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Opening depth chart released

Aug 27, 2013, 2:41 PM EDT

Brian Kelly

With the opening game around the corner, Notre Dame released it’s two-deep depth chart for Saturday’s season opener against Temple. There were a few surprises, so let’s go over each unit and give some thoughts:

OFFENSE

WR
TJ Jones
Corey Robinson

WR
DaVaris Daniels
Daniel Smith

LT
Zack Martin
Hunter Bivin

LG
Chris Watt
Mark Harrell

C
Nick Martin
Matt Hegarty

RG
Christian Lombard
Conor Hanratty

RT
Ronnie Stanley
Steve Elmer

TE
Troy Niklas
Ben Koyack
Alex Welch

WR
Chris Brown
James Onwualu

QB
Tommy Rees
Andrew Hendrix

RB
George Atkinson
Amir Carlisle
or Cam McDaniel
or Greg Bryant

Thoughts: If you’re looking for early returns on the freshman recruiting class, the offensive two-deep is a good place to start. Seeing Corey Robinson, Hunter Bivin, Steve Elmer, James Onwualu and Greg Bryant all get mentioned on here is pretty astounding.

While a guy like Hunter Bivin probably isn’t the next guy in at tackle, Kelly did say that he expected Steve Elmer to play early and often.

“We have great confidence that Steve Elmer could go in there and start for us if we needed him to,” Kelly said. “It’s not out of the question that he could be playing there at some time on Saturday, as well.”

Seeing the tight end position go three-deep in the two-deep gives you an idea that Troy Niklas, Ben Koyack and Alex Welch are all going to play quite a bit, often packaged together. Seeing a bunch of “or” listings at running back also let you know that all four of those guys are probably going to get a chance to get some carries on Saturday as well.

DEFENSE

DL
Sheldon Day
Isaac Rochelle

DL
Louis Nix
Kona Schwenke

DL
Stephon Tuitt
Jarron Jones

OLB
Prince Shembo
Ishaq Williams

ILB
Dan Fox
Jarrett Grace

ILB
Carlo Calabrese
Kendall Moore

OLB
Jaylon Smith
Ben Councell

CB
KeiVarae Russell
Lo Wood

S
Austin Collinsworth
Elijah Shumate

S
Matthias Farley
Eilar Hardy

CB
Bennett Jackson
Cole Luke

Thoughts: Perhaps the two biggest notes on here are the starting jobs won by Jaylon Smith and Austin Collinsworth, who must be fully recovered from the physical maladies that robbed him of the ’12 season. We’ll likely see a lot of Ben Councell and Elijah Shumate, but it’s a big deal for both players to have gone into camp and won a starting job.

Kelly talked a little bit about the platoon between Collinsworth and Shumate, and the reality of the situation being that both safeties will spend a lot of time on the field.

“I think it’s a 1A, 1B situation,” Kelly said. “Depending on where we are in the game, down and distance, a lot of those factors will be involved.  I think you’ve got to look at both of those guys playing an equal amount of football.”

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK
Nick Tausch
or Kyle Brindza

P
Kyle Brindza
or Alex Wulfeck

LS
Scott Daly

HLD
Luke Massa

PR
TJ Jones
Amir Carlisle

KR
George Atkinson
Cam McDaniel

KO
Kyle Brindza

Thoughts: One person we haven’t talked about much is redshirt freshman Scott Daly, Notre Dame’s new long-snapper. You’ve got to imagine quite a few butterflies will be churning for Daly in his first start with Jordan Cowart now graduated.

As Kelly discussed earlier at Media Day, the placekicking job is still up in the air, with Tausch and Brindza likely spending Saturday competing for the gig. On paper, this seems fine. But when there’s 100,000 screaming fans at the Big House next weekend, it’ll be interesting to see who Kelly calls on to kick.

It’d be great to see Luke Massa get a chance to use his sneaky athleticism and his throwing arm as the holder on a fake field goal. I’m not sure Notre Dame has attempted one since a Lane Clelland holding call erased a successful fake.

  1. mcirish27 - Aug 27, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    I’d say biggest surprise for me is seeing Carlo and Fox at both inside positions instead of their co-starter roles of ’12. Fair to be disappointed that Jarrett Grace didn’t earn his way into that same rotation they used with Manti?

