We have established this Blog to share any and all thoughts and discuss issues relating to Notre Dame Football.
We are Subway Alumni Notre Dame Fans who love IRISH Football and The University of Notre Dame Du Lac. This is the place to interact, learn, discuss, perk interest, argue, keep you informed, have some fun and maybe help perpetuate the traditions and history of Notre Dame Football.

Check out the archives, for some great posts or scroll down the right side for the most popular. At the bottom of the Blog, we have added 50+ neat pictures of the Notre Dame Campus.

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Notre Dame Football Roster Shaping Up

The awarding of an athletic scholarship to walk-on Chris Salvi and the announcement of 5th year seniors returning for their final year of eligibility appears to have solidified the 2012 Irish football roster.  Those soon to be grad students are:  Braxston Cave – C, Mike Golic Jr. – C, John Goodman – WR, Kapron Lewis-Moore – DE, Dan McCarthy – S, Jamoris Slaughter – S.  The only thing lacking is the assignment of jersey numbers to the freshmen in the fall.
You can read the entire article Here.

The idea of awarding a walk-on with a one year scholarship is great for morale and incentive to the lads on the scout team and those serving as tackling dummies.  Just ask David Ruffer and now Salvi.

Cave and Lewis-Moore went down with injuries last year.  Golic stepped in at center and can play tackle as well.  Slaughter had a lot of playing time as did Goodman.  Although Goodman became the goat for a lot of fans because of his duties as punt returner fair catching the ball on Brian Kelly’s orders.  We here at the Station have a different take on John.  We believe he is going to have a breakout year after toiling in the forgotten shadows of Golden Tate and Michael Floyd.  McCarthy did not see much playing time at the safety position however he did play special teams.

The class breakout is as follows:

GS – 7

Seniors – 15

Juniors – 19

Sophomores – 26

Freshmen – 17

Hmmm.  That’s 84 by our count with a maximum of 85 allowed.  Does Kelly keep a scholarship in his back pocket for contingencies and rainy day chances of picking up a transfer or awarding another walk-on?  Snatching up Jordan Presswood last year was a good example of having an extra scholarship to award.

So which seniors were not asked to come back for a fifth year.  They too have a year of eligibility remaining on the books and can play anywhere immediately.  Some battled injuries and others just got flat out beaten out of playing time.

Deion Walker – WR

Brandon Newman – NG

Lane Clelland – OL

Hafis Williams – DL

Anthony McDonald – LB

David Posluszny – LB

Also nose guard Sean Cwynar has decided to put his masters in business administration to the test and of course quarterback Dayne Crist who will play for Charlie Weis at Kansas.  Also rumor has it that Newman is headed to Ball State.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

The New 35 Yard Line Rule And Notre Dame

Kyle Brindza
Well the NCAA is following the NFL and moving forward five yards the kick-off to the 35 yard line.  Additionally it is requiring the kicking team to a five yard running start.  This is all in the interest of protecting players from the collisions of racing at each other hell bent for leather full speed.  I have personally only known one legitimate NFL football player and that is exactly what he did.  They called it the suicide squad and this was 35 years ago.

So what does this mean for Notre Dame?
First off it can complicate the return for both the kicking team and receiving team.

Second, it is another good reason to have a full-time, knowledgeable Special Teams coach.

Kicking off:

Do you let Kyle Brindza kick it as deep as he can?  Last year Kyle kicked off 71 times for a 65.3 yard average, with 4 OB (that’s not good), and 12 TB’s.  He kicked 17 % out of the range and comfort zone of the opponent return guys.  Given five more yards that number will improve, he was injured some last year so his distance was not as good.  We are hoping for at least 90% TB’s.

An interesting possibility is Nick Tausch.  Nick did not step foot on the field during a game in 2011.  In 2010 he kicked off 8 times for a 55.4 yard average, with 2 OB (that is terrible) and 0 TB’s.  You can see why David Ruffer did most of the kicking off that year.  Anyway, Nick is a more directional and aerial type kicker.  This leads to the possibility of the perfect kick off, a high floater to about two yards deep in the end zone forcing the return man to make a tough decision.


The Irish are sitting in the cat-bird-seat with George Atkinson III.  Last year George electrified the fans with two returns for touchdowns and a couple of almost-bees.  With his great speed and teammates willing to block, GAIII could be taking it to the house and flipping the ball to the referee some more.  As member of the suicide squad you are a lot more willing to sacrifice your body if you know the receiver is running behind you with the ball.  Put a second speed demon back there with GAIII and kick returns still can be fun to watch instead of seeing the ball get blasted through the end zone like in the NFL.  They can accept a kick five yards deep in the end zone and still manage 20+.


