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Examining the official roster (Juniors)

Aug 8, 2013, 4:17 PM EDT

Stanford v Notre Dame Getty Images

Let’s keep trudging through the Irish roster, digging deeper than its healthy (is it wrong that I picture a q-tip when I write that) as we examine the juniors on the Irish roster.

Again, just a few observations as I go through the official 2013 roster.

* Certainly not a new statement, but George Atkinson looks pretty impressive with 220-pounds on his frame. Sure, he’s got to learn how to run lower and continue to build the type of field vision needed to be an elite college back, but he’s certainly got the tangible traits needed to be an elite ball carrier.

I’ve got a feeling he’ll turn into the type of player that might be remembered less for what he can actually do than for what his deficiencies might be. That’d be a shame, though he’s got a chance to remedy that with a big season.

* In his always excellent chats with readers, the South Bend Tribune’s Eric Hansen brought up the almost unfathomable stat that Amir Carlisle has practice just once healthy with the Irish football team in full pads, and he broke his collarbone during that workout.

Carlisle added five pounds to his frame and now checks in at 190 pounds. All reports and intel point to the fact that Carlisle hasn’t lost any of the burst that makes him one of the offense’s most dangerous weapons, but let’s just hope he can get to Week One first.

(I might be one of the last people to ever tag anyone as injury prone, and I’m still not willing to do it with Carlisle.)

* Davaris Daniels has gained 11 pounds according to the most recent roster update, jumping to 203 pounds. Yet while watching the practice footage we’ve seen, he looks more fit than ever.

It will be very interesting to see if Daniels turns into the No. 1 receiver many have expected. All things considered, Daniels is ultimately a sophomore and his freshman season was hampered by a few injuries that couldn’t be helped. The added bulk should help with durability issues.

* At 6-2.5, 253 pounds, Jarrett Grace looks the part of a starting inside linebacker… on paper. It isn’t often that you hear this coaching staff talk up the potential of a player they expect to slide into the rotation seamlessly and have that player fail. So it’ll be fun to see if Kelly, Diaco and company have Grace’s future pegged correctly.

* Safety Eilar Hardy also gained 11 pounds over the summer, per the official roster. After a promising freshman campaign was cut short after a serious knee injury, let’s see if Hardy can get into the mix before some young players pass him up.

* Who’d have thought? Zack Martin actually looks up to his kid brother Nick. The frontrunner for the starting center job has a half-inch on his brother at 6-4.5.

* Cam McDaniel is up to 207 pounds. That’s the right amount of bulk for a guy that might be Notre Dame’s best between the tackles option.

* Troy Niklas at 270 pounds is just ridiculous. If Niklas mixed in a carb or two, the Irish would basically have Vikings left tackle Matt Khalil starting for the Irish at tight end.

* There were years where Notre Dame would kill to have a defensive lineman weigh 280 pounds. That Tony Springmann is just a ho-hum 6-5.5, 296 pounds shows you how far this program has come since Travis Leitko, Pat Kuntz, and John Ryan.

* It’ll be interesting to monitor Stephon Tuitt throughout camp. We’ve literally only seen one snippet of him — a one-on-one battle with Zack Martin that Tuitt didn’t win. But after the news that he had a hernia surgery in the offseason and still is listed at 322, making sure the preseason All-American is fully healthy and in shape heading into the season should be a priority for the staff.

* At 6-5.25, 261 lbs., Ishaq Williams should be ready to make an impact. It might be a lot to ask for a guy still searching for his first sack, but there’s room for him to make plays in this defense, even if finding time on the field will be tough.









  1. dudeacow - Aug 8, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    Man, I really hope Tuitt loses some weight. He’s good enough to go without practice, so just shove salads down his throat and ‘accidentally’ break his car. And bike. And his friends’ cars and bikes. And send some wild hyenas after him for ten miles each day. Yeah. That’s how you get someone in shape.