    I have no doubt we’ll see them all a decent amount, however.

  2. dudeacow - Aug 27, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    It seems Prosise has been buried after a great spring. Also, Redfield hasn’t made the cut. However, I’m really excited about the starting group of WRs, LBs, OL, and the depth of the RBs and DBs. Cole Luke already is on the two deep!

    • wisner74 - Aug 27, 2013 at 6:43 PM

      Good question about Prosise. There was a lot of talk about him earlier.

    • Hakuna Budi - Aug 28, 2013 at 6:15 PM

      The Prosise issue was exactly my first question, especially after his spring and Kelly talking about Chris Brown’s lack of consistency. Then Brown is listed as a starter and no Prosise on the chart … hmm… wish I was a the press conference to ask that question

  3. dothedal - Aug 27, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Anyone heard anything about Jarron Jones this offseason? I sure havent

    • wisner74 - Aug 27, 2013 at 6:44 PM

      Would Springman’s injury factor in to Jarron Jones being on the two-deep?

      • shaunodame - Aug 28, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        different positions, I believe, with Jones being a DE and Springman being a NT. Perhaps it was Schwenke taking Big Red’s spot?

      • Hakuna Budi - Aug 28, 2013 at 6:18 PM

        I think shaunodome is right. I just hope Jones is ready to contribute because he’ll have to. The last I heard is that he was still inconsistent and taking a lot of crap from the likes of Nix. I’m knocking on wood as I write this, but any more injuries to that DL and … eeks … my guess is Ishaq is the more realistic backup but they didn’t want to list him twice.

  4. NotreDan - Aug 27, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Jaylon Smith. No asterisk, no 1A 1B, just the starter.

    I can’t wait to see this kid play.

  5. jem5b - Aug 27, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Quite a talented group, loaded with freshmen, and sophs, Kelly et al continue to recruit at a herculean level. Jaron Jones was the young kid that Louis was bustin’ on last year…words to the effect ” I came in and I was overweight, out of shape, you just suck.”
    So much of the success rests on TR’s success.

  6. jem5b - Aug 27, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Re; Tommy Rees.
    Eric Hansen ‏@hansenNDInsider 1h
    How does Vegas look at Everett Golson vs. Tommy Rees? #NotreDame was 22-1 to win nat’l title on Jan. 8, now 50-1 per Bovada.LV.

    • NotreDan - Aug 27, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      LOL. This would be a valid comparison, if TR/EG was the only variable.

      I’m betting (yes, pun) there are at least 100. Variables that is.

    • wisner74 - Aug 27, 2013 at 6:45 PM

      The season hasn’t started and already with the Rees stuff!

    • jmfinsd - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:52 PM

      Geez. If you’re going point to something to support your argument, at least quote it correctly. If you’re going to point to something that someone else pointed to, make sure they correctly/fully stated it.

      Notre Dame was listed at 22/1 in January. They fell to 28/1 in early May before Golson left, then 40/1 following Golson leaving, and they’re now 50/1.

      There are clearly more factors than just Rees. That being said, this causes me some fear because Vegas usually knows what its talking about. However, if I remember correctly, ND started out 2012 at about 50/1 or higher.

    • papadec - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:36 PM

      I’m happy with the 40-1 I got. I have another friend going to Vegas in November – I might have him put another $50 on the Irish (depending on how they are doing at the time). They’ll have two games to go, when he goes there. GO IRISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:13 PM

      I swear that i have to point this out EVERY time that somebody on these boards brings up betting, but i’ll point it out again.

      Vegas creates the odds ONE time, 22-1. From that point, everything they do with the odds is about money. The raise or lower the odds to increase or decrease the action on that bet.

      Vegas doesn’t give a shit who the QB is. After the first odds are put out, the only adjustments made are a reaction to the $$$ being bet.

      So, Eric Hansen, #FAIL

      • shaunodame - Aug 28, 2013 at 12:23 PM

        I’m not doubting you in anyway, I’m just curious here… How can they not take into effect personnel changes? That’s a big freakin’ deal sometimes.

