With the Blue-Gold game only 10 days away, what do we know about the Notre Dame football team?
Spring football is cruising along and it is going away as quickly as it came. What do we know about what this offseason practice time? Has anything come to light that will help shape the 2016 season? Can we trust ANYTHING that is reported or that has developed into a storyline?
Well… Some, yes, and probably.
While much has definitely been made of the “quarterback battle” this spring, nothing has been sorted out- and that’s exactly how normal people thought it would be. If there is one thing we can take away this far, maybe it’s that no one is going to transfer in May. I swear to satan on this one.
Do you know what’s great? Having Tarean Folston, Josh Adams, and Dexter Williams on the roster with one of my favorite recruits in Tony Jones Jr. arriving in June. All that means is that any interest in what running backs are running with the first group should be reserved for the crazy people. There are plenty of carries available, and someone is going to get hurt- so we wait.
Now here is something interesting after Notre Dame lost three starters. There are a lot of pieces to work with and some of them are moving parts. Corey Robinson, the most experienced player on the unit, suffered a concussion and has been sidelined. The three most popular names on the lips of others are Equanimeous St. Brown, Corey Holmes, and Kevin Stepherson. While it only makes sense since all three are fairly new to all of this, there is a lot of hope from the staff that these three will work out. If cut through all the crap, it is probably safe to say that all of the wideouts will see significant action. Torii Hunter Jr. will probably be the focal point of what is an unproven but dangerous unit.
The left side of the line is shaping up to be a monster squad. Mike McGlinchey, Quenton Nelson, and Sam Mustipher have all received rave reviews to this point and they have the measureables to make a grown man weep with pride. The right side is still a bit of a mystery, but with that said, it may look like Alex Bars and Hunter Biven could lock down their spots. Colin McGovern and Tristan Hoge look like a pair of swingers just waiting for the moment.
It’s been fairly quiet on this front which is equal parts scary and comforting. There has been talk of Alize’ Jones doing some work as a wideout. While we all believe that Jones has the ability to be the next super stud at tight end for Notre Dame, he would be doing it right now without a lot of hype from the staff.
The unit got a new member with John Montelus making the switch from the offensive line- and that’s all we have really heard. Notre Dame lost Doug Randolph to a medical condition, but the injury bug hasn’t hit them otherwise. The first four looks solid in Isaac Rochell, Jerry Tillery, Jarron Jones, and Andrew Trumbetti. The next group is a little more up in the air, but a lot of good things have been said about Jay Hayes, Jonathon Bonner, and Daniel Cage. Deceptively deep could be the case made here.
With Te’von Coney and Greer Martini out with injuries, the Notre Dame backers are working a little short. One thing is for certain however, and that is Nyles Morgan is getting all the backing in the world from the staff and by all accounts looks ready to step up as the fulltime starter at the MIKE. At the SAM, it appears that James Onwualu is the man and won’t leave the field. So that leaves the WILL, which ironically is where injured linebackers Te’von Coney and Greer Martini play. So, Asmar Bilal is getting a ton of snaps and is getting a very favorable response from the staff.
The big news is that Nick Watkins, who has been tabbed as the presumptive starter opposite Cole Luke, broke the big bone in his arm. While we have heard many great things about Shawn Crawford- almost all of that praise has come about him playing the nickel. With Watkins injury, Crawford may very well be next in line at corner and then move to nickel with either Devin Butler or Nick Coleman stepping in on the edge. While it has been near silence in regards to Butler, we last heard about Nick Coleman getting screamed at by defensive backs coach Todd Lyght. Go figure.
Scary and interesting is a good way to look at this. Mykelti Williams is gone. For all intents and purposes, it looks like Devin Studstill has passed Max Redfield on the depth chart (in spring). Yes, that’s early enrollee freshman Devin Studstill who should be planning a prom date instead of a pick-up of a wheel route before it gets to his deep zone. At the other spot, Drue Tranquill is the name we keep hearing, but Avery Sebastion is still sitting there as well. Don’t worry Tranquill fans, the staff loves him being used for all sorts of other things in different packages. We have options.