Keith Arnold

Brian Kelly

Redfield kicked off team as Kelly announces discipline

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Max Redfield‘s career at Notre Dame is finished. Brian Kelly released a statement on Sunday, official ending Redfield’s disappointing tenure for the Irish while also put Devin Butler on indefinite suspension. Butler was involved in an incident that took place outside the Linebacker Lounge that has the senior potentially looking at resisting arrest and battery of law enforcement charges.

The other four members of the Irish that were in the car with Redfield—Te’von Coney, Kevin Stepherson, Dexter Williams and Ashton White—will remain with the team, but face internal disciplinary measures, as well as discipline from the University’s Office of Community Standards.

Kelly’s statement reads:

During the past 24 hours, I have met with each of the members of our team involved in the two incidents that occurred over the weekend, reviewed the evidence available to me, and consulted with others involved in the leadership of our team and the University. That process has only served to deepen my disappointment in the poor decisions made by these young men. Their conduct fell far short of what we expect from those who represent our football team and this great university.

On the basis of my review, I have decided to dismiss Max Redfield from our football team and place Devin Butler on indefinite suspension. The other individuals, while not being separated from the team, will be subject to disciplinary measures internal to the football program.

In making this announcement it is important to stress that all of the players involved in these two incidents remain subject to justice system and University discipline, and those processes could yet impact their standing with the University and the team. At Notre Dame, where we place so much importance on the integration of students who are athletes into the broader university, the primary responsibility for discipline lies, as it should, with the University’s Office of Community Standards. But even within that system, there are times when a player’s conduct so clearly fails to meet the standards I have set for our football team that it is appropriate to take action independent of any decision that might be made by the Office of Community Standards. This is such an instance. The expectations we set for the members of our team are high, but they are especially so for the upperclassmen who are expected to provide leadership and a positive example to the other members of the team. Max and, at least at this stage in the review of his case, Devin, have failed in that regard and so have lost the privilege of continuing to be part of our team.

 

Six Notre Dame football players arrested in two incidents

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 08:  Safety Max Redfield #10 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on November 8, 2014 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Fighting Irish 55-31.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Two separate incidents led to six arrests of Notre Dame football players.

A car of five Irish players—Tev’on Coney, Max Redfield, Kevin Stepherson, Ashton White and Dexter Williamswere all arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession after being stopped by a State Trooper in Fulton County on U.S. 31, south of South Bend after being stopped for speeding. Additional charges were filed against Redfield, Stepherson and Williams for possession of a handgun without a license.

Senior Devin Butler was arrested just after midnight at the Linebacker Lounge, a popular bar just off of campus. He was booked for resisting a police officer and battery against a police officer.

They are the first arrests in three years for the Notre Dame football program and come at a critical time heading into the opening weekend of the football season with Texas scheduled for next Sunday.

The off-field repercussions from this are still unknown. Notre Dame’s disciplinary process has certainly changed in recent years, though the timing of this incident will likely lead to suspensions or perhaps even dismissals. The addition of a misdemeanor weapon charges adds a level of severity we haven’t seen in recent years.

The on-field impact of this is still unknown. Butler was injured and not expected back for some time. Of the five players arrested in the car, Redfield’s role was the most prominent, the team’s starter at free safety—and a week after his head coach praised his consistency and maturity.The other four all received praise during fall camp, none starters but all expected to play a role in Notre Dame’s plans.

Brian Kelly has not released a comment yet. Students returned to campus this weekend with the academic year scheduled to start Tuesday. Notre Dame is next at practice on Monday.

 

Irish A-to-Z: Andrew Trumbetti

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  James Onwualu #17 and teammate Andrew Trumbetti #98 of the Fighting Irish sack TJ Barrett #16 of the Buckeyes during the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. Buckeyes won 44-28.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
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Entering his third season in the program and playing a position he’s built to play, Notre Dame is still waiting for the light to go on for Andrew Trumbetti. In a program that’s struggled to find prototype pass rushers, Trumbetti is one who is already on the roster—though he needs to put the pieces together.

Running second in a position battle with Jay Hayes, Trumbetti will have an opportunity to earn back reps—or lose them to younger talent that’s on the way up. It’s an important season for the New Jersey native who certainly will be given every chance to play a key role in this defense.

 

ANDREW TRUMBETTI
6’3.5″, 255 lbs.
Junior, No. 98, DE

 

RECRUITING PROFILE

An UnderArmour All-American, Trumbetti was a four-star national prospect with offers from Florida, Florida State, Miami and Michigan State. He chose Notre Dame fairly early in the recruiting process and enrolled early.

A big-time recruit with a lot of pedigree.

