C.J. Prosise

Mailbag: Debuts, Schedules and great expectations

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Let’s get to some mailbag questions as the Irish travel to Charlottesville for Saturday afternoon’s football game. Thanks everybody for your questions, sorry I couldn’t get to all of them.

 

@Irishfan219: do you think Texas was a true test for Notre Dames offense?

@01dhish: Bad Texas or good ND team? Does the zero turnovers caused speak more to ND quality? Controlling w/o benefitting from mistakes?

I had to include a few of these “Bad Texas or Good ND” questions, because they were pretty common after Saturday night. To me, I don’t really get it. Texas certainly is a more worthy opponent than some directional school, or one of the FCS teams that got a workout after getting a paycheck.

I like the point that 01 was trying to make (I think) about the zero turnovers and still winning by five touchdowns. That’s pretty telling, as there weren’t any cheap scores in this one to make the game look lopsided. It was every bit as lopsided as you imagined it to be, with the Irish earning all of their scores.

Here’s the thing? These questions: They expire tomorrow. So while some are already worrying about Texas’ struggles this season and how they’ll devalue Notre Dame’s win, throw up a lopsided number against Virginia and you’ll have all your problems solved.

 

@NDIrishCo: Why does ND needs to play 13 games to get into the playoffs when there are so many playing FCS teams?

Glad you asked this. So is Brian Kelly. He went on the offensive when talking to Rich Eisen the other day, calling out Gary Pinkel of Missouri and the other handful of coaches who took their shots on conference Media Day demanding Notre Dame join a conference.

Here’s how Kelly countered it:

“We don’t play any 1-AA teams, and when they decide not to play any 1-AA teams then we’ll be on equal footing,” Kelly told Eisen. “We’re going to play teams that give us a quality schedule…when we measure up our schedules you’ll find ours stack up well. If you look at the schedule we play versus the schedule they play and the number of snaps we’ll put on our football team it’ll be many more than their teams will have to expend.”

Of course, it’s worth pointing out that just because college football blowhards talk about things doesn’t make it true.

 

danirish: Who has more rushing yards? Zaire, CJ or Josh? Also, does Josh Adams start by the end of the year – is he the real deal?

Here’s my guess on season totals:

C.J. Prosise, 1,078 yards, 5.6 ypc
Malik Zaire, 726 yards, 4.7 ypc (dragged down by sack yardage)
Josh Adams, 690 yards, 5.7 ypc
Dexter Williams, 220 yards, 4.8 ypc

I think this is Prosise’s job if he can stay healthy. And I also think Zaire steps forward and becomes a bigger player in the ground game.

 

zman83: Do you think this year we can see the Irish play to there level instead of the opponents? I remember from previous seasons the Irish play great one week and then scare us the next week.

dudeacow: Is this the year that ND FINALLY blows out the teams they should? Or are we in for a nail biter in Saturday?

No, it’s not enough to beat Texas by FIVE TOUCHDOWNS. You need it every week?!?

But I included these questions because I actually think this weekend will tell us a little bit about this team. If they head on the road and immediately take it to Virginia, that’s a great sign. If they can bury them and put this game away comfortably by halftime, even better. And that’ll be a credit to Malik Zaire.

I think we’ll get all the close football we want come next weekend. Until then, I’m all for an easy weekend in the Commonwealth and a safe flight home—and I think it’s coming.

Kizer named MVP at annual ECHOES awards

echoes
@NDFootball Twitter
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DeShone Kizer was named the Monogram Club’s Most Valuable Player for the 2016 season at the 96th annual Notre Dame football awards banquet. Kizer was voted team MVP by his teammates, after throwing for 2,925 yards and 26 touchdowns and rushing for 472 yards and eight scores.

He was one of 15 players honored with an award at the “ECHOES,” with the following accolades being given:

Equanimeous St. Brown, Offensive Player of the Year.
James Onwualu, Defensive Player of the Year
Greer Martini, Next Man In award
Drue Tranquill, Rockne Student-Athlete Award
Cole Luke, Nick Pietrosante Award
Isaac Rochell, Lineman of the Year
Quenton Nelson, Offensive Lineman of the Year
Scott Daly, Special Teams Player of the Year
Alex Bars, Newcomer of the Year, Offense
Nyles Morgan, Newcomer of the Year, Defense
Ben Stuttman, Scout Team Player of the Year, Offense
Jonathan Jones, Scout Team Player of the Year, Defense
Mark Harrell, Father Lange Iron Cross
Tyler Newsome, Irish Around the Bend

 

 

Notre Dame names 7 captains for 2017 team

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 17: Quenton Nelson #56 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates after a 10-yard touchdown reception by Corey Robinson against the USC Trojans in the fourth quarter of the game at Notre Dame Stadium on October 17, 2015 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Notre Dame named seven captains for the 2017 season, the most to wear the ‘C’ in school history. Quarterback DeShone Kizer, linebackers Greer Martini and Nyles Morgan, offensive linemen Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson, safety Drue Tranquill and walk-on receiver Austin Webster were all given the honor.