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Aug 8, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      Lmao. Are you a personal trainer or something?

      • 1notredamefan - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:31 PM

        lmao is now an acceptable acronym on this site? lol maybe I should come back…

    • shaunodame - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:16 AM

      Dude, lets get this squared away once and for all. Tuitt is a 5-Technique D-End. 300lbs+ is standard procedure. If Kelly, Longo, and most importantly Tuitt himself are comfortable getting Tuitt up to 322 then why would that not be icing on the cake?

      He isn’t Jadeveon Clowney, he isn’t Barkevious Mingo, and he isn’t a 4-3 D-End by any stretch of the imagination. Sure he can rush and sure he’s an End, but he is NOT a Rush End, and he never will be. Justin Tuck and Stephon Tuitt are night and day. If anything, we should all be thanking our lucky stars we have a kid who can play at 322 and still be as athletic as Tuitt.

      If he absolutely bites this year, and looks slow compared, then come back and talk to me. In the mean time, I’m going with Kelly, Longo, and Tuitt on this one.

  2. yaketyyacc - Aug 8, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    feel bad for Carlisle. still have to admire the tenacity to keep coming back, determined to make this season, THE season.
    George Atkinson III not running low enough, reminds me of the time when Frank Leahy had two players hold a clothes line ten yards apart, and said, Mr. Lattner, you are running two inches too high, so all week, all I want you to do is run back and forth with you back just touching the clothes line. did it work? Lattner ran 97 yards for a touchdown and not a USC defensive player touched him.
    Good luck to Carlisle and Atkinson III, and to all the players. What does coach Kelly say? GET TOUGH, AND THEN GET TOUGHER, AND THEN GET TOUGHER THEN THAT!

  3. ndfansince69 - Aug 8, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    It would be nice to see Hegarty step up and get some PT this year. He was supposed to be one of the more athletic lineman in his class. Looks like he has put on some weight and back at 300 + lb range. It seems like both he and N. Martin should be able to move from center to RT guard and provide some depth. I know the o-line will be good this year but, next year, they sure look like they’re going to be HUGE and athletic. When was the last time we could say that??

    • mcirish27 - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      I’ve been pulling for Hegarty as well. He was supposed to be a huge get for this class. He’s got height and was very highly recruited if i recall. Nick Martin’s no slouch but we got him to decommit from Kentucky to take an Irish offer if memory serves – where does Hegarty fit in moving forward?

      • ndfansince69 - Aug 9, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        All you hear about Hegarty is him playing the center position. I was wondering why? Like you, I thought he was suppose to be really athletic. You never hear anything about him moving aound the line like the other guys. I wonder why?

  4. kiopta1 - Aug 8, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    The only guy I am disappointed in is Ishaq. He just seems to get pushed around or lacks the effort/mean-streak it takes to be a top LB/DE. But it’s still camp and he could turn it on once the season starts. As far as Tuitt, he can 322 as long as his speed, strength, endurance, and agility isn’t knocked down for it. We haven’t seen much of him yet and if he has to lose 10 pounds that shouldn’t be hard to do before we get to Michigan.

    • mbannon92 - Aug 8, 2013 at 8:14 PM

      I believe you meant to say Temple, my friend.

      USF was only two years ago – we don’t need a repeat of that debacle.

  5. kiopta1 - Aug 8, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    I know he is not a junior (thank God) but I can’t get over how much of a beast Rochelle looks like he is/may become. I know we give all the hype to Smith, Bryant, and Redfield but Rochelle and Folston could be great for us sooner rather than later.

  6. seadomer - Aug 8, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Sorry for jumping ahead Keith … but as I was watching the 3rd day’s video for the fifth time, somehow the 4th day’s video started playing …. in summary … Run Tommy Run. … looking good I tell you

  7. gtizzo - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Nice work on these breakdowns Keith. Keep people informed about the depth chart always a good thing.

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