 

PLAYING CAREER

Freshman Season (2014): Played in 12 of 13 games, missing Purdue after suffering a concussion a week earlier. Trumbetti notched one sack on the year but managed a more-than-respectable 5.5. TFLs.

Sophomore Season (2015): Played in 12 games, starting three. Made 16 tackles with 2.5 TFLs, including a sack and an interception run back for a touchdown.

 

WHAT WE SAID LAST YEAR

Swing and a miss.

As we look at the ripple effects of Jarron Jones’ injury, you’ve got to think there are going to be more snaps for Trumbetti on the field this fall. Whether that means Isaac Rochell shifting inside and putting Okwara and Trumbetti as bookends or just making sure your four best defensive linemen get on the field, Trumbetti is very close to fitting that distinction.

But we need to see results in 2015. As Keith Gilmore continues his work with a depth chart that’s got decent talent but needs to maximize its ability, Trumbetti feels like a test case. He’s not big enough to succeed as a thumper in a 3-4. He’s not long and quick enough to be a true 4-3 weakside defensive end.But he’s got plenty of skills that should make him productive.

I’m skeptical, but still feel confident buying that Trumbetti takes a step forward and ultimately think he’s going to be more productive than his veteran teammate Okwara. While last season was mostly learn on the fly, if the Irish defense is going to be a Top 25 unit, they’ll need players like Trumbetti to make more than incremental progress.

I think five sacks and ten TFLs would be a great sophomore campaign.

 

FUTURE POTENTIAL

At this point the ceiling has come down for Trumbetti, no longer a guy who’ll have the chance to hit his star-rating, but far from a bust. His struggles to hold up in the run game—added to the fact that he hasn’t found a way to impact the passing game—make him the ultimate tweener, and a fringe starter for a team with lofty aspirations.

Listening to coaches, it doesn’t sound like it’s a physical thing, rather the space between the ears is still trying to process and compute what’s supposed to be happening on the field and playing with confidence needs to come next. Plenty of football players need two seasons for the light to come on, so let’s not bury the kid just yet.

 

 

CRYSTAL BALL

There is a role in this defense for Trumbetti—maybe even a starting job if Jay Hayes can’t return quickly from his injured ankle. That open window should be one Trumbetti jumps through without reservation, because young guys like Daelin Hayes are on the horizon and may already have passed him when it comes to a pure pass rusher.

So much of this evaluation is based on opportunity and only Trumbetti can truly control that. I think Notre Dame’s defense is going to get to the quarterback much better this season than last, and if they do it’ll be Trumbetti playing a supporting role. Sign me up for four sacks and and hopefully getting to a half-dozen plays behind the line of scrimmage.

 

 

2016’s Irish A-to-Z
Josh Adams
Josh Barajas
Alex Bars
Asmar Bilal
Hunter Bivin
Grant Blankenship
Jonathan Bonner
Ian Book
Parker Boudreaux
Miles Boykin
Justin Brent
Devin Butler
Jimmy Byrne
Daniel Cage
Chase Claypool
Nick Coleman
Te’von Coney
Shaun Crawford
Scott Daly
Micah Dew-Treadway
Liam Eichenberg
Jalen Elliott
Nicco Feritta
Tarean Folston
Mark Harrell
Daelin Hayes
Jay Hayes
Tristen Hoge
Corey Holmes
Torii Hunter Jr.
Alizé Jones
Jamir Jones
Jarron Jones
Jonathan Jones
Tony Jones Jr.
Khalid Kareem
DeShone Kizer
Julian Love
Tyler Luatua
Cole Luke
Greer Martini
Jacob Matuska
Mike McGlinchey
Colin McGovern
Deon McIntosh
Javon McKinley
Pete Mokwuah
John Montelus
D.J. Morgan
Nyles Morgan
Sam Mustipher
Quenton Nelson
Tyler Newsome
Adetokunbo Ogundeji
Julian Okwara
James Onwualu
Spencer Perry
Troy Pride Jr.
Max Redfield
Isaac Rochell
Trevor Ruhland
CJ Sanders
Avery Sebastian
John Shannon
Durham Smythe
Equanimeous St. Brown
Kevin Stepherson
Devin Studstill
Elijah Taylor
Brandon Tiassum
Jerry Tillery
Drue Tranquill

Irish A-to-Z: Drue Tranquill

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With two repaired knees and the heart of a lion, Drue Tranquill will now get his shot to prove he’s an every down player. Notre Dame’s projected strong safety and a key weapon in Brian VanGorder’s scheme, Tranquill may have some limitations as a open field safety, but he more than makes up for them with his other skills.

A team leader both on and off the field, after two star-crossed seasons, perhaps junior year is the time for Tranquill’s breakout.

