Many like to belittle spring practice as just spring practice. Similarly, others will gladly snub their noses at any positive reviews, insisting it is only warmer temperatures and sunshine eliciting optimism.
Another group sees every position change and depth chart shift as a definite indicator the program is on the right track.
The best assessment of these 15 practices falls somewhere between those two extremes, as most things in this world do.
Take the offensive line, for example. Why is it important to garner an idea of the starting five before fall? Once that is established, not only can the offensive line develop chemistry within itself, but it can also establish chemistry with junior quarterback Brandon Wimbush. That is, in fact, what Wimbush cited as the item he needs to most improve in a WatchND interview with Jack Nolan over the weekend.
“I need to get better at making it easier for the offensive line and understanding my pocket awareness, where my escape lanes are and where I need to step up,” Wimbush said. “Those guys are working their butts off and I’m at 10 yards, [graduate student left tackle Mike] McGlinchey is getting pushed back and pushed right into me. I have to understand where my pocket is.”
That understanding will develop at an even quicker pace once Wimbush knows exactly whom he is working with on each snap. Spring’s greatest benefit is taking steps toward answering those questions.
As for his greatest strengths on the field, Wimbush pointed toward his athleticism.
“Being able to make plays, get outside the pocket, and I feel like breaking down the defense is some of my assets,” he said.
He tasted success two seasons ago...— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) March 29, 2017
...he prepared for his moment last year...
...now he's ready for more.
Meet QB Brandon Wimbush. pic.twitter.com/MJK90D7taJ