Is the glass half full or half empty after the kester kickin we took down in South Beach?
The Program has never been stronger and here’s why.* The coaching staff is intact. No defections to head coaching jobs or career moves this year. However we would encourage Coach Brian Kelly to look towards replacing Scott Booker as Special Team’s Coach and bringing in someone to generate some life and respect for Special Teams. Of course that starts with the head coach wanting to chance his present philosophy.
* Six early enrollees to add to the mix during spring practice in April.** Alex Anzalone – OLB
** James Onwuala – WR
** Malik Zaire – QB
** Steve Elmer – OT
** Mike Heuerman – TE
** Corey Robinson – WR
Five, count them five quarterbacks for spring practice. Competition, players pushing players always a great thing. However we suspect Hendrix may become a casualty and take his skills elsewhere.** Everett Golson
** Tommy Rees
** Andrew Hendrix
** Gunner Kiel
** Malik Zaire* No early departees. Louis Nix is coming back for his senior (Academic) year.
* Currently the number one recruiting class for 2013 and there are still a number of quality recruits available.* After the Oklahoma victory an undercurrent and feeling that the Notre Dame Football Program is coming back to the national stage and respectability.
* Those injured this past year are coming back to help the program. Adding depth and competition for playing time.** Alex Welch – TE
** Amir Carlisle – RB
** Austin Collinsworth – S
** Jamoris Slaughter – S
** Lo Wood – CB
** Luke Massa - WR/QB
** Matt Hegarty - C
** Ronnie Stanley – OT
** Tate Nicholas – OL* A 2013 schedule similar to the one this past year when we went 12-0. New meat includes Temple, Arizona State, Air Force. Oklahoma and USC at home. Schedule in fact may be a little easier.
* A recruiting system that apparently works. Coordinators, coaches recruiting prowess, official and unofficial visits, home visits, daily contact, selling the Program, admission office support and whatever else, it all seems to be working like a well oiled machine.* An absolute ton of positive publicity, good press, led by Manti Te’o and his unbelievable year.
* Fifth year seniors returning.** Zack Martin
** Chris Watts** Carlo Calabrese, Dan Fox, Cierre Wood (If there is room and they want to return). Calabrese is the most likely.
* Some interesting changes coming and already here to the Program.** NBC contract renewal.
** Well deserved coaches contract extensions and salary increases.** Tom Hammond being replaced by Dan Hicks as the play-by-play announcer for NBC.
** Continuation of the Shamrock Series in Dallas against Arizona State.** The unveiling of the five game ACC included football schedule in 2014.
** The introduction of sideline, locker room and candid videos of the players. Great for the fans.
** The professionally done video series done throughout the year about the team and players.
We only see great things ahead. The glass is half full. Pour some more in please.