1926 For kick-offs the ball was placed at the 40 yard line.

1986 Ball placed at 35 yard line.

2007 Ball placed at 30 yard line.

2012 Ball placed at 35 yard line.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Who Will Quarterback the Irish in 2012?

If you are a loyal reader previously you have read it here on Notre Dame Subway Alumni Station (our formal moniker).  On just about every Irish website, competing Blogs, on national sports websites, in the printed media and it’s been talked to death on Notre Dame friendly Bulletin Boards.  Bleacher Report spins a shallow story at least daily concerning it.  Most speculate or lay out the options.  Instead of that dribble here is what we think.
Who Will Quarterback the Irish in 2012?

Of course the dismal quarterback play of 2011 is still fresh in all our minds.  The picks in the red zone.  The picks in the end zone, the numerous almost picks, the fumble and subsequent touchdown on the four yard line, the numerous bonehead QB decisions.  They collectively cost us at least three games, maybe four, you never know since the errors simply put the games away and out of our reach.  You could tell they were bad QB decisions by Coach Brian Kelly going ballistic and turning purple on the sidelines.

The Irish start spring practice March 21st and play the Blue-Gold Game April 21st.  15 authorized practices.  Expect some potential crappy late winter “Bend” weather to contend with, limiting the Team to the Loftus Center.  Not much time.  Four quarterbacks to evaluate.  We have a new offensive coordinator looking to assert himself.  A junior, a sophomore, a redshirt freshman and a freshman all vying to be the next “Golden Boy”.  A wide open competition according to Kelly and his statement about Gunner Kiel getting a chance this spring.  At least that is what we should expect after that we went through last year.

If freshman Gunner Kiel starts for the Irish, we are in big, big trouble once again.  What does that have to say concerning our QB talent and experience?  Suffering through a freshman quarterback starting yet once again could be deadly for the Irish considering the schedule.

If junior Tommy Rees starts in Dublin, we are déjà vu all over again and folks will be jumping off the bandwagon often and early.

If sophomore Andrew Hendrix starts, he has progressed a long way and the offense can grow with him.  That appears the message.

If redshirt freshman Everett Golson starts, stand back and look out Michigan, USC, Oklahoma and the rest of the 2012 schedule.  He has got to be the QB derby winner.

Most of the limited time has to be devoted to Kiel and Golson this spring.  We pretty much know what Rees and Hendrix can and cannot do.  Expect no decision, no announcement after the Blue-Gold Game.  Why invite transfers, unrest, and the development of poor work and improvement habits during the off-season?  Competition is a good and healthy thing.

Last year Rees and Crist wore red jerseys during the Blue-Gold Game.  It will be a sign who if anyone wears one this year.

Charlie Weis and Brian Kelly before have gone into spring practice with four quarterbacks competing for depth chart positions and repetitions in the fall.  The results have been mixed trying to placate for everyone wanting to start.  Both have complained that by the time fall camp rolls around, they do not have the time to train and develop four quarterbacks with time and meaningful repetitions leading the offense. 

Here is something we have never understood.  Something that has always bothered us was the fact that there is not enough time or resources to develop four quarterbacks.  We keep hearing not enough repetitions are available.  Why can’t the number 3 and number 4 quarterback spend time with a hobbled together offense and defense instead just standing and watching the 1 and 2 quarterbacks work with the number one offense and the scout team defense.  Tape all work and repetitions for later review and comment.  While its’ not the same as standing under center with the first team defense it will help with rhythm, reading defenses, snap counts, checking off, learning plays, etc. 

No one here at the Station has ever played college football.  So just maybe we are the biggest fools of all.

Without the benefit of watching limited playing time and vanilla play calling opportunities during the Blue-Gold Game, here is our early predictions.  Barring injuries, personal problems, and the like.

Everett Golson will start in Dublin.

Andrew Hendrix will be second on the depth chart but may transfer.

Tommy Rees will be third on the depth chart, accept his new role however may transfer.

Gunner Kiel will red-shirt.
Everett Golson
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Brian Kelly Pulls Recuiting Coup and Rabbit Out of Hat

Davonte Neal

Well apparently the Notre Dame Football recruiting class of 2012 and the graduating class of 2016 is finally in the bag. 

