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Date Title Body
01/02/2013 - 5:27pm ND's DLine

Will return current starters Nix and Tuitt (NG, and DE). Gone is Kapron Lewis Moore, whose spot will likely be taken by Sheldon Day who played well as a FR this year. He's probably going to be a better pass rusher than Lewis Moore but is likely not as strong of a run defender. The other key backups return across the board for the DL as well.

The defense will almost certainly take a step back without Teo, but Nix returning and Diaco presumably staying on as DC again next year are big reasons for optimism for ND's D in '13.


12/19/2011 - 12:10pm FWIW

ND is going hard after Westerkamp, he just visited campus even after Neb "sent the house" so to speak on an inhome. Nothing is for sure yet but that is a possible flip for sure.

12/12/2011 - 9:39am Just a nit

because you are mostly accurate - Cave is highly likely to return for a 5th year at Center, so ND is projected to lose 2 starters off the OL.

But yes the concerns are pretty much as you described:

1) No Floyd

2) Young Secondary

3) Schedule

The hope for the offense likely rests on Kelly finding a QB not named Tommy Rees that is ready to play. Both of the backups bring stronger arms and the ability to run the ball, which could help mitigate some of the damage of not having Floyd and Jonas Gray back.

08/29/2011 - 11:33pm Probably 20-22 total players

in this class - or ~ 7 more guys if every commit holds (which is just by the odds a slim chance).  ND mostly looking for skill guys now and 1-2 more OL. 

The DE thing is already sorting itself out as a lot of the DEs listed last year arent really DEs (Ishaq Williams, Ben Councell, Tony Springman, and I think either Rabasa or Carrico) there was a mix of DT, OLB and OL in that group. This year they seem to be filling the gap on true DL types, but I'm not sure all will end up at DE. I think thats part of the approach, to just take a lot of good athletes that can grow into/out of a number of positions in the front 7 or go to the OL. 

Some of it too is that ND wants to have a DL where they can regularly rotate 6-7 guys, so you will see a blend of "every down" type guys, and some situation rush or space eating specialists in there also. 

08/28/2011 - 10:06pm 9-10, would be a bit high

I think the consensus right now is closer to 7-8, although if ND has a couple of transfers at some point this year that could change. ND is clearly targeting high skill guys, so I do agree with Irish that ND will be taking more 4/5 star type talent than 3 star from here out - but some of that will depend on how good of a year ND actually has. The Keith Marshall's of the world are probably going to need ND to "prove it" before jumping on board.


I doubt ND can catch UMs ranking this year, although some of that will have to do with the difference in the sizes of the classes (21-22 vs. 27+).

06/29/2011 - 6:42pm Its a tricky topic

From the ND perspective my best speculation/insight on the topic is this:

The past decisions made that are commonly cited (K-Mac for Pot posession, Joseph Fauria for supposedly streaking/public intox, Will Yeatman - i believe drove a golf cart drunk on campus etc.) all were made under prior ResLife leadership. The changing of the leaders in July of 2010 seems to have had a marked impact on the handling of athlete's disciplinary issues, most notably in the public's eye w/Floyd. As an alum my own opinion is that the real change is to move punishment to athletes in line with what it is for the rest of the student body. Its tough to lay out a real strong assertion on that front because the true details on a lot of situations are unclear/small sample size etc. But it is my general sense that the types of punishment being handed out now are more in line with what a typical student would get. My personal opinion is that this is where ND should head as they had been essentially making public examples out of their athletes while students in similar circumstances were getting (typically) more lenient punishment. Obviously its tough - you have to toe a difficult line here of being fair but not going full on MSU/SEC where you encourage an anything goes environment either.

I'm not sure that personally  agree with Kelly's position that he will face an all-or-none suspension, I had sort of expected him to hand out a suspension for the USF game, but having seen/heard about the change in direction over the last 12 months I'm not entirely shocked either.

05/12/2011 - 10:14am I think that Wood is the replacement

and will land in the 18-22 carries/game range most weeks, picking up another 3-5 receptions. Jonas Gray will be the power back who hasn't proven a whole lot yet but has the size/talent to be productive in the hughes role from last year. The problem is behind that ND is losing Cam Roberson a RS FR who was supposed to push for PT for I believe the whole year (or most of it) to a knee injury from this spring. After that is a true FR Cam McDaniel who is coming in this fall. I'd expect Riddick to pick up 5-7 carries /game as Kelly seems to like using him in that Percy Harvin role. It is a scary thin position if Wood goes down.

 I think its fair to point out that the situations in the Miami and SC games certainly favored ND having a good defensive performance, but I think there is something to be said for dominating your opponent so thoroughly on D. SC was held to about 1/2 of their season ypc averages and only scored their TD after 4 tries from the 1 after an ND turnover. Also, they did allow only 2 TDs from kickoff of the Tulsa game through the end of the SC game.

I don't think UM will get another 250+ rushing game out of Denard, not because DR isn't capable of doing that - I just think the D is a lot better and perhaps more importantly what Hoke seems to want would be playing into the strength of ND's D, I don't think that lining up and trying to power against the front 7 is the right way to go - spread and shred would likely be much better. Just the million dollar question I suppose for you guys of how much of the old offense will stay in place.

05/11/2011 - 11:09pm I'll provide some from the ND view

as the username indicates, I've been reading Mgo for a while now without ever posting. Since Blue-Gray Sky shut down there has been a void in the ND blogosphere and the topics/writing here are on a level that are just hard to find at 90+% of other blogs.


ND's real strength will probably surprise most UM fans that stopped paying attention after the great denarding of '10, as ND's defense was lights out good the last 4 or 5 games of the year. On that side of the ball ND loses 3 starters: Ian Williams (who was hurt from Navy onward and both of his backups plus the top prospect Louis Nix return), Darrin Walls (who was a very solid CB) and Kerry Neal who was kind of meh at OLB. The newcomers at DL and OLB look promising, CB also given that the #3 CB (Robert Blanton) played often and well last year. Add to the mix super prospects Aaron Lynch (DE last seen blowing up the ND spring game) and Ishaq Williams (a 5* OLB) and the front 7 is expected to be very strong against the run. The defensive backfield should be solid, anchored by 5th yr SR Safety Harrison Smith, but thin, as after the #3 CB (Lo Wood) everyone else will be freshman at the CB position.

Offensively ND loses Rudolph (TE), Stewart (OG), and Allen (RB). The nice thing for ND is all the guys filling those roles Eifert (TE), Watt (OG), and Wood (RB) have seen extensive PT (Rudolph and Allen went down for the year shortly after the UM game). Eifert isnt the 95yd TD catching freak that Rudolph was, but he should continue the excellent run ND has had lately at TE, he was ND's 2nd best reciever behind Floyd at the end of last year. Watt had essentially split duties with Stewart from about the Tulsa game onward and while I am no expert on OL play he was widely considered to be a step up in terms of fit for what Kelly's offense will ask an OG to do. Wood is a real talent but the concern will be without Hughes as well can ND find a good #2 back as Wood hasnt shown that he can be a 30 carry per game guy. The other big questions are who will start at QB (consensus here is Crist but there are at least a lot of options not named Nate Montana this year) and will Floyd be back. The way ND played at the end of the year with an improved Crist and reinstated Floyd has the general fanbase thinking we could push 10 wins and the BCS. Like pretty much all years it will depend on how they come out of the first four game stretch, this year they'll get USF, UM, MSU, Pitt.

ND also returns one of the best FG kickers in the country in David Ruffer - which could be the difference in a close game or three.