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    Notre Dame Gear on Fanatics.com
    Fanatics is the official online store of the Fighting Irish. If you can't find what you're looking for on our curated list of deals, be sure to check out the full catalog of officially licensed gear over at Fanatics.
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    Best Deals on Gifts and Gear
    The holiday season is upon us, which means so are the savings! Below you'll find a list of carefully selected gear and gift ideas that any Notre Dame fan would love.
    Pricing was updated on November 24, 2023 - If you buy something from our links, we may earn a commission on the sale and want to thank you for helping support Domer Domain.
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    Sam Hartman vs Tyler Buchner: Comparing the 2023 Notre Dame Quarterbacks

    There was a lot of smoke around Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman transferring to Notre Dame for next season. Hartman was a key contributor to Wake Forest’s potent vertical passing game. ND currently starts dual-threat QB Tyler Buchner. Let’s look at what each brings to the table for Irish offensive Coordinator Tommy Rees.
    Sam Hartman can open things up downfield

    Hartman would bring a familiarity with the Rees family from Tommy’s Father Bill’s time at Wake Forest. On the field, he brings five years of experience in the four verticals offense, a passing concept that Tommy Rees ran at ND himself as a QB.
    Four verticals is the idea that the receivers on each pass play start their routes up the field. At a depth that the coaches, quarterback, and receiver agree upon, the receiver can “Break-Off” or change his route based on how the defensive back is playing. It is crucial that the quarterback and receivers are on the same page in the four verticals passing structure. If either sees a different coverage the QB will be throwing a different route than the receiver is running which could result in an interception.
    Hartman will need great pass protection because he is a pocket passer and will have a lot of coverages to read downfield.
    Tyler Buchner is a dual-threat QB

    Entering last season Tyler Buchner won a QB competition with since transferred QB Drew Pyne. Tyler got injured and came back for the Irish’s Gator Bowl win vs South Carolina.
    Tyler brings a dual threat to the field at the QB position, meaning he can make big plays with both his arm and his legs depending on the defensive coverage. A dual-threat quarterback can really take control out of an offensive coordinator’s hands because open passes often turn into QB runs and vice versa.
    Buchner had his ups and downs in the Gator Bowl throwing three touchdowns including the game-winner and three interceptions while running for two more touchdowns.
    Explosive Offenses at the top
    College Football Playoff teams have offenses that score over 40 points a game. Notre Dame averages 31.8 points per game. To reach its goals ND has to become more productive on offense. With very good skill position players returning at running back and wide receiver this is a big decision that Head Coach Marcus Freeman and Offensive Coordinator Tommy Rees have to make, it will set the tone for Year 2 of the Freeman Era.
    Final Thoughts
    Sam Hartman would bring back the vertical pocket passing offense that Tommy Rees is very familiar with coaching and has run himself. The Irish have receivers and tight ends on the roster who were recruited to run that passing offense. They have just finished recruiting a great group of receivers that will fit it well. Sam Hartman might be the safe choice.
    On the other hand, Tyler Buchner brings an exciting energy to the game. Makes big plays and makes big mistakes. He makes a defense prepare for a lot and simplify their gameplan. He has three years of eligibility left and is only beginning to show us what he has to offer. Whether Marcus Freeman and Tommy Rees choose Sam or Tyler 2023 promises to be a exciting season!
    Continue the discussion in our forums  

    All That Glitters Is Not Gold?

