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Weekend notes: Football just around the corner

Jul 18, 2014, 5:51 PM EDT

New York Post New York Post

So what did you guys plan for your summer football break? An 83-man (down to 81, thanks to Will Mahone and Nile Sykes) never-ending feature?

If you’re wondering what’s been keeping me up at night, it’s the daily fear that I’ve fallen off pace, with the goal of finishing this feature by mid-August maybe a little bit too ambitious.

But we’re dreamers here at Inside the Irish, so if you can excuse a typo or two (and if you’re still around, it’s pretty clear you can. And yes we are working on it.), it’s a really fun way to learn way more about the 2014 Irish than your buddies.

In case you aren’t caught up, here’s where we’re at. Thankfully, the Irish roster is alphabetically front loaded.


The Irish A-to-Z
Josh Atkinson
Nicky Baratti
Alex Bars
Hunter Bivin
Grant Blankenship
Jonathan Bonner
Justin Brent
Kyle Brindza
Chris Brown
Jalen Brown
Greg Bryant
Devin Butler
Jimmy Byrne
Daniel Cage
Amir Carlisle
Austin Collinsworth
Ben Councell
Scott Daly
Sheldon Day
Michael Deeb
Steve Elmer
Matthias Farley
Tarean Folston
Everett Golson
Jarrett Grace
Conor Hanratty
Eilar Hardy
Mark Harrell
Jay Hayes
Matt Hegarty
Mike Heuerman
Kolin Hill
Corey Holmes
Chase Hounshell
Torii Hunter Jr.
Jarron Jones
DeShone Kizer


There’s still a few more big offseason features planned (gulp), so expect things to heat up around here, especially considering training camp is likely less than two weeks away from starting.

So while we’re getting ready to tackle one more A-to-Z this afternoon and a few over the weekend, let’s take a trip around the interweb, where some interesting articles have popped up this week.


Our friends over at Irish Illustrated have some fun features going as well, with senior editor Tim Prister just getting started on his always enjoyable 100 Hunches. Right now we’re cruising through the conference winners, but pretty soon he starts throwing out some gems about the current Irish roster that turn out more often right than wrong.

(We won’t hold picking Alex Wulfeck to win the punting job — or Notre Dame beating Pitt — against him. That’s a big reason why I don’t make predictions.)

Another fun feature from this week is a look back at a few recruits ($) that got away. For a trip down Memory Lane, Prister looks at his film reviews of Tyler Gaffney, Blake Bell, Seantrel Henderson, Anthony Barr and Cody Riggs, proverbial big fish that got away.

We’ll finally get a look at Riggs in an Irish uniform five years after just missing out on him the last go around.


If you’re looking for a great benefit to the new College Football Playoff — other than determining the champion actually on the field — it’s that we no longer have to start the season looking at preseason polls. Too often, a school’s reputation heading into the season keeps a team ranked over other squads more deserving.

The only poll that’ll matter won’t be released until October, when the CFP will begin releasing rankings. But the crew over at 247Sports put together an interesting look at what the “consensus” is on Notre Dame’s chances this year, tallying up the rankings from 15 different outlets to lay out the Top 25.

Notre Dame checks in at No. 16. According to 247Sports’ Steve Helwagen. Here’s the Sweet 16:

1. Florida State (14-0 in 2013; 11 first-place votes), 367 voting points
2. Alabama (11-2, 2 first-place votes), 354 points
3. Oklahoma (11-2, 1 first-place vote), 335 points
4. Ohio State (12-2, 1 first-place vote), 315 points
5. Auburn (12-2), 305 points
6. Oregon (11-2), 300 points
7. Michigan State (13-1), 276 points
8. UCLA (10-3), 249 points
9. Stanford (11-3), 230 points
10. South Carolina (11-2), 228 points
11. Baylor (11-2), 221 points
12. LSU (10-3), 217 points
13. Georgia (8-5), 194 points
14. Wisconsin (9-4), 148 points
15. USC (10-4), 146 points
16. Notre Dame (9-4), 117 points

Any worry the Irish have about climbing the polls with wins should disappear, as they are scheduled to face the preseason consensus No. 1, No. 9 and No. 15 teams. They’ll also face off with Arizona State, North Carolina, Louisville and Michigan, all teams that checked in as Top 30 squads.

Difficult schedule? Check.


Over at the South Bend Tribune, Tyler James takes a closer look at Notre Dame’s running back commitment Josh Adams. Halfway through his junior season, Adams tore his ACL, significantly changing his career trajectory, not to mention his recruiting ranking.

But Notre Dame was one of the programs that stuck by their offer to the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder, and that matter to Adams when he gave the Irish his commitment.

