Apr 9, 2013, 5:36 PM EST
With the Irish getting some scrimmage time in earlier this week, there’s a very good chance Brian Kelly and his staff are getting to know the type of football team that they have on their hands. In the case of Everett Golson, that might be a player that’s advanced leaps and bounds.
While we all tend to focus on the new players breaking in or the back-ups ascending to starting roles, no player should take a bigger step forward than Golson, who enters his first spring practice as the unquestioned starter.
After playing a sneakily impressive second half in a losing effort against Alabama, expect the Irish offense to really evolve behind Golson this season, as the rising junior has an opportunity to put up scary numbers this season, especially as his knowledge base continues to grow.
Let’s take a look at the tape, and continue our habit of over-analysis.
0:08 — That’s Everett Golson taking charge of the huddle. Now he’s just got to get used to being mic’d up at practice. Some nice edit work by Alan and the boys.
0:22 — This looks to be a little ones-versus-ones, eleven-on-eleven. While it’s hard to see if Golson had anything open while just isolating on him — the rising junior still looks mighty athletic. (Speaking of athletic, how about big Louis Nix, now sporting No. 1, giving chase…)
0:35 — You’re certainly not going to marvel at the footwork, but great job checking down by Golson, finding his tight end open in the middle of the field. Troy Niklas (#85) looks as imposing as ever.
0:40 — Even freeze framing it, I can’t tell who made the nifty catch in the end zone. The candidates:
- Alex Welch (#82.) But where’s the knee brace?
- Ben Koyack (#18)
- James Onwualu (#17)
- Joey Brooks (#81)
Anybody have a clue?
0:45 — Nicely blocked and George Atkinson runs hard around the right edge before Matthias Farley cleans him out on the sideline.
0:47 — That’s Alex Welch getting a check down from Golson, then rumbling forward.
0:52 — That’s Jarrett Grace (#59) getting a hand up and knocking down a pass from Andrew Hendrix (#12).
0:56 — Almost too many questions here. That’s TJ Jones (#7) wide open for a big gainer. He’s got KeiVarae Russell (#6) beaten badly, but did he expect safety help? Is it as windy as Golson mentioned in the first frames, and that’s why this pass is severely underthrown? Still — a 30+ yard gain is one the offense will take any day. (Now the defense…)
1:02 — I’m in favor of giving Ben Koyack a fresh start. Last season got off on the wrong foot, and it had to have been hard for Koyack to keep his confidence, getting lost in the shuffle after some early drops.
Here’s Koyack working at slot receiver making a nice catch. Sure, he’s only there because the depth chart needs filling, but Koyack’s not a guy you should give up on yet.
1:07 — Heckuva catch, Danny Smith (#87).
1:12 — Heckuva tackle, Jarrett Grace. (Listen carefully, do you hear Bob Diaco howling at the moon?)
1:18 — Another impressive catch by Smith, who goes up and wins a one-on-one battle down field.
1:21 — Smith doesn’t come down with probably the easiest of the throws we’ve seen, though you’ve got to give some credit to Lo Wood (#23).
1:26 — That’s Cam McDaniel (#33) on the loose. That’s a heckuva job by Ishaq Williams (#11), fighting off the block by Welch and then making a big hit on McDaniel.
1:31 — Tommy Rees (#11) playing pitch and catch with James Onwualu (#17).
1:35 — Brian Kelly, high above his perch. Looks like a pleasant South Bend spring day!
1:44 — Nice play by Lo Wood, dropping the boom on Corey Robinson (#88).
1:49 — Onwualu beats Wood on a well placed fade throw, fighting off Josh Atkinson (#24) and making a tough catch. Good ball placement by Rees, who hasn’t always had that strength.
1:52 — That’s Elijah Shumate (#22) crashing down into the box and making a tackle.
1:58 — Before the musical transition, I have expected Ryan Gosling to show up wearing racing gloves.
2:01 — Now we’re just getting downright artistic. Some great slo-mo looks at the offensive line. Nice kick step by Zack Martin (#70) while Chris Watt (#66) holds up Tony Springman (#69).
2:17 — Not bad, Nick Martin. Big Lou is more than a handful.
2:25 — That spin move won’t beat Zack Martin, Sheldon Day (#91). Not that you should feel badly. Not many beat Martin.
2:30 — Oh boy. Nix turned the younger Martin into a turnstile there…
2:35 — This might be our first isolated look at freshman Steve Elmer (#79) who looks like a GIANT as he blocks Prince Shembo (#55). That’s a big kid.
2:40 — Martin handles Ishaq as well.
2:50 — The left side of the line handles a stunt more than capably.