    Hype: Excessive publicity and the ensuing commotion.
    Did I rip this straight off of the first credible definition found from a Google search? Yeah, I did. Based on everything else that is been said leading up to the eighty-second meeting of Notre Dame and USC, that seems to be the gold standard of thoughtfulness and insight behind this game.
    It is all too easy to say things on the internet, in front of a camera, or to a microphone that are half thought out and dripping with unnecessary drama. By the same token, it is just as easy as it is to become consumed by the pomp and circumstance being poured into tonight's match up.
    Newly christened gold helmets – now with added sparkle!
    Brian Kelly's winks and nudges towards the inevitability of alternate uniforms.
    Notre Dame's first night game since the death of the beeper.
    Kelly camping out in Bristol, Connecticut a week in advance of game day.
    Speculation on grass height. That's right, you heard me.
    Chuck Martin playing Pied Piper to dozens of elite high school prospects, with their own form of sparkles next to their names as well.
    Kiffin calling this game Notre Dame's Super Bowl, and being honored to be a part of our history – tongue, meet cheek.
    You see, that’s just what they want you to think about. If the powers that be throw enough nostalgic, flashy, enticing, exciting, and emotional words and images at their fan bases, the waters are muddied and replaced with this ambiguous, ominous feeling of “What if?” Kiffin vowing to never lose to Notre Dame again. This highlight reel of USC posterising the Irish for a decade. That Ronald Johnson's drop heard 'round the world. This Robert Hughes pushing the pile into the end zone. That Youtube; ATTACK!
    You know what none of those things will impact?
    Tonight's final score.
    The fact remains that none of these factors being discussed address the reality of what we will see transpire Saturday night between the lines. The “swag” of ND's jerseys will not make Cierre Wood run any harder. Kiffin's personal feelings about it's significance to Notre Dame's histrionics will not make Nick Perry any more physical at the point of attack. Kiffin, media, and others alike want you to think that those things matter. They want you to soak it in and become consumed by all things unimportant. They want you to watch the birdie.
    Once the sediments of sentiment settle in, and the muddied waters become clear again, all you have left to see is a reflection of you and your opponent. That is all this game really is. You vs. Them.
    Its Notre Dame. Its Southern Cal. Lets get down to it.

    Why the Irish?
    Its easy to make excuses for being 4-2. Too easy, in fact. Reality is, this team entered the 2011 season without an identity, despite everyone's best guess leading up to opening kick against South Florida. While progress has been made in execution and discipline, this team still has yet to repent for it's sinful turnover ratio after it's first two games. Especially when considering how much the athletically average Tommy Rees struggled to keep the ball out of Trojan mitts last year, it would be foolish to assume the Irish are immune to getting in their own way.
    The simple fact is this is the best offensive line Notre Dame has enjoyed in about a decade. They keep Tommy Rees upright (to the tune of less than 1 sack a game), and they give both Cierre Wood and Jonas Gray UPS truck sized holes to run through (as evidenced in their team average of 6.0 YPC).
    Its a position nuanced and inglorious enough that is almost immune to all hype, and yet it remains the backbone to any decent football team. This year's Irish squad is no different in that regard. For the first time since I emerged from my Y2K bunker, I feel that our line can hang with whatever waves of Trojan edge rushers are thrown at us.
    They, in turn, enable the Irish to try and exploit their one clearest mismatch, found in Notre Dame's receiving corps. Most feel that Michael Floyd is a one-man band driving the rhythm and sound of Brian Kelly's spread offense. Those that do are significantly miscalculating the caliber of player Tyler Eifert is. He's tall (6'6”), he's big (250), has great hands, and looks like a giant, hairy wide receiver when flexed out next to our 6'3” 224 pound battering ram in Floyd.
    Like it or not, verbal jumping jacks won't change the inherent mismatch posted by fielding a pair of big, physical, speedy receivers who are as close to money as you'll find with the ball in the air. And as long as USC's Nickell Robey surrenders 7 and 10 inches respectively to these two, odds are the Irish will win that match up should it come to fruition. Floyd has a history of pulverizing shorter corners (Michigan's Boubicar Cissoko in 2009), so Kelly's shifting of X's and O's on offense should be a consistent advantage.
    The final feather in Notre Dame's cap is the depth of their defensive front. For once, the Irish enjoy the perks of having athletes worthy of rotating in along the front seven. This is not to say that guys like Stephon Tuitt, Aaron Lynch, Troy Niklas, or Sean Cwynar are equal to the starters they relieve, but for once, the 2nd name on the two deep brings a unique skill set to the table rather than simply a fresh pair of legs.
    The size and speed of this versatile front is designed to harass pro style offenses, which happens to be the scheme deployed by Southern Cal. If the Irish win Saturday night, it is because their line keeps #11 upright, creates holes for our backs, allows Rees to find a sizable advantage in his two favorite receivers, and in turn the defense nips at Barkley's heels enough to throw them out of rhythm.

