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Friday, August 6, 2010

Here Come the IRISH

Well fall practice is getting close (August 7th unless you’ve been living in a cave or coming off a long vacation to Siberia). All the players and coaches are on campus, ready to wake up the echoes. Boy do they/we need reawakening!

However, who will it be to get us back on top? How will the first team shake out? Here is the take from the staff at Subway Alumni Station. Obviously, we could not evaluate the incoming freshman. We clinked bottles and toasted them and hoped at least one would break into the starting lineup. Sigh.

Note: The blog editor-in-chief supplied a generous galvanized washtub of cold-iced down Raven Special Lager, thus the results may vary from other ND websites and even Coach Kelly and staff.

Let’s start will the Defense, the heart of the problem last year. Many are returning, however will a new 3-4 Defense and energized Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco turn this unit around? A lot of juniors and seniors are going to see time on the field, Kelly’s tempo and pace will dictate multiple substitutions and breathers. He likes experience.  Can we again figure out the option and beat Navy? Here are the starting 11.


Defensive End: Emeka Nwankwo 6-4, 280, Sr.

Nose Tackle: Ian Williams, 6-2, 301, Sr.

Defensive End: Kapron Lewis-Moore, 6-4, 275, Jr.

Outside Linebacker: Brian Smith, 6-3, 234, Sr.

Inside Linebacker: Manti Te’o, 6-2, 250, So. (No brainer even for the SAS staff)

Inside Linebacker: Anthony McDonald, 6-2, 230, Jr.

Outside Linebacker: Darius Fleming, 6-2, 245, Jr.

Cornerback: Gary Gray, 5-11, 190, Sr.

Safety: Harrison Smith, 6-2, 212, Sr.

Safety: Zeke Motta, 6-2, 210, So.

Cornerback: Robert Blanton, 6-1, 190, Jr.

What! Where is Darrin Walls, 6-0, 185, Sr. Good question. Where has he been for the last four years? Darrin is a fifth year senior who has not proven himself. He will get playing time of course, we just don’t think he was the five star recruit everyone expected.

What about Ethan Johnson at defensive end? Nope. Nwankwo’s time has come. Watch out quarterbacks, this guy is on a mission.

The Offense is a little trickery. It’s sure great to continue to have depth again, plenty of it at wide receiver and tailback. We are so excited about the Offense. Although, crossing our fingers about Dayne Crist. We relooked the video of the Washington State game and the no contact ACL. Ouch. Hope the line can protect him.  Here are the starting 11.


Quarterback: Dayne Crist, 6-4, 235, Jr.

Running Back: Armando Allen, 5-10, 201, Sr. (With a lot of Cierre Wood, 6-0, 210, So.)

Wide Receiver: Michael Floyd, 6-3, 220, Jr. (Obviously)

Wide Receiver: Tai-ler Jones, 5-11, 185, Fr.

Wide Receiver: Theo Riddick, 5-11, 190, So.

Left Tackle: Zack Martin, 6-4, 280, So.

Left Guard: Chris Stewart, 6-5, 298, Sr.

Center: Braxton Cave, 6-3, 309, Jr.

Right Guard: Trevor Robinson, 6-5, 300, Jr.

Right Tackle: Taylor Dever, 6-5, 301, Sr.

Tight End: Kyle Rudolph, 6-6, 265, Jr.

No Robert Hughes, 5-11, 201, Sr., Speed kills and Kelly wants speed, cuts, jukes, savvy, not power.

We did not spend much time debating (drinking) over Special Teams. The issue is not kicking or punting but punt and kick coverage and springing Theo Riddick or Cierre Wood free on punt and kick-off returns. Something long missing from Notre Dame football since the Holtz era.

We have confidence that Turk will turn things around in punting and Tausch will escape ResLife punishment for the bust at the drinking party in July. The trio have bright futures at Notre Dame. Just another example of who and what Brian Kelly inherited. Kelly should be lighting candles at the Grotto everyday. Maybe that’s why it on caught on fire!


Kicker: Nick Tausch, 6-0, 190, So.

Punter: Ben Turk, 5-11, 196, So.

Long Snapper: Jordan Cowart, 6-2, 215, So.

Toast:  Here's hoping for an injury free Fall Camp and GO IRISH!!

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