McGlinchey returns in the role, the 22nd different two-time captain in the program’s history. New to the job are the rest, including Kizer, who has yet to make a decision on if he’ll return for 2017 yet.

After worries about the team’s leadership heading into the 2016, the naming of captains in the immediate aftermath of the season is a change—Brian Kelly not naming his team’s official leaders into August training camp last year. It’s not an unprecedented move for Kelly (he named Harrison Smith and Michael Floyd team captains at the banquet following the 2010 season), though it points to some changes—some subtle, others not—that’ll likely take hold after a four-loss season.

Webster, a rising senior reserve wide receiver from California who has yet to register a stat in a Notre Dame uniform, made his debut as a sophomore in 2015 against UMass, is the first active walk-on to receive the honor.

 

Irish land blue-chip OL Aaron Banks

aaron-banks
Tom Loy, Irish 247
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Notre Dame received the commitment of 4-star offensive tackle Aaron Banks on Friday afternoon. Picking the Irish over a national offer list that included Michigan, Tennessee, and local programs USC and UCLA, the 6-foot-7, 335-pound Banks reminded all that even if the Irish only won four games this season, Harry Hiestand is still one of the premier offensive line coaches in the country.

Banks made the commitment from a ceremony at his high school in El Cerrito, California. And when he picked the Irish, he added to Notre Dame’s impressive offensive line haul, joining Dillan Gibbons, Joshua Lugg and Robert Hainsey — a key piece of the puzzle moving forward.

Banks is a consensus 4-star recruit and a Top 200 prospect. He took an official visit to Michigan in November, but has been a long-time target of Hiestand’s, visiting South Bend in September and welcoming Brian Kelly and Hiestand into his home after the USC game.

As a big recruiting weekend gets started at Notre Dame, the annual Echoes Awards will serve as the beginning of an important home stretch for a program without a bowl game. As Kelly still looks to lock in a defensive coordinator, not to mention other staff changes still in the air, Banks takes back some of the lost momentum, a key commitment heading into a holiday dead period before a furious finish leading into the first Wednesday in February.

Banks is No. 18 in the Irish recruiting class. He’s an early-enrollee, ready to hit campus within weeks and compete on the interior of the offensive line during spring ball.

Zaire says thank you to Notre Dame

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - SEPTEMBER 12: Quarterback Malik Zaire #8 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish rushes past defensive end Mike Moore #32 of the Virginia Cavaliers in the third quarter at Scott Stadium on September 12, 2015 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish won, 34-27. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Big week for The Observer. Not just for its advertising revenues, but for the classy gesture that outgoing senior quarterback Malik Zaire made this week.

Thursday’s edition included a letter to the editor from Zaire, who took to the student newspaper not to make headlines around the internet, but rather to thank the university for his experience in South Bend.

While Zaire’s time at Notre Dame is drawing to a close, he will leave as a proud alum. So while he’ll play football next season at another university, Zaire wrote the following in Thursday’s issue:

Dear Notre Dame students and staff,

My life changed for the better the moment I stepped onto the University of Notre Dame’s beautiful campus. The one goal I had set in my mind to achieve was to become a better man, a Notre Dame man. After growing through many trials and triumphs, the thing I’ve learned most from my experience was that if you don’t believe in yourself first, then no one else will. I believed in becoming a better man and succeeding through any circumstance, and I can say that I’ve truly accomplished that. I often refer to the famous quote from the movie “Catch Me If You Can” that was well put by Frank Abagnale:

“Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse wouldn’t quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out.”

I’ve put my heart, soul and passion into the University, the football program, the South Bend community and the Irish community worldwide. I have the unbelievable honor to represent this University to the fullest as a student and soon-to-be alumni. Thank you to the amazing students and staff that I’ve met through the years for helping me grow into the person I’ve always wanted to be. I love the Irish and will always be an Irish alum no matter where I go! I look forward to keeping in touch. Let’s change the world!

Go Irish!

Malik Zaire

Senior
Dec. 7

Zaire is expected to compete for a starting quarterback job next year as a graduate transfer. He’s reportedly taken a visit to Wisconsin and plans to visit North Carolina as well, just two of several programs on the radar as Zaire looks to step in and win a starting Power 5 job.