      • irishspartan1 - Aug 28, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        Yes but they fluctuate the odds based on people betting on the team, they want the same number of people to bet on every team, so after Golson left, people stopped betting on ND, so in order to get those people to bet on ND they gave them a higher pay off. Of course I am over simplifying it, but the odds change based on what happens to the team because it changes how people think about the team. So saying that lineup changes have no effect on the odds isn’t true.

  7. irishaggie - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Not at all surprised that Austin is starting. So stoked!!

    • seadomer - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:04 PM

      I too am happy to see AC come back from injury, this guy is my favorite for winning the Zibby* this year.

      * My own made up award, stuck in my mind after determination shown on the punt return against USC

    • ndadvocate - Aug 28, 2013 at 11:37 AM

      This was the biggest eye-opener for me. All we have heard about Shumate this spring is how fantastic he is.

    • Hakuna Budi - Aug 28, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      I’m actually pretty surprised, but I think this is a great example of when you have co-starters and you can keep them both fairly fresh

  8. seanb20124 - Aug 27, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Depth chart explains Badger’s transfer??

    • wisner74 - Aug 27, 2013 at 6:56 PM

      I had not heard about Badger. I wonder what would have happened if he had not gone on his two-year mission before coming to ND. Where is transferring to?

      Where would ND be if T’eo had decided he needed to go on his mission before matriculating?

    • jmfinsd - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      Today’s Salt Lake Tribune reports: Badger is transferring to BYU and hopes to be able to play this season. Badger is appealing for a waiver of the customary rule of having to sit for a year because the transfer is due to personal reasons not related to football. His mother is ill and unable to travel to Indiana to watch him play. Apparently, she can watch him play near the family home in Provo.

  9. seadomer - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Family is important, but in this case, he HAS to transfer cos mom can’t watch him play … nothing to do with the illness … get it?

  10. papadec - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    I’m sure his place on the depth chart is part of it. It certainly works to ND’s advantage to free up another scholarship. I hope he gets his waiver – that would be the best outcome for everyone involved.

  11. goirishgo - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    Seriously guys, that defensive two-deep is ridiculously good. Wow.

  12. irishdog80 - Aug 28, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Nice to see a two deep for the offensive line that does not have the same player listed as backup for two different positions. Across the board, we have a real two deep for the first time in years and we could go three deep at many positions. What a difference and bodes well for this year and the future.

    Go Irish! Beat Temple!

  13. irishdog80 - Aug 28, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    On another note, I would like to see Jaylon Smith on offense for short yardage situations. He was a beast of a running back in high school and we don’t have another 230 pound option on offense to move the chains or score in goal line situations. Maybe we will save Smith’s use on offense for Michigan.

    • shaunodame - Aug 28, 2013 at 12:26 PM

      I was personally hoping Will Mahone would fill that “power-back/goal-line back” role for us, but literally the only thing I have heard about him this offseason was his growth and ability in the Slot. Kind of the opposite of what I was expecting lol

      • irishdog80 - Aug 28, 2013 at 2:06 PM

        Will Mahone is a good thought… I thought he could turn into a Jonas Gray type of back. We just need someone to be the power back that the other team has to respect so it opens up opportunities for our receivers on the outside. We could have Connor Hanratty come in as a fullback and have Smith or Mahone lined up behind him. We need to do something to get more TDs instead of field goals.

  14. ndadvocate - Aug 28, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Someone as talented as Max Redfield doesnt even make our two deep? We are stacked fellas!

  15. plantainhead - Aug 28, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Hey guys, first time commenter here. Just wondering if anyone knows what Romeo Okwara’s situation is. Will he be redshirted? I hope he is bc of his age/high ceiling. It’s a shame he had to burn a year last year.

  16. shaunodame - Aug 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    I’m not completely worried about Max Redfield not showing up on the Game 1 Depth Chart. I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, just because he doesnt make it game 1, doesnt mean he woulnt make future 2-deeps.

    The Coaches will undoubtedly give him a shot on the field to prove his worth (if the situation presents itself at Safety, or WR, or even Special Teams), and he will either prove he is ready, or show where he needs to improve. I’m still VERY excited at his potential.

    • irishdog80 - Aug 28, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      Safety is a position with lots of responsibility. Redfield will get his chance. Remember that Tuitt and Lynch barely played in their first few games.

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