Feb 28, 2015, 2:48 PM EST
Well crew, I’ve gotta say… I’m a little underwhelmed by the mailbag question. And in the 150+ comments of people screaming at each other about mostly stupid stuff, I think I speak for everybody when I say:
Feb 27, 2015, 12:40 PM EST
Former Notre Dame president Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., died Thursday night on campus. Father Ted was 97. He said his final mass on Thursday, the day he passed away.
Feb 26, 2015, 3:24 PM EST
Gone are Cody Riggs and Austin Collinsworth. Returning is a safety position that’s struggled, another transfer, a young cornerback on the rise, and (hopefully) an exiled potential star.
Welcome to the Notre Dame secondary. New coaching, same scheme, different players, and one of 2015’s great unknowns.
Feb 25, 2015, 2:34 PM EST
As we get a few extra weeks to prep for spring practice, let’s open the mailbag.
Feb 24, 2015, 6:56 PM EST
A position that looked like a huge question mark entering the 2014 season ended the year with an embarrassment of riches. After watching Will Fuller emerge with a record-setting sophomore season, the loss of DaVaris Daniels and departure of TJ Jones didn’t do anything to slow the Irish passing game down.
Feb 24, 2015, 1:34 PM EST
None of Notre Dame’s coaching changes are official yet. But more arrows point to North Carolina defensive line coach Keith Gilmore joining the Irish staff in the same role.
Feb 23, 2015, 12:43 AM EST
There might not be a deeper unit on the roster than the offensive line. After a lack of depth made it nearly impossible to practice at full speed heading into the 2012 BCS title game, Notre Dame enters the 2015 season with a two-deep most teams would pay for.
Feb 20, 2015, 10:48 AM EST
Whether it’s the Siberian Express rolling through most of the country (sorry, guys) or the grand reshuffling taking place on Brian Kelly’s coaching staff, Notre Dame announced a delay in the kickoff of spring practice.
Feb 19, 2015, 11:44 AM EST
After an incredibly impressive run at the position, Notre Dame enters spring practice with nothing but question marks at tight end. After Brian Kelly watched Kyle Rudolph, Tyler Eifert, Troy Niklas and now Ben Koyack churn through his program, he’ll spend spring trying to figure out what exactly he has at the position.
Feb 18, 2015, 11:47 AM EST
On Tuesday, a flurry of reports had Brian Kelly focusing in on the final pieces of his reshuffled coaching staff. They include two likely additions, one transition, and a position shift.
Feb 18, 2015, 11:18 AM EST
A few days after safety Avery Sebastian announced his intentions, Notre Dame made the commitment and graduate transfer of the former Cal safety official. Sebastian will enroll in graduate school and join the team in June.
Feb 17, 2015, 4:12 PM EST
After missing out on a running back in the 2014 recruiting cycle, a once crowded depth chart now only features Tarean Folston and Greg Bryant. Two backs that once worried about having to find snaps will now have all the work they could ever want, with the majority of spring spent doing everything they can to stay healthy.
Feb 16, 2015, 2:20 PM EST
One of the most impressive statistical seasons in school history was flushed down the toilet when Everett Golson could not stop turning the football over. With fumbles, poor decision-making and some plain bad luck plaguing Golson’s otherwise exceptional season, Brian Kelly chose Malik Zaire to be his starter for the Music City Bowl.
Feb 16, 2015, 8:45 AM EST
Finishing up a holiday weekend with part three of the mailbag.
Feb 14, 2015, 7:18 PM EST
Let’s continue with the mailbag, starting with my guess as to how the quarterback battle this spring ends up.
Feb 14, 2015, 1:42 PM EST
Notre Dame has its next two-sport athlete. Sophomore wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr. has joined the baseball team, UND.com announced.
Feb 13, 2015, 11:55 AM EST
We’re going to break up this mailbag into a few different sections as well. With a lot of changes swirling through Brian Kelly’s football program, there’s plenty to cover on a usually slow February weekend.
Feb 12, 2015, 10:18 PM EST
Brian Kelly hinted that Notre Dame wasn’t finished adding players to the roster on Signing Day. And on Thursday night, Kelly and the Irish coaching staff shored up one of their major deficiencies by adding Cal graduate transfer Avery Sebastian.
Feb 11, 2015, 1:38 PM EST
Just days after losing Tony Alford, it looks like Brian Kelly is making a large move on his offensive coaching staff. Multiple reports have Boise State offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford joining Notre Dame’s offensive staff.
Feb 11, 2015, 12:14 PM EST
Wasn’t this supposed to be a slow week? We’ve got coaching searches, potential transfers and so much more going on. Spring practice begins in three weeks. Let’s get a mailbag going. Drop your questions below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.