USC Notre Dame Football

Winter workout report breakdown


In addition to Brian Kelly’s opening press conference, brought us a behind the scenes peek at winter workouts.

With some footage from Camp Kelly, a few epic tire fights, and a whole lot of sweat, steam, and hard work, it’s a fun watch and good update on the team’s progress since the bowl game.

Thanks to some epic music, this feels like a scene out of a Ridley Scott movie.

As usual, I’ll help out with some of the individuals. But watch along and get pumped up for spring practice.



0:04 — A slo-mo opener? Michael Bay nods with approval.

0:14 — First glitch in the Matrix. While we can identify recruited walk-on Eamon McOsker (No. 46), No. 19 isn’t currently on the Irish roster. Is that Corey Robinson in a new jersey?

Edit: Heard from Notre Dame’s Sports Information Dept., and it appears that Doug Randolph has changed numbers to No. 19. 

0:18 — Justin Brent looking good in his No. 11 jersey.

0:20 — It looks mighty chilly from SoCal seeing BK with a whistle in his mouth.

0:22 — Fifth-year players Justin Utupo (53) and Kendall Moore (8) work some conditioning drills. Respect Utupo going sleeveless.

0:26 — That’s redshirt freshman Jacob Matuska now wearing No. 89.

0:28 — And our first look at Mike McGlinchey in No. 68 flipping a tire. That’s a big kid and a mighty big tire. A very functional deadlift for those wondering.

0:29 — Quarterbacks Everett Golson (5) and Malik Zaire (9) toss a medicine ball to each other. 

0:34 — Romeo Okwara (45) and Jarron Jones (94) catch a breather in between reps.

0:36 — That’s Amir Carlisle (3) moving between cones.

0:40 — Sophomore running back duo Greg Bryant (1) and Tarean Folston (25) get after it during an agility drill.

0:46 — That’s Corey Robinson (88) working the high knees. He’s still only listed at 6’4.25″ so that growth spurt we all wondered about either hasn’t hit or the roster hasn’t been updated.

0:50 — Slo-mo tackling! This time Cole Luke (3) lays the boom on a dummy.

0:53 — Ishaq Williams, all 271-pounds of him, works the weighted sled with Scott Booker looking on.

0:56 — That’s Chris Brown (2) looking long and explosive coming out of a break.

0:59 — Romeo Okwara catches the wrath of new strength coach Dave Andrews, who has joined the Irish staff from Illinois. Andrews worked with Kelly and head strength coordinator Paul Longo at Cincinnati.

1:03 — That doesn’t look fun.

1:07 — That’s Michael Deeb (42) nearly planting a hole in the turf inside Loftus with a big hit on the tackling dummy.

1:09 — That’s Sheldon Day  against Matt Hegarty (77) in a one-on-one drill.

1:16 — Fast feet on Jaylon Smith (9), working the speed ladder.

1:19 — TIRE FIGHT! This is a pretty intense drill, as Max Redfield (10) and Greg Bryant (1) square off. This looks mighty intense and features two guys that will play prominently into the future of the program.

I feel like I’m watching Gladiator or something, right now.

1:47 — Same drill, this time with John Turner (31) squaring off with Durham Smythe (80).

1:51 — Looks like Jarron Jones is about to get the better of Ronnie Stanley (78). That’s a lot of manpower right there.

(If we all demand it and tweet @NDFIDM, maybe we can find out who won between Redfield and Bryant.)

Five Irish players sign UFA contracts

Matthias Farley
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Notre Dame had seven players selected in the 2016 NFL Draft, trailing only Ohio State, Clemson and UCLA on the weekend tally. But after the draft finished, the Irish had five more players get their shot at playing on Sundays.

Chris Brown signed with the Dallas Cowboys. Romeo Okwara will begin his career with the New York Giants. Matthias Farley and Amir Carlisle signed contracts with the Arizona Cardinal. Elijah Shumate agreed to a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After missing two seasons, Ishaq Williams will be at Giants rookie camp next weekend as well, working as a tryout player. Expect Jarrett Grace to receive similar opportunities.

Count me among those that thought both Brown and Okwara would hear their names called. Brown’s senior season, not to mention his intriguing measureables, had some projecting him as early as the fifth round.