Coach Brian Kelly for the second year in a row has pulled the recruiting rabbit out of his ND baseball cap.  This year it is Davonte Neal, the top rated athlete in the nation.  This guy can play wide receiver, cornerback, and is a return specialist.  Goodness we can sure use a return specialist.

High light reel here.

Neal was a no-show for his televised announcement this morning at his old elementary school.  This got heads scratching and I’m sure it will all come out eventually.  Read it here.
Here’s hoping he does not get homesick or have a change of heart.

Welcome aboard Mr. Neal.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Street Thug U

While trolling through the sports websites for news on college football, I stumbled across an article on Florida tight end freshman A.C. Leonard.  Seems Mr. Leonard beat up his girlfriend and through her out of their apartment.  Ended up getting arrested for domestic battery.

What struck me as a different culture at Florida than at Notre Dame were these two nuggets.
Freshman at Notre Dame live in dormitory halls.

Leonard is the TENTH (10th) football player arrested and suspended since head Coach Will Muschamp took over from urban Meyers fourteen months ago.  Didn’t Meyer suspend something like 30 players during his tenure at Florida?  Obviously these guys get reinstated our Florida couldn’t field a team.  Neither Meyer or Muschamp would still be coaching at Notre Dame.

You recruit street thugs and common criminals, you pay the price I guess?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Stupid Pre-Preseason Prediction (guess)

Well Mark Schlabach over at the ESPN website must be bored or experiencing college football withdrawals.  His pre-preseason top 25 rankings are hot off the keyboard and he has the audacity to crown Notre Dame #24.  You can read the entire dribble here. 

Why is it always team speed that is lacking and a sore point?  Where does this guy get this stuff?  Is he out there at practice with a stop watch?  Why is team speed always an overriding issue that needs to be constantly addressed?

If our defense is such a plus, how come FSU came from 0-14 down to beat us 18-14?
Ok, though, let’s get this straight and put our thoughts in order on this under deserving honor.

Notre Dame finished out of the rankings in 2011 after giving away the Champs Sports Bowl to FSU.
Throughout the 2011 season Notre Dame fumbled, threw to the other team, and performed inept at quarterback.

One of the best wide receivers in Irish history as in Michael Floyd has graduated.  No one appears on the radar with the hands or size to replace him.  Not incoming freshmen or rostered players.
Notre Dame has no quarterback as of this moment and it is a shame that so much time again this spring and fall is going to be devoted to scraping together something.

The 2012 killer schedule was put together for a team coming off a BCS win and a 10-2 record, not 8-5.  It’s a tough one and with the inevitable injuries to key players, it could be a disaster. 
Coaching.  Two new coaches.  A third promoted from the grad assistant ranks.  No fulltime Special Teams Coach.  A third year head coach that has not won the hearts and minds of Domers let alone Subway Alumni.  Coaching and coaching decisions have been an issue both last year and the year before that.

Normally these predictions are based upon the previous year, I don’t know what year Schlabach is looking at, and the Irish were out of the top 25 the past two years.
They don’t start the BCS rankings until, what the fifth week because of cupcake scheduling and pure guess work that ranked teams to begin with.

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Friday, February 3, 2012

The Gray-Shirt System – The Alabama Way

Obviously unless you just popped up from a hole like Punxsutawney Phil, you are aware that in the college football system there is a way around signing more recruits than unscrupulous schools have scholarships.  It is called Gray-Shirting.  It is something Notre Dame and other reputable colleges and universities do not practice.  The SEC does and has for a long time.  They are very good at it. This year, the SEC decided to clean house a bit and limit over-signing and put a cap at 25 signees per year.  It sounds good on paper.

Basically you recruit the guys you want and tell them they are headed for your program, you want them.  Welcome aboard.  Blah. Blah. They quit looking and taking visits to other schools and are pretty much in your pocket and not in your opponents.

Alabama, you know them.  They just won the National Championship AND just signed the number one recruiting class for 2012.  Dang.  How do they do that?  Easy, Gray-Shirting.

