Notre Dame Football
Notre Dame opens spring practice this morning. The position battles will commence immediately. Here are the position battles to watch this spring and who may be victorious in these battles.
Quarterback (Golson vs. Zaire)
This may be a faux-competition. But, in reality, Kelly has declared it a competition. So, we must treat it as such. Golson re-enters Notre Dame after missing one season. However, he worked closely with Quarterback coach George Whitfield during his suspension. This should help him make this a relatively easy competition. Zaire is an extremely mature, competitive leader. He will be a starter. It just will not be this season.
Running Back (Folston vs. Bryant vs. McDaniel)
This is a competition that has little meaning. All of these players will play. But, their carries and playing time is on the line. Folston demonstrated that he can be a next-level back for the Irish in 2013. McDaniel was steady throughout. He will get the Irish 4 yards when they need 3. Bryant was limited due to injury. According to reports, Bryant was the best Running Back before injury. Will that show this spring?
Left Tackle (Stanley vs. Elmer vs. McGlinchey)
This is less of a competition and more of mix and match type of situation. If Stanley is better on the right side, he will play there. If Elmer is better at Guard, he’d play there, etc. However, replacing ironman Left Tackle Zack Martin is extremely important. He was Notre Dame’s best linemen by far. Perhaps, he was the best linemen that Notre Dame had since the early 90s. McGlinchey has tremendous upside as a Left Tackle. Does he have the strength to play yet?
Inside Linebacker (Moore vs. Deeb)
Because Notre Dame is so thin at the Inside Linebacker position, both Moore and Deeb will play. However, will they be the first two players off the bench? Or will it be one of the Freshman? The Irish would be better served if these two players can establish themselves by the end of spring. Grace will fit into this mix as well. But, he will limited due to injury in the spring.
Safety (Redfield vs. Collinsworth vs. Baratti vs. Shumate vs. Hardy)
There are five players for two spots at the moment. Redfield probably has the inside track to be one of the Safeties. He is the most talented of the group. Notre Dame would be served well if he could lock down one of those spots. The other spot is probably wide open. Collinsworth is the most steady of the options. Baratti is an unknown because he missed an entire year with an injury. Shumate and Hardy possess great athleticism. They may be the best options for the other Safety spot.