Okwara, still 20 years old and fresh off leading Notre Dame in sacks in back-to-back seasons, intrigued a lot of teams with his ability to play both defensive end and outside linebacker. He’ll get a chance to make the Giants—the team didn’t draft a defensive end after selecting just one last year, and they’re in desperate need of pass rushers.

Both Shumate and Farley feel like contenders to earn a spot on rosters, both because of their versatility and special teams skills. Shumate played nickel back as a freshman and improved greatly at safety during 2015. Farley bounced around everywhere and was Notre Dame’s special teams captain.

Carlisle might fit a similar mold. He played running back, receiver and returned kicks and punts throughout his college career. With a 4.4 during Notre Dame’s Pro Day, he likely showed the Cardinals enough to take a shot, and now he’ll join an offense with Michael Floyd and Troy Niklas.


Robertson picks Cal over Notre Dame, UGA

Demetris Robertson

Demetris Robertson‘s decision wasn’t trending in Notre Dame’s direction. But those that expected the Savannah star athlete to pick the in-state Bulldogs were in for a surprise when Robertson chose Cal on Sunday afternoon.

Notre Dame’s pursuit of the five-star athlete, recruited to play outside receiver and hopefully replace Will Fuller, likely ended Sunday afternoon with Robertson making the surprise decision to take his substantial talents to Berkeley. And give credit to Robertson for doing what he said all along—picking a school that’ll give him the chance to earn an exceptional education and likely contribute from Day One.

“I am excited to take my talents to the University of California, Berkeley. The first reason is that the education was a big part of my decision. I wanted to keep that foundation,” Robertson said, per CFT. “When I went there, it felt like home. Me and the coaching staff have a great relationship. That’s where I felt were the best of all things for me.”

Adding one final twist in all of this is that Robertson has no letter-of-intent to sign. Because he’s blown three months through Signing Day, Robertson merely enrolls at a college when the time comes. That means until then, Kirby Smart and the Georgia staff will continue to sell Robertson on staying home and helping the Dawgs rebuild. Smart visited with Robertson Saturday night and had multiple assistant coaches at his track meet this weekend.

Summer school begins in June for Notre Dame. Their freshman receiving class looks complete with early enrollee Kevin Stepherson and soon-to-arrive pass-catchers Javon McKinley and Chase Claypool.

Sheldon Day drafted in 4th round by Jaguars

North Carolina v Notre Dame

Former Notre Dame captain Sheldon Day didn’t have to wait long on Saturday to hear his name called. The Indianapolis native, All-American, and the Irish’s two-time defensive lineman of the year was pick number 103, the fourth pick of the fourth round on Saturday afternoon.

Day was the seventh Irish player drafted, following first rounders Ronnie Stanley and Will Fuller, second round selections Jaylon Smith and Nick Martin, and third rounders KeiVarae Russell and C.J. Prosise.

Day has a chance to contribute as he joins the 24th-ranked defense in the league. Joining a draft class heavy on defensive players—Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack and Yannick Ngakoue already picked ahead of him—the front seven will also include last year’s No. 3 overall pick Dante Fowler, who missed the entire season with a knee injury.

Scouted by the Jaguars at the Senior Bowl, Day doesn’t necessarily have the size to be a traditional defensive tackle. But under Gus Bradley’s attacking system (Bradley coordinated the Seahawks defense for four seasons), Day will find a niche and a role in a young defense that’s seen a heavy investment the past two years.

Smith, Martin, Russell and Prosise all drafted Friday night

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 13: William Fuller #7 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Nick Martin #72 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrate a touchdown during the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 13, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Jaylon Smith, Nick Martin, KeiVarae Russell and C.J. Prosise were all selected on Friday, with four Irish teammates taken on the second night of the NFL Draft. As mentioned, Smith came off the board at pick 34, with the Cowboys gambling on the injured knee of the Butkus Award winner. Nick Martin was selected at pick 50, joining former teammate Will Fuller in Houston.

The third round saw Russell and Prosise come off the board, with Kansas City jumping on the confident cornerback and the Seahawks taking Notre Dame’s breakout running back. It capped off a huge night for the Irish with Sheldon Day, one of the more productive football players in college football, still on the board for teams to pick.

Here’s a smattering of instant reactions from the immediate aftermath.