    Why the Trojans?
    To say this group compares to the powerhouses Pete Carroll trotted out for a decade of dominance would be far too generous. His defenses were embarrassed to give up more than 30 in a game, let alone back-to-back 40+ point outbursts. The affects of scholarship restrictions and no-strings-attached transfers are clear at a few positions on the roster.
    Even when they have won this year, it hasn't been pretty, and it hasn't been against opponents that make fans and pollsters believe, as is evidenced by their omission from the AP Top 25 despite a 5-1 record.
    Still, that's not to say they're dead in the water. Robert Woods IS that one-man-band, totaling a staggering 60 receptions in just six games. In the slot, on the reverse, split out wide, motioned into the backfield – you name it, he does it, and he does it well most every time. Likewise, Matt Barkley is no slouch in his own right. Known for both Jekyll and Hyde moments, the one consistent connection in LA these past two seasons has been Barkley to Woods. Barkley nor Woods may have the stature and accolades of names like Lienart and Williams, but don't be fooled by the measuring sticks of past – these two can play.
    Likewise, the star power of USC's skill positions still needs to be considered. George Farmer had every school in America drooling over his promise at receiver, and USC decided to move him to running back just for giggles – because they could afford to. When names like Dillon Baxter aren't even dressing, the hype surrounding USC's demise seems rather overstated and premature. No, their defense doesn't have Troy Polamalu, Sedrick Cody, Rey Maualuga, and other Trojan legends patrolling the field, but it does have plenty of dynamic talent waiting in the wings and on the field still searching for an identity.
    If USC finds a way to resolve it's identity defensively, that caliber of athlete is still present in a way that would be felt rather immediately. All that they need is for a light bright enough to shine on the right path, and they're dangerous.
    Furthermore, their special teams unit can't be ignored. I'm sure there are those in So Cal who have started a swinging gate drinking game, but ignoring the relatively cute concept of catching PAT defenses “napping”, the Irish have struggled with special teams all year, while SC has it's fair share of standouts.
    Kicker Andre Heidari is enjoying a fabulous season of perfection on PATs while missing all but one of his 11 field goal attempts. Offensive tackle Matt Khalil owns the most blocked kicks in all of college football this year with 4, a fact which seemingly picks at a scab for Notre Dame, as they've bundled their fair share of snaps and kick opportunities this year without the gigantic Khalil playing the role of windmill.
    To say that any of their return men are average athletes is a huge oversight on their overall team speed. If the Trojan faithful are to raise their glasses in praise and glory Saturday night, they will be toasting Barkley to Woods, the fact that any grass shenanigans couldn't slow down their fleet of athletes, and that special teams helped turn the tide while allowing Southern Cal to play with a lead on defense.

    Net Worth
    Neither team is without evident flaws. Neither team is devoid of tangible strengths either. Those strengths and weaknesses will decide who wins tonight - not who Lee Corso picks from East Lansing, or whatever celebrities are caught on camera from the stands at half time or on commercial break. No matter how many gimmicks and sugary sentences spill out in advance of tonight's 7:30 EST kickoff, the fact remains that this is still the same game being played by two teams who don't like each other very much. Pure, simple, dislike.
    I see the proverbial war in the trenches tipping the scales in favor of the Irish just enough to get ahead and stay there. I don't doubt that Lane Kiffin will trot out something creative and effective on special teams to give Irish faithful a scare, but the injury to Trojan running back Marc Tyler will prove too much to overcome offensively.
    Whether its Cierre Wood or Jonas Gray, the ground attack will set up Rees to find Eifert in the back of the end zone for pay dirt glory in the red zone. Barkley keeps his team close, but throws them out of contention late in the game as the depth of Notre Dame's front seven proves too much.
    If you're looking for one sizzle prediction, newly minted punt returner Michael Floyd goes out with a bang in his final game against the Trojans - flips field position with the kind of physical punt return Tommy Zbikowski would be proud of, firing up crowd and team alike in the early going.
    Irish pull away in a game without any frills sans some special teams excitement. Notre Dame 34, USC 21.

    Braxton Miller Gone WIld


    ♣ It's a long shot but 5-star QB Braxton Miller would definitely be the kind of exciting QB that Notre Dame fans would be enamored with.

