As Notre Dame begins fall camp, its new depth chart includes some notable weight changes from the offseason conditioning program. Naturally, some of these will lead to much talk of improved fitness and increased strength only to end with no noticeable differences on the field. Others, however, may be indicative of things to come.
Remember, Irish coach Brian Kelly brought in a new “director of football performance” this offseason in Matt Balis who, in turn, brought with him a larger staff to increase the attention paid to each individual player. Based on some of the changes listed below, that focus paid off in a few particular instances.
Presumably, these changes are of the healthy variety and focused on muscle, not a sign Smashburger had a profitable summer.
Added Defensive Line Mass
In a quick glance down the roster, the modest weight added by two defensive tackles earn notice while the substantial weight gain by a defensive end will spark speculation he could be poised to move to tackle.
Senior tackle Jonathan Bonner added seven pounds to his listed spring weight, now titling the scales at 291 pounds, and junior tackle Micah Dew-Treadway added six pounds, now 305. Each of them may need that additional mass to hold the point of attack alongside junior Jerry Tillery. (Tillery was listed at 308 pounds in the spring and is now at 306.)
Meanwhile, senior ends Jay Hayes and Andrew Trumbetti added nine pounds and 11 pounds, respectively. That brings Hayes to 290 and Trumbetti to 263. This could point toward Hayes moving to the interior of the line, a needed boost to a rotation devoid of both experience and readiness. Trumbetti would then theoretically need some more strength to handle his position that much more in any given game.
Sophomore ends Ade Ogundeji and Julian Okwara each added five pounds, bringing them to 256 and 240 pounds, respectively. One of them could flip sides of the line to aid Trumbetti, as well.
Notre Dame has three freshmen to mix into its defensive tackle rotation. Looking to their high school weights as a starting point seems foolish, but their listed measurements today can serve as a baseline.
Darnell Ewell: 6-foot-3, 321 pounds.
Kurt Hinish: 6-foot-1 ¾, 298 pounds.
Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa: 6-foot-2 ½, 293 pounds.
Three linebacker changes elicit mention. Senior captains Greer Martini and Nyles Morgan dropped four and three pounds, respectively. Sure, that could simply mean they skipped breakfast on weigh-in day. It could also mean each added muscle but slimmed down in an attempt to play a bit faster this season.
Junior Te’von Coney, the primary backup to both Martini and Morgan, added five pounds, bringing him to 240. Sophomore Jamir Jones dropped three pounds, as well, which is of note considering Kelly had mentioned Jones may move to defensive line in the future. It seems that transition will be put off for at least a year in the name of preserving some linebacker depth.
Plus, minus 13
The biggest changes on the roster come from two unlikely sources. Early-enrolled freshman Isaiah Robertson is listed 13 pounds lighter than he was at the start of spring practice, now at 195 pounds. Presuming both those figures were somewhat accurate, this points to Robertson taking quickly to the collegiate conditioning program.
Junior running back Dexter Williams added 13 pounds, now at 215, which should make him a physical threat as well as the speedy ballcarrier he already was. The starter ahead of him, junior Josh Adams, is already known as a workhorse, but Williams being able to spell him as needed would ease offensive coordinator Chip Long’s hopes of implementing an up-tempo scheme. Adams is listed five pounds heavier than previously, now at 225.Follow @D_Farmer