Notre Dame finished up its spring practice session with the annual Blue-Gold game, and as usual, there are more questions than answers.
Nothing quite says, “no more football for a long time,” than the end of the spring practice session and the spring game. It’s an oxymoron in motion. While we look at it in many ways as the end of the 2015-2016 football cycle, it is actually the beginning of the 2016-2017 cycle / season. So, if it is really the beginning of the season, we should have some answers about depth charts and packages and such- right?
No, not really. Well kind of- sure we know a few things.
And that’s really what this thing is all about. It’s not about the spring game, as we would find out more about this team watching one half of a normal practice as compared to the “entertaining” Blue-Gold Game. But I’m not here to punch holes or mock the spring scrimmage, and in fact, if you were at the game- my jealousy is deep because that weather on that campus was to die for.
With all that said, let’s look quickly at some things- perhaps we are still learning about rather than discussing what we think we already know (not that there is anything wrong with that).
Quarterback Hot Takes
Seriously. We are only closer to finding out who the starter is due to the earth’s orbit around the sun and day becomes night, and night becomes day, and so on and so on. Both Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer played well on Saturday, and we already know what attributes they bring to the table. This one will continue to be fresh fodder for Notre Dame fans to consume themselves with all summer. Enjoy.
I LIKE ‘EM ALL! In no way is that being sarcastic. In Notre Dame’s three returning running backs, we have a buffet of awesome. Tarean Folston still looks like he has a little bit to go to get back to 100%, but there is enough there to see right now as well as enough tape to know what we have. How this rotation works out is quite another matter. Josh Adams is obviously capable, and Dexter Williams looks the part- like really looks the part.
Despite a lot of hype surrounding some of the younger wide receivers, it seems clear that Torii Hunter is THE man for 2016. That’s not to say that Equanimeous St. Brown and Kevin Stepherson didn’t look good on Saturday- or even Alize’ Jones, but if you were wondering who that “go to guy” will be that fills the shoes left by Will Fuller, it’s going to be Hunter. This will remain an interesting development perhaps until the end of September.
There’s a lot of beef on that line of scrimmage. I think we all believe that this line has a chance to be something special, and by all accounts we love the left side of the line. What’s important now, is that Notre Dame develops the depth it needs and wants as well as continuing to foster a cohesion with the five it has starting.
I’m not sold either way if Notre Dame will be okay or not at linebacker. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m going to need to see Nyles Morgan against Texas AND know who will be getting the majority of reps at the WILL. Whether that WILL might be Coney, Bilal, or Martini we really don’t know. I love the potential, but I’m reserving judgement.
One of the things I am more confident about than some is at cornerback- provided they stay healthy. Cole Luke has had a great spring, and I love a veteran at the position. Shawn Crawford looks like the real deal, even if the real deal is a wee bit small- the kid can play. Between the two, Notre Dame might be able to field a better playing pair than last year. Yes… I’m going all in.
One of the bigger storylines this spring has been about Max Redfield versus Devin Studstill. To be honest though… I think that may have been the smokescreen we always talk about. After seeing things sort out a bit, I like the combo of Redfield and Avery Sebastian. I know we all like Drue Tranquill as well, but I like Tranquill more this year as that package player- that box safety needed to help against the run. With that said, you can’t help but like the looks of Spencer Perry and Studstill. My god… do we have depth at safety? Yes, I like my kool-aid served ice cold.