    Along with his 6'5", 200 pound frame comes an explosive running package that would most certainly be utilized by Brian Kelly and his spread offense.

    His accuracy is decent sporting a 53% completion percentage so far but would see an improvement with coach Kelly's developmental background.

    Ohio State is listed as the only visit up till now and given their consistency with attracting top dual-threat QB's, look to be a major player for Braxton's services.

    I love his athleticism though and am encouraged that Notre Dame is shooting for this type of elite talent. After all, you never know until signing day--wilder things have happened! ♣

    TE-U Could Use Some Koyack

    http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg141/donjuan190/bekoyack.jpg ♣ Pennsylvanian 5-star TE, Ben Koyack, has the size and hands to be the next great TE at Notre Dame. Standing at 6'5" and weighing 230 pounds, adding weight will not be the factor it is with most incoming freshmen.

    He's already been offered by the big Midwestern three and looks to probably add more offers by the end of summer camp season. Last season he had over 800 yards on 48 catches while tabulating 8 touchdowns.

    Notre Dame wasn't the first to the dance with Koyack but looks to make up some ground and perhaps get him to visit for a summer camp.

    If Notre Dame can show that TE's will be utilized in the Kelly regime, look for more to join TE-U. Hopefully Ben will seize this opportunity! ♣

    No Rodents Please

    http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg141/donjuan190/coreycooper.jpg ♣ Notre Dame is looking for RKG's and not ROUS's. Corey Cooper (a RKG) could really help out our defensive backfield and the wide receiver position.

    Standing at 6'2" and weighing 210 pounds all while running a 4.45 forty, makes Corey immediately ready to face the six fingered man.

    He's already given his verbal pledge to Illinois, but that hasn't stopped his interest in a Brian Kelly led Fightin' Irish squad.

    As Notre Dame stumbles through this recruting Fire Swamp, let's hope our Dread Pirate Roberts can bring home our Wesley. Snap, snap, snap, snap, snap....poof! ♣

    Irish Eyes Smiling... Again?


    ♣ "Irish eyes are smiling" is a phrase often thrown around more than a dog in the back of an old pickup truck. People love to reference it whenever there's a change with Notre Dame football.

    Almost unsubstantiated but assumed; and we all know what happens when you assume. We've assumed for the last decade and we all have the smell to prove it. The stench of losing can often prove difficult to lure in a top-notch athlete.

    Defensive tackle, Bruce Gaston, is just that. Having been accessed by the former regime, and having them determine his offer-quality, should help reinforce the Kelly doubters that this kid is something special and "worthy" of an Irish offer. He's expected to make his decision tonight.

    Will Irish eyes be smiling after? Everything I've read seems to point to Boston College being his choice. But who knows? Maybe Irish eyes will be smiling for the one-hundredth time this decade? I just hope those same eyes have something to really smile about come fall. ♣

    Pocket Missile


    ♣ Notre Dame needs to keep this pipeline open, plain and simple.

    Hard work, aggressive play, speed and determination seem to be a characteristic of

    the Punahoe school in Hawaii, and Jeremy Ioane is further evidence of such.

    With 4.5 speed and a physically strong frame, Jeremy could fill both roles of safety and or defensive back.

    Standing at 5’10” and weighing 180 pounds, Ioane is a pocket missile waiting for his big offer to come.

    Manti’s dad knows how good this kid is, let’s just hope someone from Notre Dame realizes it too! ♣

    Responding To Interest

    ♣ Danny Spond finally got his offer from Notre Dame . The athletic quarterback/athlete can play a number of positions and is a seemingly intriguing prospect for the college level.
    He plays quarterback on a run-oriented team, but shows great wheels for being 6’2”, 230. He piggybacked that position by playing linebacker as well.
    With his size and speed, this is where many recruiting sites see him projecting. After committing initially to Colorado, he’s since rescinded that commitment and is once again on the market.
    With Andrew Hendrix and Tommy Rees already in Notre Dame’s fold, this might just be a player you have to get and later decide where to put him, given the logjam at QB for this class.
    He’s currently being recruited by Arizona State, Colorado, Duke, Stanford, TCU, and Wyoming; but look for more to offer now that he’s reopened his commitment. He will be visiting on January 22 and expect a decision the following week.
    He had already scheduled this visit before he received his scholarship offer so take that for what it’s worth. All signs are pointing →to Notre Dame, especially given the shown interest from both parties. ♣

    Scotty Young, Come On Down


    Passing for 4,500 yards and 65 touchdowns will definitely get you noticed, and with Notre Dame's QB depth being possibly filled with a current WR, connecting with Texas's former Gatorade Player of the Year ('08), Scotty Young; will prove to be a wise decision.

