Is that you RDT?
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.
Is that you RDT?
Who would've guessed that a RDT joke was going to be the first comment? It's been one day and these jokes are already tired.
stink in three days". The RDT/WIAB meme has two more days on the boards -- trust me -- it's science.
It's always good to know about the competition. Since I don't have the patience to go to any of their websites unless it is for the enjoyment of scadenfreude, this is info I probably wouldn't get otherwise.
diaries, but not for length, for quality.
Is the simple fact that a lot of people don't read them. Lots of good content gets put up there and gets mostly ignored. Some of the diaries should have at least as many comments as some of these board posts, but instead they get like 5 comments and a +2. It's a bit of a shame but I think they get lost a lot of the time.
'Cause a lot of them seem like homework.
I only come here to goof off.
We generally give the OP the choice. It gets more attention on the board, but vanishes within a day. If the OP wants me to move it, I will.
And if I think of it, when it falls off the front page I'll bump it to a diary. I agree; it's worthy.
I don't think ND's secondary will be as bad as Michigan '10, but it should be very exploitable. I think ND really started to target the TE position a lot toward the end of last year, especially when Floyd started to get banged up. They really need to freshman WR to step in and stretch the field right away though, teams started simply packing it in which made it very difficult to get their TEs open. Their RB position should be solid though, as should Bamas. I think Wood is a very good back and the depth is solid, but again, they need to make defenses to respect the deep passing game a lot more than they do right now.
I was also on record as saying Sheldon Day was my favorite DT that Michigan offered in last years class (this was before he or Pipkins had committed anywhere, but they are very different players) and think he will be very good eventually. Much like Pipkins though, and even moreso early on, Day is really going to struggle early.
Is turf toe the only injury affecting Lacy? I've never heard of it lasting that long that it would affect his season or even preseason. I had it once and after babying it for 3 weeks I was basically good to go, and that was midsoccer season and Without a college training staff at my disposal. This seems like a long time to be affected.
He had surgery on it a while back and once it reaches that point, recovery is very iffy. I wrote a post that had more info on it a couple of months ago but I'm on my iPad so I can't link to it. If you search for Eddie Lacy, it should pop up though.
I can vouch for turf toe. I've had some NFL fantasy football seasons screwed because of turf toe. What a dreaded malady.
I don't remember the last time, if ever, when the pressure to secure recruits early was this high. I understand the benefits on having a full class early on, but I wouldn't call it "near-perilous" to not have a solid O-line class 8 months before National Signing Day. While it's true that the noticeably elite tackles are quickly becoming scarce at this point, it is also true that the Class of 2013 still has a whole senior season left to play.
There are still plenty of options for OSU to grab some elite O-linemen from now to signing day. If I recall correctly, at the beginning of Mike Adams' recruitment he was far from being the most-coveted tackle in nation, but he began a meteoric rise in the rankings during his senior year that landed him in the Rivals Top 3 for 2008. Then there's always the possibility of current commits flipping after having months to mull their decision over. Recruiting never stops until that ink hits the paper.
I don’t see a problem with holding off on LBs in the current class. Two of OSU's projected starters are true sophomore that will suit up for 2 more seasons, and there are also 6 more freshmen behind them. OSU can honestly go a season or two without needing to re-stock their LB corp.
Doesn't OSU only have 6-7 more spots left in its class? Besides, the elite o-lineman in the Midwest have pretty much been snatched up already. The best players are already typically identified as the best, which is why a really fast riser like Adams is so memorable.
Personally, I think it's too bad that kids are committing this early. I'd want my kid to take a little bit more time if there was any question whatsoever about where the right place was for him, but for better or worse, kids have much more pressure on them than they did even five years ago. It would probably be very tempting to commit to a favorite just to get people to stop bothering me.
The initial estimate I've heard, barring any significant changes, is that OSU will have about 15-18 spots for the Class of 2013. So if this stays true then there are only 3-6 spots left currently. The team's biggest needs right now are WRs and O-Linemen. In terms of WRs, OSU is presently in the hunt for James Quick (OSU, Louisville and Oregon) and Shelton Gibson (#1 WR in Ohio).
Things seem favorable with James Quick as he has expressed interest in staying close to home, and was extremely impressed with OSU's turnout during their spring game (81,000+ compared to Louisville ~15,000). Shelton Gibson on the other hand seems ready to commit, and was set to announce last week, but he postponed (supposedly due to academics).
