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Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas, Irish fans

Dec 25, 2013, 6:18 PM EDT

Moshood Adeniji, Stephon Tuitt AP

Just a quick note to everyone that’s spending time with family and friends. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you that stop by. I truly appreciate all the time spent here.  It’s been a great year here, even if the Irish took a step back on the football field.

While most should be enjoying today and staying off the internet, here are a few interesting updates that should be an added dose of Christmas cheer to Irish fans.

* Defensive end Stephon Tuitt‘s stay-or-go decision might have gotten a bit easier with the NFL’s advisory committee returning a second round grade to the hulking defensive end. Most Irish fans — and some early NFL draft prognosticators — had Tuitt a lock for the first round.

But after a season that started slow with a hernia injury and saw Tuitt labor through a ton of snaps for the good of the team, it might make sense for the Georgia native to follow the paths of Michael Floyd, Manti Te’o and Tyler Eifert.

Tape doesn’t lie. So the second round grade showed NFL executives that Tuitt wasn’t playing as dominant as you’d have thought.

Expect Brian Kelly to walk through Tuitt’s options to both graduate and move back up draft boards with a healthy, productive offseason and a dominant final year in South Bend.

* Irish Illustrated’s Tim Prister spent some time inside the Giants practice facility, and Prister reports ($) that freshman safety Max Redfield appears to be making a move up the depth chart. That’s music to the ears of Irish fans that have been waiting for the five-star safety to get on the field, after mostly moonlighting on special teams.

The staff has had a long look at Redfield over the bowl practice schedule, and adding some athleticism to the secondary will be a priority after a fairly underwhelming season at safety. It should be interesting to see how reps are spread between Austin Collinsworth, Matthias Farley, Eilar Hardy, Elijah Shumate and Redfield during the bowl, and see if that plays into a spirited competition that’s sure to take place this spring.




  1. irishfanbob - Dec 25, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    First time poster! Keith I love the blog and all of the members that post here. I am looking forward to #7’s decision as it will have a great impact on how we move forward. It would be great too see him return and become one of the leaders we seemed too miss from the D this season. Happy Holidays ND fans!

  2. irishdodger - Dec 25, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    I think Tuitt opts for the NFL draft. If 2nd round is a worst case scenario, I don’t blame him.

  3. bernhtp - Dec 25, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Keith, a very Merry Christmas to you too.

    I saw the second-round grade earlier and immediately thought what you wrote. This should add yet another reason for Tuitt to stick around as have other six-star recruits before him. I certainly hope so.

    The Redfield report is good news, but I tend to be suspicious about our previously invisible 4-5 star guys (Bryant, Hunter, Redfield) getting these late public accolades as we go into transfer season. While I don’t doubt they are doing well, the public nature of the report stick into the jaded side of my brain.

    • mtflsmitty - Dec 26, 2013 at 1:58 AM

      I tell ya what, if BK has learned that a bit more public accolades may soothe a damaged ego or two and thus keep some prized talent at ND, I say way to keep learning and evolving, coach.

      But I suspect the comments are based in more truth than politicking. If BK was looking for a way to artificially prop up 5-star egos, he’d be talking to The Chicago Tribune; not hoping Timmy P over at Irish Illustrated reports Max is practicing with the 1s.

      • bernhtp - Dec 26, 2013 at 7:45 AM

        Good points, but don’t dis Prister too much. He’s as respected and quoted a voice covering the Irish as there is.

      • nudeman - Dec 26, 2013 at 12:23 PM

        In ND Nation Prister is highly regarded as a sane voice.
        His words carry weight and are widely read.

  4. shaunodame - Dec 25, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    The “Max Redfield might actually see the field this week” chatter is getting kind of late at this point.. I’ll believe it when I see it

  5. viktory2013 - Dec 25, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Without a doubt, Tuitt should return next season. He’s been an afterthought nationally this year, and with a dominant senior season could zoom back into national prominence (not to mention the boost ND’s defense would receive).

    Redfield should play now. Seriously, how much more lost could he be than Farley?

  6. machine64red2 - Dec 25, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    Do it Tuitt, stay in school for another year. His stock plummeted this year, probably would have been less damaging if we would have known about the injury earlier. On another note, with the transfer requests this week, how many can we actually bring in on scholarship? 26?

  7. 25kgold - Dec 25, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Let’s just cut to the chase: who’s going to transfer this off-season?

    • 4horsemenrideagain - Dec 26, 2013 at 12:10 PM

      I’m going to go out on a limb and say no one, at least no one other than the 5th year guys, Woods, Welch and Hendrix that were all leaving one way or another.

      after this year, the 2-deep is wide open at nearly every position, other than RB and some spots on the OL. unless there are personality conflicts that haven’t been reported, i don’t see guys taking off just because of their prospects for playing time are looking grim since for all of the raw talent, there just are not many guys embedded in their lineup spots.

    • onward2victory - Dec 26, 2013 at 6:51 PM

      What about Will Mahone? Wouldn’t be surprised if Josh Atkinson left too.

  8. ndfanatic31 - Dec 26, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    While I hope Tuitt stays, most mocks have him drafted before LNIII, so I think he’s leaving. His versatility alone will make him a sought after dl commodity mid to late 1st round

    • nudeman - Dec 26, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      The R2 grade is hardly a sure thing and a LOT can happen between now and draft day to change that.

      He could have a monster game Saturday, then could lose 20 lbs. and kill it at the Combine. Further, NFL evaluators will see how he steadily improved as the season went on. Easily could be a 1st rounder.

      Having said that, he never really did reach the level we expected.
      Had a few games late in the season where he was a “presence” but never dominant.

      If I was advising him I’d say stay at ND, lose 20 lbs and play at 295-300 next year. If he does that, barring injury he’s a sure fire 1st rounder.

  9. mediocrebob - Dec 26, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    I agree nude. The only game where he really took over was the $C game in the second half.

  10. paulhargis53 - Dec 26, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    You’d think that these kids couldn’t wait to get away from the unrealistic expectations of most of the ND fans.

    Nude, I’d be scared if I were you, the mediocre one is agreeing with you.
    Wasn’t it just a few short days ago, he was accusing us of being one and the same?
    Boob, is quite the confused young man…in more ways than one.

  11. mediocrebob - Dec 26, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    While I want to give you credit for KIND OF posting something new, I can’t because I know your next post will be back to the same tired stuff.

    And I agreed with Nude bc he’s right. I’d agree with you if you ever posted anything relevant but unfortunately, that’s above you.

  12. irishpuma - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    For the record I love Tuitt and Nixie! However, They should have both stayed case closed. Two of the most dominant Dlineman we have had in the past two decades and it never came together for either one of them this year. No domination, sometimes close to non existent. I know they were injured, out of shape, soft, whatever the reason they did not have all world years. Come back healthy and ready and show that 2012 was not a fluke. The gentleman have unfinished business and the opportunity to take care of it. They also have the responsibility to lead and mentor the lower class-man for one more year. Both will be in the NFL what is another year of growth, fun, success, and legacy. Priceless.

    Oh well one can dream. I do think Tuitt might stay but we will see!

    Good luck at the next level Nix!!

  13. paulhargis53 - Dec 27, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    Bob, I’m not looking for any kind of credit from anyone on these boards, especially you. I’d rather Hoo in a clothes dryer with Magic Johnson and a pack of razor blades,than have you agree with me.

    Its not above me to post that way, I just choose not to. How boring can it be, everyone agreeing with each other? Too mundane for me.

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