This is maaaaybe premature there, ESPN. Maryland #1 FWIW.
Before I start, I'd like to apologize. When I posted the first update on ND, I said that I'd try to post an update like that every other week and eventually incorporate updates on MSU and Ohio as well. That thought turned out to be rather ambitious as I forgot that summer, and the accompanying dead period, was bearing down upon us. As a result, I'll probably only post this and another update at the end of July. Anticipating a pick up of information in August, I'll probably be able to post a full update for each of Notre Dame, Ohio, and Alabama until we play each team. I'm not going to do MSU because they simply don't have a single good site from which to gain information.
This update will focus more on ND with a little bit of Ohio and Alabama at the end.
Brian Kelly on ND's Hopeful Record
Brian Kelly has gone on the record as the goal for this season being 8 wins. That seems to be a realistic goal as ND's schedule is very, very difficult.
ND's Quarterback Situation
The general consensus of ND fans is that Kiel will redshirt and that the competiton is between Golson, Hendrix, and Rees. Rees' arrest adds another dimension to the competition as well so it'll be interesting to see how that shakes out. Anyone who saw ND's spring game would think that Golson hands down won the starting job and that would likely be the case if not for several issues that he needs to work out before he gets the job. The two primary concerns with Golson are character issues and a lack of understanding of the playbook. Golson had a problem with showing up to practice on time and Brian Kelly had to have a talk with him. Some ND fans are saying that he also has a problem with leadership and that the team does not yet respect him like they did Rees. As for the lack of knowledge of the playbook, during the spring game the coaches had to turn off the play clock so that Golson could get the plays off and the coaches had to tell him what to do on several plays. As for Hendrix, the main problem with him has been inconsistency. Despite Golson's problems, gun to my head, I think that he starts and splits time with Hendrix during the first game. I figure Rees gets suspended for at least 1 quarter and we'll see what happens with him after that.
It's also important to note that Kelly plans on continuing the competition during August, which some ND fans worry will take away snaps from the eventual starter and hurt his chemistry with his receivers.
The situation is still terrible . The 2 safeties look to be at least decent, but they really have no one at corner. I wouldn't be surprised if it was as bad as our secondary in 2010.
Look for the role of the TE to be significantly increased this year in ND's offense. They're specifically planning on maximizing the role of Eifert and the lack of proven WRs plays a big role in that. Along with the increased focus on the TE, the brunt of the offense will be earned on the back of the running game. ND returns 2 very capable backs in Cierre Wood and George Atkinson III who'll provide a nice 1-2 punch.
Regarding incoming recruits making an immediate impact, look for WR Davonte Neal to make a splash. He runs a 4.4 40 and brings speed to the table. WR Chris Brown is just as fast and could be another name to watch out for. Look for DT Sheldon Day to come in and make significant contributions as well.
If you haven't been paying attention, ND is putting together a very solid class, likely a top 10 class if it sticks together. Look for Alex Anzalone to commit to ND soon-ish as reports regarding the two have been increasingly positive. I also think that if Devon Allen decided to leave the South/West, it'll be to ND or Ohio. I have no inside information and I don't know how likely it'll be that he goes to ND but it's at just something to look out for. A few of ND's players are on the track team and have done very well and track is obviously very important to Allen.
Now, on to Ohio....
I really don't have much to comment on other than they're obviously putting together a solid class and that their O-Line recruting is reaching near perilous levels. Of their top 2 remaining O-line targets, Dorian Johnson and Khaliel Rodgers, Johnson just committed to Penn St. and Rodgers is rumoured to be leaning towards either USC or Auburn. They also seem to be leaving LB recruiting to 2014. In typical Ohio fashion, they think that they'll have their pick of things at the position.
A little on Alabama....
Eddie Lacy Update
As you might recall, I posted a while back on how Eddie Lacy might not be able to play beacuse of injury. The word from Alabama fans is that he's making progress and that they won't really know until closer to the start of the season. As of now, he is apparently slightly out of shape and overweight at the moment but he should be back in shape by the time the season starts. Alabama fans aren't expecting him to have as large of a role as Richardson did last year, mostly as a result of his turf toe injury. If he plays, and I think he will, he'll likely split carries with TJ Yeldon.