 

DRUE TRANQUILL
6’1.5″, 225 lbs.
Junior, No. 23, S

 

RECRUITING PROFILE

A three-star recruit with offers coming from mostly MAC and lower-tier Big Ten programs, Tranquill wanted a chance to play safety at Notre Dame, and ended up committing to Purdue first before eventually Brian Kelly found room for him.

 

PLAYING CAREER

Freshman Season (2014): Played in 11 games, starting three before tearing his ACL against Louisville. Made 33 tackles, one TFL, one interception and recovered a fumble. Was named Notre Dame’s Defensive Newcomer of the Year.

Sophomore Season (2015): Played in three games, making one start before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Made nine tackles including 2.5 TFLs and breaking up two passes.

 

WHAT WE SAID LAST YEAR

This was on track, until his knee gave out.

If he’s given the opportunity, Tranquill will make plays. That’s not to say you should expect to see him flying across the back-end of the secondary and snatching footballs from center field, but rather expect to see some paint-chips flying and Tranquill doing his best heat-seeking missile impression.

A defense needs football players like Tranquill. So do Notre Dame’s special teams. After hearing Kelly rave about Tranquill’s rehabilitation (he “attacked it” like no other player he’s seen, per BK), it’s clear that the sophomore will be ready come Texas.

I’m skeptical that Tranquill can play as a back-end safety. So while his role as an every-down player won’t come unless something goes wrong, Tranquill should be a productive performer for the defense, a key to the unit on third downs.

 

FUTURE POTENTIAL

I still don’t think Tranquill will be a great player in coverage, and at times I expect to see those limitations show up in ways that hurt the Irish. But he’s also shown very quickly that if used properly he’s a wonderful weapon in VanGorder’s scheme—especially as a missile attacking the option and run-heavy offenses.

Health is the only question. Not if Tranquill can recover from injury—he’s already shown that twice. But does his body have the ability to take the punishment of an every-down role?

 

CRYSTAL BALL

If he can stay healthy, I expect Tranquill to be one of the most productive players on the Irish defense. Think of him as a super-sized version of Matthias Farley from 2014. He will fill up the stat sheet.

Knock on wood that he stays healthy, because if he does I expect Tranquill to be the most productive safety of the VanGorder era at Notre Dame. He’s going to be one of the team’s leading tackler in front of and behind the line of scrimmage.

Does that mean he’ll be great in coverage? No. But if he’s able to wreak havoc as a guy running the alley and crashing towards the line of scrimmage, he’s got a chance to be a real difference maker.

 

2016’s Irish A-to-Z
Josh Adams
Josh Barajas
Alex Bars
Asmar Bilal
Hunter Bivin
Grant Blankenship
Jonathan Bonner
Ian Book
Parker Boudreaux
Miles Boykin
Justin Brent
Devin Butler
Jimmy Byrne
Daniel Cage
Chase Claypool
Nick Coleman
Te’von Coney
Shaun Crawford
Scott Daly
Micah Dew-Treadway
Liam Eichenberg
Jalen Elliott
Nicco Feritta
Tarean Folston
Mark Harrell
Daelin Hayes
Jay Hayes
Tristen Hoge
Corey Holmes
Torii Hunter Jr.
Alizé Jones
Jamir Jones
Jarron Jones
Jonathan Jones
Tony Jones Jr.
Khalid Kareem
DeShone Kizer
Julian Love
Tyler Luatua
Cole Luke
Greer Martini
Jacob Matuska
Mike McGlinchey
Colin McGovern
Deon McIntosh
Javon McKinley
Pete Mokwuah
John Montelus
D.J. Morgan
Nyles Morgan
Sam Mustipher
Quenton Nelson
Tyler Newsome
Adetokunbo Ogundeji
Julian Okwara
James Onwualu
Spencer Perry
Troy Pride Jr.
Max Redfield
Isaac Rochell
Trevor Ruhland
CJ Sanders
Avery Sebastian
John Shannon
Durham Smythe
Equanimeous St. Brown
Kevin Stepherson
Devin Studstill
Elijah Taylor
Brandon Tiassum
Jerry Tillery

Irish A-to-Z: Jerry Tillery

Jerry Tillery 247
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Jerry Tillery impressed all of us as a precocious freshman capable of stepping into the mix at defensive tackle. The objective as a sophomore? So much more than that.

There are no points for just surviving this season. With an NFL body and skills and athleticism that can’t help but jump out at you, Tillery needs to step into the starting lineup and find a way to become a dominant player.

He’s got the talent. Now it’ll be about utilizing it.

 

JERRY TILLERY
6’6.5″, 310 lbs.
Sophomore, No. 99, DL

 

RECRUITING PROFILE

A U.S. Army All-American, Tillery was a Top 150 prospect as a left tackle, a highly sought-after prospect as a lineman. He committed early to Notre Dame, but the Irish staff had to sweat out recruiting visits and a ton of pressure from Les Miles, who pulled out all the stops to keep Tillery in Louisiana.