“Notre Dame was one of them that stuck with me the whole time,” Adams told James. “They didn’t give up on me. That was a big factor that they let me recover, improve and get stronger while sticking with me through the process.”

That the Irish stuck with their offer certainly says something about the certainty that’s now associated with torn ACLs, an injury that used to be a far bigger deal. And after talking to some people in the program, while the Irish staff didn’t work him out at the Irish Invasion, they’ve done more than their fair share of due diligence on the injury.

But looking back at the history of Irish running back recruits coming in with a high school injury, and it isn’t too hard to look back at James Aldridge and Armando Allen and see reason for caution.

Aldridge was a five-star prospect who never seemed to get back the elite speed and power that he had in high school before his injury. And while Armando Allen reportedly ran a 4.3 at Miami’s summer camp as a high school junior, a broken ankle when he was horse-collared as a senior robbed him of that explosiveness, never cracking five-yards a carry or a run longer than 30 yards in his Notre Dame career.

But to judge Adams by the past doesn’t make much sense. But if you do, you should likely consider he ran for 2,089 yards and 28 touchdowns as a sophomore.


 While four-star wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown might strike fear into writers’ hearts, he’s got one of the coolest stories (not to mention names) in college football.’s Chris Johnson has a nice profile on the Irish receiving target from Orange County’s Servite program. St. Brown is trilingual, fluent in English, French and German. He’s also the son of world-class bodybuilder John Brown, who traveled the world pumping iron.


You’ve got to love this part of the article from Johnson:

Brown instructed Equanimeous to begin lifting weights when he was 5 years old, and they currently train together four times a week, on average. Equanimeous says he can bench press 300 pounds and developed an eight pack without ever focusing on abdominal exercises. He also has extremely strong hands, thanks largely to the hundreds of balls he catches each week from the JUGS machine stationed inside his garage.

While Notre Dame’s last Servite product, Troy Niklas, earned some kudos by ripping off his shirt at a pep rally, if Brown does it, he might be lathered and oil and win a medal.





  1. dickasman - Jul 18, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    What daaaaa. Slow news day boyzzz. Hi Keiiiiiiith!

  2. dickasman - Jul 18, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    Question of the day, are jugs machine ever filled with silicone or saline? Because I have a feeling the ball will never be dropped.

  3. johngaltisspeaking - Jul 18, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    Notre Dame should come in around 14 but overall I am good with those meaningless preseason polls.

  4. shaunodame - Jul 18, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    St. Brown’s QB at Servite is Travis Waller then right? Any talk of them playing college ball together?

  5. 25kgold - Jul 19, 2014 at 12:19 AM

    “We will protect this (new) field turf!!”

    -Under Armour – Go Irish!

  6. idratherbeinsouthbend - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:37 AM

    Keith, you SAY that it’s John Brown in that picture, but clearly it’s Lando Calrissian all juiced up

    • ndgoldandblue - Jul 19, 2014 at 8:28 AM

      Colt 45. It works every time.

  7. yaketyyacc - Jul 19, 2014 at 6:27 AM

    Keith, no law says you cannot cover two or three players in one article. and yes, getting close to the put up or shut up actual playing. just have the feeling this is going to be coach Kelly’s best season.
    how do you improve on 12-0. three guesses.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      …12-0 and saving 15% or more on car insurance

    • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 19, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      My guess would be a 9 or 10 win season… Florida State is packed with talent and are very impressive. We will drop the ridiculous Michigan game for reasons that are beyond anyone’s control, and I think USC will be a loss. 9 wins this year will be excellent !

    • papadec - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      Uhhhhh – 13-1, 14-0 & I’ll double-down on 14-0 beating fsu twice to prove the regular season win was not a fluke, & jg finally disappears into the sunset!

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        LOL I love the Irish and I think we will be much better on offense but Florida State would have killed Alabama in 2012. I say we lose by at least 18 points if not more.

      • irishdog80 - Jul 19, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        I’ll take the bait. Are you talking about the same Florida State that lost to a bad North Carolina State team? Gave up 37 point to an offensively challenged Florida team that got embarrassed in their Bowl Game. And then layed an egg for 3 quarters against Northern Illinois before putting them away?

        The Florida State team from 2013 might have had a chance. The Seminoles of 2012 would have gotten beat down by Bama of 2012.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        Yes I mean that Florida State from last year would have beaten down the Tide of 2012.

      • irishdog80 - Jul 20, 2014 at 7:48 PM

        I agree that the Florida State of 2013 would have given Alabama of 2012 a game. That said, Bama still wins. Auburn of 2013 was nowhere near as good as Bama of 2012 and they were within seconds of beating Florida State in the NCG. The biggest difference was Bama’s offensive line was far superior in 2012 over 2013.

