The after Signing Day mailbag: Part Three


And epic conclusion to a three-part, after Signing Day mailbag.

Thanks for your questions. Early apologies for some snark.


c4evr: I think red-shirting benefits are minimal. What’s the point of preserving a year of eligibility? Year in and year out it seems to be the same thing – the really good ones leave early and the ones who don’t pan out don’t get asked back. Why don’t you just put your absolute best athletes on the field, even if it does mean playing them in other positions?

I’m with you… to a point. Redshirting is vital for offensive linemen and at certain power positions, like defensive tackle, where you need to develop strength to be a force inside. (Though it’s certainly a luxury at D-Line, as we’ve seen from the early departures.)

It’s also much easier to say than do, when it comes to putting your best athletes on the field in different positions. But Kelly does that more than anyone.

More and more coaches believe in playing freshmen, especially in power programs. The benefits of competition are big when you look at the program’s DNA. And it appears Kelly is a believer in that as well.

“We’re going to let you compete, and the watch word around here is you have to go and compete and embrace competition,” Kelly said yesterday. “I’m going to know right away, when we go out there and you’re a freshman and you act like a freshman, then you’re going to get what a freshman gets:  That’s no playing time. You get to watch.

“If you go out there and you don’t act like a freshman and you want to go out there and compete and you want to go out there and play, then go play.  So it’s really up to them.  They will decide.  If they are physically able and they mentally want to compete, let’s go compete.  I mean, I’m not getting any younger.”


fatguystrangler: I heard Matt LaFleur is joining the Falcons staff. Any idea on possible replacements?

That seems like the rumor. And it would make sense, considering Malik Zaire popping off on Twitter yesterday and LaFleur’s brother taking a job in Atlanta with Kyle Shanahan, who hired Matt in Washington after working with him in Houston.

As for the candidates, I’m not exactly sure yet. If LaFleur is indeed gone after a year, it’s a setback for Kelly, who didn’t bring in a young coach to have him leave after a season. But there are many options — including a reunion with Jeff Quinn, though I’m not sure he’s a guy that would coach quarterbacks, as he’s only worked with the offensive line as he’s been an offensive coordinator.


sgtmoon5: If a recruit signs a letter of intent to attend let’s say Notre Dame, he can change his mind and decommit. Is that correct? Also….. After signing a letter of intent, can other schools still attempt to recruit him or does the recruit just have to change his mind on his own.

No, that’s not correct. You can change your mind and decommit and verbally commit as many places as you want. But after sending a Letter of Intent, it’s supposed tobe a binding agreement… unless you’re Eddie Vanderdoes.

Schools are not allowed to contact a recruit while he’s a signed recruit. That left the situation with Vanderdoes and UCLA a bit unsavory, especially because it was widely believed he was being recruited while being signed by Notre Dame.

(My public records request was denied by UCLA to see if emails were sent about Vanderdoes’ recruitment in the days directly following Signing Day.)


mattymill: I hear some fans complain about a class ranked around #10 in the country by many recruiting services. That’s asinine to complain about in my opinion. If ND can sign a class in the 8-12 range every year, there’s no reason they can’t be in playoff contention every third season or so. What are your thoughts on realistic expectations with ND’s recruiting?

andy44teg: Check out the ONLY “Northern” school in the top ten…Ohio State…fresh off a national championship…and they’re #9! Hell..there’s only 5 “Northern” schools in the top 25!

Just think, if Ohio State fell two spots in these rankings, they’d be sunk.

I’m on the record: I think Notre Dame signed an excellent class. And that’s the expectation every year.