    Going back to the well to gather more capable bodies will be a priority for Brian Kelly and staff if they want to be able to compete at a high level, and offering a scholly to a floundering Texas Tech commit might just be what the Dr. Lou ordered.

    You can never underestimate the importance of preparedness and given Brian Kelly's experience with replacing QB's, the importance is noted. Look for Scotty Young to keep his options open while waiting for Tommy Tuberville to name a staff.

    He just might choose to don the blue and gold, especially looking at how coach Kelly developes QB's. Huge numbers and a seemingly perfect offensive fit, are probably why Notre Dame fans are salivating for Young.

    The Jesus Shuttlesworth of Football


    When Kyle Prater learned of Pete Carroll's new job, it hit particularly close to his heart. In fact, he was speechless. It took a couple of interview attempts to actually get something to write down.

    But what was made perfectly clear is that Kyle won't be enrolling early at USC. Upon speaking with his family and re-evaluating his priorities, Kyle Prater will then make another important decision--his college choice.

    As many Notre Dame fans clamor to the hope that this Proviso West standout will rethink his opportunity to play for the Irish, one thing is certain; he got game.

    A Guy Walks Into a Barr...


    When Charlie Weis recruited Anthony Barr, the message was clear. "You're best suited as a LB in the pros so that's where I'll put ya" was the mutual understanding. Being 6'4" and weighing 230 doesn't normally translate over to the RB position; normally. But when Brian Kelly talked with Anthony, the message was different. "We need playmakers on the field, and if that means you'll be playing on offense; so be it."

    I think Anthony Barr liked the idea of being able to compete at a position he's excelled at throughout his highschool career, and according to my peeps, will be inking with the Irish in early February. Look for more concentration on the college side of things when it comes to recruiting from Brian Kelly and staff; after all, this is college and someone will undoubtedly walk into this Barr.

    Practice Makes Perfect?

    Every now and then, I read or watch something that triggers a flashbulb-type thought that I have to write something about. Watching the epitome of selfishness on this video got me thinking. How important is practice? Can practice be too business-like?
    After watching Notre Dame play uninspired ball for yet another year, and having seen the changes made in practice philosophy--i.e. the Irish Eyes drill; I wonder to myself if tempo and over-thinking a complicated scheme would lead to slower looking/performing team play.
    If you ever want a treat, go check out a practice at a lower level college, say Toledo, and look at the simplistic ways which players are taught. See Spot run, tackle Spot or run stadium stairs. Now obviously not all colleges are this basic by nature and some require hours upon hours of film study, but does all this over-thinking hurt an athlete's natural instinct to attack on pulse without the cognitive getting in the way?
    I think it does. Now don't call me a buffoon yet, please hear me out. I'm not suggesting that Notre Dame's problems are all related to complicated practice routines, but I do think it adds to the confusion we often see on our LB's faces as they blitz and a TE runs a seam route right past them for a 20 yard gain.
    Practicing the right way will be an important foundation for Brian Kelly and his new staff. How we scrimmage Tuesday through Thursday will directly effect how we play on Saturdays. "Getting back to basics" is a popular halftime phrase used by coaches to explain how their team will have to adjust to the other teams' first half success, but in our case rings particularly true.
    Building a foundation of good practice will perhaps allow the chains of indecision to fall off and for once, afford us fans the luxury of watching a controlled, passionate team playing with fire and intensity. Practice makes perfect.

    In The Rough?