After you have lied to the recruit, you tell him you ran out of scholarships and you still really want the kid but they have to Gray-Shirt.  It is told that maybe by January a scholarship will come available and can be awarded to him.  In the meantime he has a number of options.

a.  Get a job
b.  Enroll in a junior college
c.  Enroll at the Gray-Shirt school at his expense
d.  Try and get a scholarship on or after signing day
e.  Disappear
f.  Hope for a phone call in January

How do schools like Alabama then “find” scholarships in January to offer guys like Darius Philon?  At Alabama there is no such thing as a four year scholarship, a guarantee of playing football and getting an education.  No honoring any commitment to the student athlete.  Actually the same can be technically said for Notre Dame.  Scholarships are renewed annually.  The difference is that Notre Dame does not dump underperforming players or those injuried.  Alabama does and uses any guise and excuse.

Anyway, you have got to read the story about Darius Philon from Prichard Alabama and then watch the two-minute video where he is humiliated and embarrassed to death.  He ends up finding a scholarship at Arkansas on Wednesday, National Signing Day.  He has never visited Arkansas and it is assumed he has no idea on a course of study.

HERE is the story.  Darius has basically become a piece of meat.

His coach Kerry Stevenson should be outraged; instead he acts as an apologist for Alabama.  What a moron.  He probably gets free tickets to Bama games from the recruiting coaches and does not want to lose that perk.

Wrong Kind of Guy and Other Opinions

So Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly got stiffed in the worst way.  Long time WR verbal commitment Deontay Greenberry changed his mind and signed a Letter of Intent with the University of Houston.  That’s fine.  It happens in the recruiting game.  These are kids who are still trying to find themselves in life.  What was in extremely poor taste and shows a complete lack of upbringing and respect was the way Kelly received the news.  Greenberry’s high school coach called Kelly during the morning of National Signing Day and told him.  That’s kind of like the guy who texted his fiancée broke off the engagement and asked for his ring back.

The Notre Dame Football Team doesn’t need guys like Greenberry.  Best of luck playing for the Cougars.
Congratulations former Notre Dame Quarterback Tom Clements and former quarterbacks coach for the Green Bay Packers.  Tom was just promoted to offensive coordinator for the same Packers.  That’s what happens when you interview for a head coaching job, don’t get it, but the offensive coordinator gets a similar job and the Packers figured they’d better cut their losses and keep a great guy.

So the Big Ten coaches are a little upset with Urban “recruit poaching” Meyers.  The gentlemen’s agreement about not messing with another’s recruits has just gone by the wayside.  Ask Kelly he lost two coaches and a start lineman to one of the greatest poachers of all times.  This is another example as to why Jack Swarbrick and the good Holy Cross fathers would not want Meyer’s as a coach, bad publicity for all the Notre Dame haters out there.
Well let’s get this straight.  Jim Tressel is being hired to a ‘created position’ as vice president for creative engagement at the University of Akron home of the “Zips”.  Salary $200,000.  Wow!  Gee, isn’t there a big push and complaining concerning the rising costs of college?  Allegedly ‘Tattoo Jim’ will be working in public relations.  It appears he needs a few more years of tenure working for the state of Ohio to max out his retirement package.  The Zips must be loaded.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

13 - 3 - 1 - 3

Well we updated the 2012 verbal recruits and are now calling them student-athletics class of 2016.  Although that’s probably not entirely true.  Some will graduate earlier and some maybe a little later, hopefully all will graduate. 

The left side of the Blog is now accurate again. 
You can read about Brian Kelly’s haul in at least half-a-dozen blogs and media websites and we won’t cut and paste any of that gibberish.

The usual and typical wailing and grinding of teeth is going on over at NDNation.  Those guys that comment need full time jobs.
The numbers are 13-3-1-3.

13- Enrolling this summer for Longo Beach
3 – Enrolled and chasing co-eds

1 – Former enemy (USC) and now friend
3 – That got away and is probably best for them and Notre Dame

17 - Not a very big class.  The issue now turns to the fifth year seniors and now many can and will return. 
John Goodman’s high school coach kind of let the cat out of the bag a couple of weeks ago when he mentioned to the local media that John had been offered and accepted a fifth year.  Lots of head scratching and comments concerning “wasting a scholarship on a guy best known for fair catching punts”.  In Goodman’s defense, those were in most cases Kelly’s calls, though a few times John had plenty of room to run and called a fair catch anyway.  Who knows what the rules were laid down by Kelly.  Goodman does have very good hands, however his feet appeared mired in cement.

Anyway, the logic goes that if Goodman was cleared by Notre Dame to return, offered, and accepted, so were all the other seniors.
So when is that story going to break and end the speculation?