Tillery stuck with Notre Dame, though didn’t stick at offensive line. He enrolled early and began his career at defensive tackle.

 

PLAYING CAREER

Freshman Season (2015): Played in 12 games, starting three. Made a total of 12 tackles, including two for loss and one sack. Was suspended for the Fiesta Bowl.

 

WHAT WE SAID LAST YEAR

I was riding pretty high on the Tillery hype train. Missed by more than a little on this one, though he had a tougher job than expected with Jarron Jones lost for the season.

At this point, I expect Tillery to play from day one, and to be the first defensive tackle on the field after Day and Jones. From there, who knows? What’s a baseline productivity for a first-year player who isn’t an edge pass rusher? Especially considering Stephon Tuitt had a mostly anonymous freshman season and Tillery is a different beast than Aaron Lynch, Notre Dame’s last freshman phenom. (That’s a very good thing, it turns out.)

The head on Tillery’s shoulders is perhaps the biggest asset the freshman has. And that’s saying quite a bit when you’re already built like Albert Haynesworth.

It’s hard not to go over the top when discussing Tillery, especially when we haven’t had an on-field reminder that he’s a true freshman. But I’m setting the expectations for Tillery high—call it 6.0 TFLs—knowing that he’s playing behind an established duo and that number should earn him freshman All-American honors.

 

FUTURE POTENTIAL

Tillery’s suspension for the Fiesta Bowl—and his interest in so many different things away from football—candidly drop my expectations for him as a football player. I’m willing to give him a mulligan for the immaturity showed in Arizona, but I worry that football might not ever be important enough to him.

Notre Dame wants people like Tillery in the program, and there’s no negative about being a serious student-athlete and an aspiring renaissance man. But the Irish need their 6-foot-6, mountainous men with athleticism in spades to want to dominate on the football field, and Tillery hasn’t shown that he’s that interested in doing it yet.

It doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. It just means this is a huge season for him. Stephon Tuitt had a quiet freshman season and was suspended a game as a freshman. Tillery doesn’t need to make a leap like the one Tuitt did, but he’s got to show the intensity and desperation that great ones show.

 

Just looking at Tillery you’d think Notre Dame has their next NFL defensive lineman. But he’s got to play like it now.

 

CRYSTAL BALL

I’m expecting a big step forward this season from Tillery, who won’t explode like Tuitt, but should get into the high single-digits for TFLs and find a way to impact the game more as a three-technique rather than a nose tackle. With the opportunity for a high snap count as the team’s only legitimate option to replace Sheldon Day, Tillery needs to learn how to play fast and wreak havoc, as it’s no longer enough to just hold up at the point of attack.

If there’s an undervalued guy on the defense right now, there’s an argument that it’s Tillery. (Heck, I did it in the 750 words above here.) But after a subpar spring, a bad finish to the end of last season, and so many other things taking his interest as a student-athlete, Tillery needs to make a commitment to being great for it to have a chance of happening.

 

2016’s Irish A-to-Z
Josh Adams
Josh Barajas
Alex Bars
Asmar Bilal
Hunter Bivin
Grant Blankenship
Jonathan Bonner
Ian Book
Parker Boudreaux
Miles Boykin
Justin Brent
Devin Butler
Jimmy Byrne
Daniel Cage
Chase Claypool
Nick Coleman
Te’von Coney
Shaun Crawford
Scott Daly
Micah Dew-Treadway
Liam Eichenberg
Jalen Elliott
Nicco Feritta
Tarean Folston
Mark Harrell
Daelin Hayes
Jay Hayes
Tristen Hoge
Corey Holmes
Torii Hunter Jr.
Alizé Jones
Jamir Jones
Jarron Jones
Jonathan Jones
Tony Jones Jr.
Khalid Kareem
DeShone Kizer
Julian Love
Tyler Luatua
Cole Luke
Greer Martini
Jacob Matuska
Mike McGlinchey
Colin McGovern
Deon McIntosh
Javon McKinley
Pete Mokwuah
John Montelus
D.J. Morgan
Nyles Morgan
Sam Mustipher
Quenton Nelson
Tyler Newsome
Adetokunbo Ogundeji
Julian Okwara
James Onwualu
Spencer Perry
Troy Pride Jr.
Max Redfield
Isaac Rochell
Trevor Ruhland
CJ Sanders
Avery Sebastian
John Shannon
Durham Smythe
Equanimeous St. Brown
Kevin Stepherson
Devin Studstill
Elijah Taylor
Brandon Tiassum