of transition from wideout to linebacker, and once again found himself starting football games.
Aug 2, 2015, 8:05 PM EDT
As we begin to reveal the top 25 players on Notre Dame’s roster, our raw numbers point to an intriguing amount of depth on this football team. As you consider the returning talent on this football team—only Ben Koyack, Everett Golson, Matt Hegarty and Cody Riggs depart from the Music City Bowl’s starting lineup—the depth chart and high end personnel is there, and that proof seems to be in our numbers.
Aug 2, 2015, 1:58 PM EDT
Spring hero? Tough to find a bigger one than C.J. Prosise. With numbers low in the backfield this spring, Notre Dame’s emerging slot receiver transitioned to running back—and immediately became an X factor in 2015.
Aug 1, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
For most of Romeo Okwara’s college career, the defender’s young age was mentioned when discussing the intriguing athlete’s upside. With ideal length, more than adequate athleticism and a skill set that fit in both Bob Diaco and Brian VanGorder’s defense, it was always a wait-and-see proposition for the North Carolina native, who simply needed a few years in Paul Longo’s weight room to catch up to his age.
Jul 31, 2015, 4:39 PM EDT
With the start of training camp right around the corner, it’s time for our annual tradition of ranking the Top 25 players on the Notre Dame roster.
Jul 31, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
With Kyle Brindza gone, sophomore Tyler Newsome takes over the punting duties. And outside of seeing a few not-really live kicks in the Blue-Gold game, what that means remains to be seen.
Jul 31, 2015, 11:48 AM EDT
We wrap up our offseason look at Notre Dame’s 2015 opponents with the Stanford Cardinal. The postseason could come down to a late-season showdown in Palo Alto with David Shaw’s team trying to rebound from a five-loss season.
Jul 31, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
After a redshirt season, Quenton Nelson is ready to play. Jumping to the head of the line at a crowded (and talented) position, Nelson is taking his five-star pedigree and bringing it to the starting lineup.
Jul 30, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT
This spring, you’d have probably won some money if you had Sam Mustipher emerging as the No. 2 center. But with Matt Hegarty’s departure and some failed experiments before him, it was Mustipher who was backing up Nick Martin and snapping the ball to Everett Golson in a spring game played on Notre Dame’s practice field.
Jul 30, 2015, 1:47 PM EDT
Notre Dame opens the season ranked No. 11 in the preseason USA Today Amway Coaches Poll. The Irish, who finished last season 8-5, return the majority of their starting lineup, providing some context for the bullish expectations. Only Gus Malzahn’s Auburn team is ranked higher among teams that finished with five losses in 2014.
Jul 30, 2015, 12:45 PM EDT
Last year, we saw what a talented freshman linebacker in over his head looked like. His name was Nyles Morgan, and the blue-chip recruit personified the second-half defensive collapse that flushed the Irish season down the drain. Want the good part? Stick around, as Irish A-to-Z continues.
Jul 30, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
When Brian Kelly plucked offensive lineman John Montelus from his hometown of Everett, Massachusetts, the Irish looked to be adding another mauler to the interior of Harry Hiestand’s offensive line. And after two seasons of reshaping his body and learning the ropes, Montelus is in a competitive two-deep, still looking for a role in this offense.
Jul 29, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT
It didn’t take long for Notre Dame’s coaching staff to know they wanted to offer Peter Mokwuah. After getting a glimpse of the big-bodied defensive tackle, Brian VanGorder and Brian Kelly went to Staten Island and left with a key piece to the depth chart.
Jul 29, 2015, 2:11 PM EDT
We are a little more than a week away from the start of the 2015 football season. Notre Dame released their training camp schedule on Wednesday, highlighting the key dates leading up to the season opener against Texas.
Jul 29, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT
Entering his third year in the program, offensive lineman Colin McGovern hasn’t found his way into the lineup. That’s the product of a depth chart filled with other talented options, as well as McGovern dealing with injuries and position switches as he looks to find his niche.
Jul 29, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT
Last preseason, Mike McGlinchey was the odd-man out along the offensive line, losing out on the opportunity to be the team’s starting right tackle. Entering 2015, he’s one of the key X factors that’ll determine whether or not Harry Hiestand’s offensive line is one of the best in the country.
Jul 29, 2015, 11:45 AM EDT
With Notre Dame’s defense falling apart, second-year player Jacob Matuska was thrown into the fire, earning playing time after the first (and most of the second) line of defense went down. Let’s check on the rising junior as Irish A-to-Z rolls on.
Jul 28, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT
The first recruit to join the 2014 recruiting class, Greer Martini may have been envisioned as a 3-4 linebacker in Bob Diaco’s scheme, but he very quickly showed he could play anywhere the rebooted Irish defense needed him. Irish A-to-Z keeps on keepin’ on.
Jul 28, 2015, 12:44 PM EDT
While discussing Notre Dame’s “rivals” usually turns into some type of screaming hot-take opportunity, it’s undeniable that the Irish’s date with Boston College in Fenway Park is a wonderful place to renew a “rivalry” that’s gotten a lot less regular.
Jul 28, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
In his first season without his brother on campus, Nick Martin looked to make a name for himself. But 2014 was a battle for Martin, not just to escape the shadows of his All-Pro brother, but to regain his health after a lingering knee injury and a multitude of other ailments made the entire season a grind.