Aug. 4, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; The Notre Dame Fighting Irish go through drills at the LaBar Practice Complex. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Irish Strap On The Pads

Day Three provided a great look at the 2013 version of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. For the first day, Notre Dame strapped on the pads. Per NCAA rules, teams are not allowed to practice in pads for the first two sessions.

Players may have excelled the first two days in shirts and shorts. But the truth is those who show well in pads with be the players who make an impact on Saturdays. Fighting Irish Digital Media provided an excellent look at some of new players and those who are excelling.

One of the themes pushed by Jack Nolan and the players that there is an intensity because of the continuity with the coaching staff. This is resulting in more productivity in practice.

Notre Dame’s Tight Ends and Linebackers engaged in 1-on-1 battles that tested each players ability to block or hold the point of attack. In the first rep, Troy Niklas beat Ishaq Williams soundly. The second rep saw Linebacker Romeo Okwara and Tight End Alex Welch battle to a draw. In the last rep, Freshman Linebacker Jaylon Smith beat fellow Freshman Tight End Durham Smythe.

The Defensive and Offensive Line also matched up in some one-on-one battles. These matchups tend to favor the Defensive Linemen because the Defensive Linemen do not have to support against the run. Stephon Tuitt, who still looks much bigger than last season, was soundly beaten by Left Tackle Zach Martin. In the next rep, Freshman Issac Rochell dominated Steve Elmer. Rochell has been impressive early in camp. Elmer is probably the seventh best Linemen on the team so this is a significant victory.

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