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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Advantages For Notre Dame FreshmanTo Contribute Early

Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly indicated Saturday after practice that he was planning on using a minimum of six and as possibly as many as 10 freshmen during this 2011 season.  He specifically mentioned by name activating wide receiver Davaris Daniels and running backs Cam McDaniel and George Atkinson.  Kyle Brindza appears to be the top candidate for kick off duties. 

While many of the freshmen would primarily play special teams, Kelly said those contributions were more important than preserving an extra year of eligibility.

Kelly further stated; “I think with the kind of schedule we play and the teams we play special teams can help you win games,” he said.  “If they can help us win, we’re gonna play them.”

This is encouraging news from a number of standpoints.

No freshman wants to redshirt.  Although some interior linemen do need to grow in size and strength and they do expect and accept that inevitability.

Starting freshmen playing in whatever role validates Kelly’s Right Kind of Guy recruiting philosophy.

It makes mom and dad proud.

It helps in recruiting.  “Hey, look at so and so who came to Notre Dame last year, he’s playing for us now, you can too.”

The experience is invaluable, even if the freshmen are only playing on kick-off returns as gunners.  It gets them in the game film and on the bus for away games.  Look no farther than Bennett Jackson’s efforts last year on special teams.

If you get on the field, it is easier to meet girls from Saint Mary’s and co-eds from Notre Dame.

The freshmen free up starting upperclassmen to concentrate on the offensive and defensive teams.  Saves their game legs and stamina for Kelly’s no huddle hurry up offense. 

It get the freshman on game film to be further evaluated by the coaching staff.

The less redshirting instituted, the lower number of 5th year seniors you have to consider carrying and rewarding for sticking around for their fifth year.  Frees up scholarships in the next recruiting class.

Time is now.  Kelly believes in what he says, put the best 11 on the field at any given time.

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