  8. jerseyshorendfan1 - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Keith, don’t kill yourself over this. I personally wouldn’t mind if you got to the profile of Zaire in the 3rd or 4th week of the season. It’s summertime, slow down and chill out. Watch a ball game this afternoon, have a few beers, it’ll get done in due time.

    • dickasman - Jul 19, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      You forgot “bang a few broads”…FIXED!

      Personally I prefer it this way than ghost town.

  9. DPU Man ND Fan - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Keith, why don’t you crowdsource a few of these A-Z articles? Give select posters a way and chance to submit an article or two, and you could either post them as is or co-author them more to your liking. Could be interesting for readers, fun for writers, and a bit of a break for you. Just a thought!

    • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      I would love to write an article about how ND can get back to the National Picture. That sounds like fun and would be a great addition to the blog. Keith could review the article and comment. It would stir a ton of conversation on the board and it would get us through these boring weeks until the season starts.

      • DPU Man ND Fan - Jul 19, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        Hilarious. Keith, goes without saying that your invitee short list will NOT include johngaltistrolling or dickasman.

      • dickasman - Jul 19, 2014 at 9:58 PM

        C’mon Double Penetration, I could get this site blowed up yo. Id love to write about what my favorite free porno sites are to visit during commercials.

    • papadec - Jul 19, 2014 at 8:55 PM

      I could accept a Bern Or 1Hist crowdsource post – they are the only two (in my opinion) that are fair & impartial in their evaluations – that I’ve read here. But, I really want to see Keith finish this task by himself – it’s kinduv like pulling for a turtle to cross the Interstate safely. Hell. I bet on the Irish to win it all this year – I have more confidence in Keith to finish, than I do in that Irish to win it all bet. And, jg – there’s nothing stopping you from writing that ND in the national picture post – except that ND is already there.

      • dickasman - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:00 PM

        Papa, who has the biggest sphincter between Keith, bern n 1historoan? How’s it looking up there? Need a light?

      • papadec - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:56 AM

        dickas – someday you may grow up, cleanup your act, and become semi-intelligent – I wouldn’t bet a dime on it, though. Not in this lifetime.

  10. golfboy66 - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    No one was going to beat Alabama that day…..

    • dickasman - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      I agree, Unless they masterbated.

      • johngaltisspeaking - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        Dude go get laid you are creeping us out with all of your sex talk. Seriously once you have sex you wont have to constantly talk about it. Just get it out of your system already… Either that or you have a serious sexual addiction problem.

      • papadec - Jul 21, 2014 at 12:40 AM

        jg – you haven’t been here long enough to know that dick is our resident sex deviate. I get tired of it too, poke him with a stick every-now-and-then to make sure he’s passed out – not expired. Dick is dick – the relative nobody really wants to show up at weddings and/or funerals, but we still love him, ’cause he’s family.

  11. irishdog80 - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    No worries. I appreciate your thoroughness in covering ND and the overall ‘conversational” tone of your writing. I know I have made more than a few errors in my posts…please have the powers that be at NBC Sports/Word Press add an Edit button to the system so we can clean up our posts as needed. Nothing more annoying than posting something and then seeing an error in the post. Sometimes its due to the size of the typeface in the Leave Comment section or the device being used to post. It would be great if we could make corrections.

    • dickasman - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      Irishdog, it’s those same errors and lack of edit buttons we love the site. Nobody’s perfect. I sometimes get acne on my butt.

  12. Keith Arnold - Jul 19, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Appreciate the offers, guys! But no need to crowd source, I started the thing, now I’ve just got to finish it.

    • dickasman - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:04 PM

      Lollolol…. Babyyyy, don’t forget my numbaaaa, I be seeing you soon. Call on meeeeeeee call on me call on meeeeeeeee call on me…

  13. jvsirish - Jul 19, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Kieth — your commitment is a heroic stance of mythic proportion. Good grief! It brings tears to my eyes. Great effort.

  14. 1historian - Jul 20, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    Let’s everybody just take a deep breath. We’ve only got 40 days until the season starts.

    Dick – I see you’re getting revved up, but speaking for myself (and I would imagine a few others) I didn’t need to know you have acne on your butt

    DPU Man – interesting idea about sourcing out a few profiles.

    Papadec – Thanks once again for your kind words, and I had a BLAST on my 3 state crime spree – thanks for the suggestion.
    I for one don’t think John Galt is going to disappear, and I would be interested in how he came up with that handle – has he read the book? Could you enlighten us, John?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  15. papadec - Jul 21, 2014 at 12:45 AM

    1hist – Spring thaw, or did you bust out on a Ski mobile? I take it Maine. New Hampshire & Vermont will be relatively safe to visit when I get back East this year.

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