    Congratulations to Justin Utupo for winning Lineman of the Year by the LA Times! The 6'2", 235 pound DE from Lakewood, California proved all year what a strong work habit and a perpetual motor will do for you. According to his coach, Thadd MacNeal, "Justin was the heart and soul of our defense and he made all the little plays he was supposed to make and then he made the Notre Dame-type plays." We, that is all of us who sit at home and judge recruits off of an oft'-flawed star-rating system, tend to place the "Justins" of our class on the back burner, usually forgetting and quite often referring to them as a star and not as an individual talent like they should be. Well Mr. Utupo's not going down quietly and he deserves praise by muchisima gente'--or many people. This class has the feel of a 'diamond in the rough' type of class, but Justin is already gleaming bright!

    Tough Shoes To Fill

    Who will step up to the plate with this playmaker heading off into the sunset? The list is long and the talent is wide. From Floyd to Goody, to Parris to Shaq, maybe even a Walker in there too; the cupboard is not empty and Kelly will have a nice array of alternatives to choose from. Besides Floyd, I suspect we'll be seeing a lot of the Hoosier Shaqtus. His measurements are small but he has the raw athleticism to cause major headaches for other teams. Golden's hands are gone and his shoes will be tough to fill, but we still have talent--and not to mention a very quick Toma. But look for Shaq to step up and become the second option. A Marty Gilyard comparison can definitely be made and his shoes will be hard to fill as well.

    Giovanni Bernard is Irish!

    Domer Domain welcomes Giovanni Bernard as Notre Dame's 17th commitment! Standing at 5'9" and weighing in at 195 pounds, Gio has a low center of gravity and is known for his excellent balance. His vision is solid allowing for his offensive line to set the table for him, leading to more from less. Alabama, Florida, Florida St., Miami, Nebraska, Oregon St, and Tennessee have also offered Bernard so it's nice to be able to win with such a heavy-hitting cast making their pitch to him. Giovanni Bernard plays for St. Thomas Aquinas, a school that also hosts other Notre Dame offers. Maybe some of this will rub off?

    Roberson Is Irish!

    Cameron Roberson saw enough on Saturday to make it official that he would join the up-and-rising Irish next year. At 6'1" 215 pounds, Cameron brings some good size for our FB position which is currently in dire need. He ran for around 1,500 yards on 226 caries as a junior and looks to surpass that this season. With offers from Arizona, UDub, Northwestern, BYU amd assumingly UCLA; this Newbury Park, CA native was definitely noticed by the west coast, but made the call to Charlie in then end. Domer Domain welcomes Cameron to Notre Dame and looks forward to following his senior season! Glad you're here "Robo", glad you're here!

    Possible Number Three

    With Duval sidelined with a knee injury, Shaq looks to step up and grab the thrid WR spot. And with everything we're hearing he seems to have made quite the argument on why he should be on the bus. Quickness and a knack for making big plays will add a dimension to the typical possesional third receiver role we've all become accustomed to. Two burners on the outside, a great sure-handed slot guy who can go the distance at will, and a tower streaking down the middle on a seam route will make for a hard cover. We'll see tomorrow who has made the cut, but I bet we'll be seeing Mr. Evans' name on that list.


    Explosive playmaking ability has shot this defensive-back up to an elite level of recruitment. Can the Irish lure him in with the possibility of two Florida boys manning the backfield? One thing's for sure though. dem Florida boys are off the hizzo...or in proper vernacular, these Florida athletes are very athletic. Who'd want to throw on them? That's the message being sent to Palmdale by staff and other verbals. Others referring to Chris Martin in particular. I'm pulling for Chris to reign him in.

    Cameron Oh Cameron

    Cameron Roberson is a name on the tip of every recruitnik's tongue. Darius Walker meets a healthy Robert Hughes so to speak, would be a fair comparison. Standing a little over 6 feet tall and weighing 215 pounds, Cameron would bring an already-sturdy, college football-type of body to one lucky team. With offers up and down the west coast, this 4-star Californian back should be hard to pull, right? Not according to recent reports. It's been said Mr. Roberson is "really excited" about his Notre Dame offer and that it won't take much to get his pledge. We shall see though as we've all heard this before. Maybe I should just say we have no chance with him so that we can all be excited if he commits? Consider Cameron a bonus get. A big bull of a back but with the shiftiness needed for running Charlie's screen game--but we have no chance at him, zero.

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