Hope you guys enjoyed this, I get almost all of this information from perusing message boards and blogs so this is right from the fan base. If you have any quesetions about something I didn't mention, I'll try to answer them.
Mods if this is too long, feel free to move it to the diaries.
As some of you may recall, Eddie Lacy was held out of Alabama's Spring practice with a turf toe injury. Most expected him to return in the fall, but his injury appears to be a lot more serious than people realized. Some are saying that there is a chance that he will not be able play this year and that if does play, he'l be limited.
All this information comes from an Alabama forum that I was reading while writing an Alabama preview. They seem to be taking the threat of Lacy not playing pretty seriously. The following are the posts that shed the most light on his injury and the situation around it. The posts are just meant to verify the information I said above. It's long but the posts are worth the read and all the posts I quoted come from the moderator types over there. The link to the forum will be posted at the bottom:
The full quote by Coach Saban when talking about the RB's over a question on T.J
"I think that's important for us because we needed someone like that. He has a really good opportunity. Eddie will hopefully be able to come back, Jalston (Fowler) can do certain things, Dee Hart can do certain things. T.J. is one of those guys who can do everything.
Coach Saban is pretty factual and not one to say something like this unless there was more of a problem with Lacey than us information plebes know.
T.J choosing us late in the recruiting process adds to my now speculation that the turf toe may a big career hamper from here out.
On the injury itself:
Turf toe is a complicated condition. The only hope of getting over it (especially since he's been suffering from it for so long now) is lengthy rest and rehabilitation of the joint. On occasion, surgery can fix it, but steel doesn't heal in this situation with great consistency. Once I heard he had surgery, my heart sank because the odds are now very much against him ever returning to previous levels of performance. We all want the very best for EL, and I am hoping against hope that he returns and contributes in a positive way, but to be perfectly frank, we need to be looking at our other RBs and game-planning around them.
By the time the condition reaches the need for surgery, it's already a grade three injury and, even with successful surgery, return to preinjury performance level may take 6-12 months.
Eddie was dressed on the sidelines yesterday. A few of our moderators have made it clear that EL's injury is such that he could recover, but he may in fact not.
Yeah, he injured it earlier in the season, but was really unable to give it adequate rest, therefore it kept bothering him. His first large chunk of time off was between the Iron Bowl and the BCSNCG, so I suspect that's why he was able to perform as well as he did in the NCG, but obviously that performance further irritated the joint. Since they went to surgery, we have to assume the docs felt all the conservative treatments had failed to restore the joint to pre-injury health and they felt the only way to give it a chance to do that was to operate on it.
According to what I've learned, time and rest and not pushing it is the main thing to fix it, but Lacy's was so bad, they had to go in and "trim" the affected muscle
The joint that gets worked on in the turf toe injury is a delicate joint that must bear a huge amount of force just in walking, not to mention what a running back asks of the joint in terms of cutting. The force on the joint from that type of torque is unique and difficult to bear. In short, the joint can be "fixed," surely, but the question is whether it will ever perform to the level it did prior to injury. That is the unknown in EL's case and we all our our fingers crossed.
On the recovery process
They'll be very careful about running on that repaired joint, since he's still limping. I'd think he'd do a lot of stationary bike work, which won't stress the joint. Staying in FB shape, which means maintaining the hip flexors, IT band, hams, etc. is a problem, since the bike won't reach any of these. There are resistance exercises for these groups but they still can't simulate the moves needed on the FB field. It's basically walking a tight rope between rehab and reinjury...
So who's going to take Lacy's place?
Likely T.J. Yeldon, a 5-star true freshman who should have no problem adjusting to the college game. Dee Hart will likely be a situational back and there have been some concerns about how recovered he is from his injury. Blake Sims, 4th or 5th on the depth chart, will likely be held out of fall practice with an injury. Jalston Fowler is also a threat to start.
I know this was long, but there was a lot of information. Thanks for bearing with me. RDT, if you have anything to share on this, feel free.