Mailbag: Adios Alizé, Return of the Max, and more

10 Comments

Our unusually quiet offseason came to a screeching halt yesterday as Notre Dame announced the loss of Alizé Jones for the season due to academics.

With that warm and fuzzy note, let’s get to the mailbag:

I’m of two minds on this one. The loss of Jones is a big one, no doubt. But I don’t think it’s up there with the Frozen Five or Golson.

For as talented as Jones could be, he had 13 catches for 190 yards last season. That’s not All-American stuff right there, but he certainly isn’t some irreplaceable piece of the puzzle—frankly, I think he’s only an incremental loss, considering some of the young talent like Javon McKinley, Chase Claypool and Miles Boykin.

Of course, a week earlier I ranked him the 13th best player on my roster. I did that begrudgingly, trying to project someone to step forward as a pass catcher other than Torii Hunter. (I didn’t feel safe ranking a freshman there.) So yeah, it stinks. But I’m already on the “Next Man In” train.

 

cfarri84: Who do you think is the most under the radar member of each position group? …Just wanted to know which individual in each position group you think will be that kind of an under the radar talent that we don’t see as being a big deal now, but will probably wow us by seasons end.

I love terms like this because I essentially get to make up the rules of what they mean. Here goes nothing:

QB: There isn’t an under the radar QB at ND, but I think we’ll hear more from Malik Zaire than we expected. (Not sure how that’ll happen yet, but that’s my hunch.)

RB: Tarean Folston. You’ll remember why he was No. 1 last year.

TE: Durham Smythe, come on down!

OL: First-year starter… (flipping coin) …Sam Mustipher!

DL: Daelin or Jay Hayes. (No relation)

LB: Greer Martini

DB: Cole Luke — he’s going to have a big year.

 

mattymill: Rarely do we see a player who didn’t contribute at all in their 1st 2 yrs actually turn into an impact player in yrs 3-5. Best example would be Jeff Samardzija. Do you have anyone in mind on current roster who you feel could be a big contributor starting this year — could be RS Soph or true Jr.

Here are the true juniors or redshirt sophomores that I have ranked in my Top 25:

Alex Bars, Daniel Cage, DeShone Kizer, Greer Martini, Nyles Morgan, Quenton Nelson, Tyler Newsome, Drue Tranquill and  Nick Watkins.

I legitimately think everyone of those guys could have a very big season—and they’d all be considered “breakouts” minus Kizer. We’re not going to have another Samardzija—a guy who goes from a bench warmer to an All-American, at least not without another regime change. But those are the guys I think you can peg as candidates. (And maybe throw Corey Holmes in there, too, especially if he becomes deep threat guy with that breakaway speed.)

 

danirish: Do we finally see the “Real” Max Redfield?

What makes you think that we haven’t seen him yet? I’m just hoping we see the “Best” Max Redfield this season. That’d make me happy.

 

Don’t think it’ll matter, but I’ve seen weirder things. I still think he’s a depth chart piece, but that’s a solid prediction. Tell you after we hear from BK.

 

jmset3: If we could personify beer, which beer would you marry? Which beer would you kill? Finally, which beer would you spend a crazy night in Vegas with, then hope you never have to talk about that beer again, it’s memory stashed away in the deepest darkest depths of your brain?

This game isn’t for the kiddies, but I did think it was fun enough to answer. If I’m looking to marry a beer, I’ll go with Budweiser. Criminally underrated from a taste/price perspective. Give the ol’ America a shot again if you haven’t done so lately. You won’t be disappointed.

If I’m killing a beer, I’d like to erase Miller Lite from the planet. Unless it’s in a tailgate/binge situation, there’s really no good reason to drink this stuff.

A crazy night in Vegas? (Those don’t exist for me anymore.) If I’m treating myself to something a little nutty, I’ll go with a Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin.

 

newmexicoirish: it was revealed last year that offensive play calling was done through a coaching triumvirate. Do you see that being reduced to a single coach this season, or do you think there is even a need for it? 

Why change something that clearly worked?

***

For more on Alizé Jones’ suspension, Notre Dame’s new media agreement with Bleacher Report, and a whole bunch of other stuff, give our latest episode of Blown Coverage a listen.