This post could simply be the two embedded videos below, but you’re busy. It is Wednesday, after all, and you do not want to sit through any excess football video.
Wait, what’s that? With a full month to go still before a bona fide Irish game, you’re willing to watch as much pads-less practice footage as you can get your hands on? Well, fair enough. But nonetheless, what harm is there in pointing you toward a few specific moments within the clips?
Starting with the highlight reel pushed out by Notre Dame …
Last year’s performance left many Irish fans concerned about the defense moving forward. It seems fitting these 74 seconds seem to focus on some defensive highlights. What may be most impressive is the number of different defensive backs breaking up passes.
At the 0:41 mark, that is junior cornerback Shaun Crawford intercepting a pass intended for junior receiver Chris Finke. If he had been healthy last season (Achilles), it may have been expected to see Crawford make such a sharp break on the ball. Him coming away with the pick, though, warrants notice, especially with Finke’s hands in the mix.
At 0:48, senior rover Drue Tranquill gets his hand in at the last possible moment to knock a pass away from senior tight end Nic Weishar.
At 0:55, sophomore safety Jalen Elliott knocks away a pass despite being a touch out of position to these eyes.
And at 1:01, sophomore cornerback Donte Vaughn steps in front of a ball intended for freshman tight end Brock Wright on the sideline.
Yes, Notre Dame chose to put a spotlight on these plays for a reason, and yes it is a practice without pads, but it should also be noted the Irish managed only eight interceptions last season. These glimpses of practice indicate the ball-hawk tendencies preached by defensive coordinator Mike Elko just might take hold.
Now then, a second video was promised. The action pieces of this 2:16 clip from Blue & Gold Illustrated may not show as much as the preceding video did, but that is primarily due to restrictions placed on media at these practices.
The opening of the two-plus minutes, though, focuses on the defensive ends, and it may be of some worth to get a look at those frames and any version of explosiveness displayed against a blocking sled. In order: senior Andrew Trumbetti (98), senior Jay Hayes (93), sophomore Daelin Hayes (9), sophomore Julian Okwara (42), sophomore Khalid Kareem (53), sophomore Ade Ogundeji (41) and freshman Jonathon MacCollister (92).[protected-iframe id="4322d87b3e2eb4d11caa19723fa3b36c-15933026-22035394" info="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" class="twitter-follow-button"]