So assuming that OSU lands both Quick and Gibson that leaves about 1-4 spots left and I can imagine Urban wanting to save some of those for under-the-radar talents later in the year. I'm just hoping a couple of them will be for O-linemen.
Notre Dame definitely has a rough schedule this season. Purdue and Wake Forest look like the only relative gimme games, with the rest somewhere between moderate and near certain losses. Eight wins would probably be an excellent coaching job, but still might get Kelly fired. Also, I can't see Golson starting against a real defense this fall when it's pretty clear he can't adjust to a relatively vanilla Spring Game defense. If Kelly had was in year 2 instead of year 3, he would probably throw Hendrix to the wolves to try and set up next season as a breakthrough year, but he probably doesn't have the time.
Finally, their secondary won't reach Michigan's 2010 disaster simply because their coaching isn't atrocious. They'll get fried by Oklahoma and USC, but they should be able to reach an overall designation of "bad" pretty easily while remaining upwind from "tire fire."
I just don't see Kelly getting fired. Maybe if they win like 3 games, but I think the current AD realizes they need to stop the ridiculous coaching changes. Kelly has been a good coach at all previous stops, so he'll get more time. These 8 win seasons are very "we're soooo close" that he'll get more time.
I agree that OSU has an almost 100% chance of picking up a stellar 2014 linebacker haul. They have 2-3 really good ones at home and then for whatever reason Clifton Garrett out of Illinois loves them and then of course some national names might pop up. Unfortunately they'll be just fine.
wants to go to a highly moral school (ironic that it"s ND), after the tOSU incident.
Anyone know if Yeldon was enrolled early, and if so, if he looked good in spring practice? RDT?
I know Lacy is a stud, but if he is still hampered by turf toe and might not be 100% come game day, I'd want to know how Yeldon looks, since there is a possibility he could be the primary ball carrier.
If I recall correctly, he did, and got a lot of touches in their spring game. I didn't watch, but I heard he showed some pretty great speed and potential.
He is just a freshman and I'd rather go against hm than Lacy. Give Yeldon a couple of years and he could be a Richardson type back.
Yeldon supposedly looked really good during the spring game.
Damon Webb Jr. got an Ohio offer today
Unless you mean OU, Webb got his offer from OSU on the 22nd
good stuff man, thanks
These are awesome updates! As tough as Notre Dame's schedule is, I recall Michigan being in the same situation last year facing a resurging ND, a tough MSU team, Nebraska, OSU (minus pryor but still dangerous) and we still came out on top. I know we were in much better position with an established qb, and a coaching staff in better control of things but college football is very hard to predict. ND has a talented team and I could see them doing some damage although losing lynch was a huge blow.
Thanks for these updates hart20. Interesting to know what is going on behind the curtains of our opponents.
While I find Brian Kelly's goal of 8 wins realistic-optimistic, I don't get why a coach would put a number on the amount of games they'd like to win, unless it is all of them. I understand you don't want to go out and set the bar for success at a highly unrealistic undefeated, but find a way to dodge the question. I think coaches should keep these kind of goals vague, like win a conference or make a NYD or BCS bowl (considering they can't win a conference).
I was kind of thinking that too... It's a realistic goal, but doesn't really motivate your team a ton.
I can shed some light!
As a student at ND, most of us have realistic expectations- we're a program without equal (outside of y'all and Alabama) as far as tradition is concerned. We just kinda suck right now. We also have a raft of mostly subway alumni who think that we can snap our fingers and win a national championship just because our helmets are gold or something. Kelly's trying to set expectations at a reasonable level to keep the crazy portion of the fanbase from pressuring the higher-ups into firing him, especially with the schedule.
Speaking of schedules, just a quick check: did you guys think that your schedule last year was hard, average, or soft? because everyone in ND-land thinks it was soft, but most Michigan fans I talk to think it was hard...
Do you have any suggestions on sites to use? I've mostly settled on Tidefans because of the ease of use.
I'll start checking in on those boards too now.
I may have remembered incorrectly, but I had thought Saban had brought in Dee Hart as a DB (most likely a nickel corner). Was that false information spread around these parts, did he try that out and stick on offense? Just wondering.