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Grand Master (14/14)

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  1. I get the feeling that other fan bases lurking on this board are rolling their eyes at this. Sorry, just not feeling it.
  2. Has the strength and size to be a mauler as a run blocker. No question that it's probably his greatest strength. Pass blocker, he's got the feet to be a good one, but obviously needs to clean up technique while ensuring he's got a better grasp on his assignments down in down out. Chase Thomas took him to school - I think that game will end up making him a better player down the road, because his faults really aren't physical when it comes to pass protection. Route running will be his steepest learning curve. He looks the part of his 6'7" 260 listing, and still strikes me as someone who isn't finished filling out his frame or toning up. He's plenty coordinated, but he won't be able to do some of the things Tyler did on the route tree right away. May not ever have the same kind of WR skills Eifert possessed, but that doesn't mean he can't be an effective tight end. Just means he's going to need polish. All in all, he's got the tools to be the next in a great line of impact tight ends. His game seems suited for the run-first identity that Kelly has incorporated at ND, while still having the ability to make the plays we've seen from Kelly's previous pit stops, where the TE is an extensive, versatile weapon in the passing game. If he maxes out his potential, I see John Carlson 2.0 (read: very good at everything, not necessarily great at any one thing) with Kyle Rudolph's size. I think we'll see more growing pains this spring, but he'll figure things out by the middle of next season. I'm not worried about Troy at all.
  3. They might get their fair share if they can Lane and get a coach who isn't a muppet. Then, well, there's plenty of appeal to a school like USC.
  4. "Source inside the Captain's Cabin have strongly advised Captain Eric Smith to go forward after sustaining iceberg damage, instead re-imagining the voyage as an attempt to be the world's largest submarine." http://griid.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/titanic-sinking.jpg Unbelievably bad writing.
  5. Mark Andrews' upside is very compelling. I can understand why the staff has made multiple trips out there to see him. I like Trumbetti a lot too. Probably doesn't have the highest ceiling, but he's the kind of 3 star that we seem to build the foundation of our classes on early. As of now, 18 is the # I've seen floating around, but it's probable that # goes up with the various forms of attrition (injury, academics, transfer, early graduation, etc). That's a pretty good #'s breakdown. Could maybe make a case for 1 more OLineman based on the injury history of the position, but a lot of that depends on what caliber of Dlineman we have sticking around next year too (way I view it is, losing Tuitt would mean going after 2 to replace him, baring a 5 star no doubter falling into our laps). If all three of the corners we just took in are "hits", then maybe we only take on 1 in this cycle too. Hard to tell right now, but a very good estimate as it stands. Big WRs, #'s at LB, and continue building the trenches. Land a quarterback, and you're on the path to another great recruiting class.
  6. I like the angle they're taking here. The staff knows the significance of taking a quarterback every year. They can't show up on ready-made 5 star's doorstep and expect to get him unless he happens to be in their backyard (which, for all intensive purposes, "he" isn't). They're better off targeting someone who has the tools necessary to play at a high level, but needs a little more cultivation. That he's already been on campus is very promising. Take one every year.
  7. Jaylon is the crown jewel. It's not even a question - the kid has the talent to be a multi year starter at any LB spot on defense, and could probably hold his own in practice at any of the secondary positions if asked. That's crazy versatility, and his ceiling is pretty unlimited. I think Redfield's commit gives Notre Dame the kind of athlete that can make plays on the ball. Harrison Smith gave us some of that by the end of his Irish career, and Bennett Jackson is good at playing the ball when he's in position, but the last consistent ball hawk we've seen was Shane Walton - it's been quite a while. The additions of Jaylon and Vanderdoes are probably more significant to winning the laws of average on defense - holding at the point of attack and ensuring a stout run defense - and upholding the principles we saw on display during the 2012 season. What's exciting about Redfield is that he brings the possibility of changing games on one play from the safety position, whether it's delivering a hard hit that makes a receiver turtle up the rest of the game after fumbling, or jumping a route and taking it back for 6. Kids like Redfield take sound defenses from 3 and out good, and turn them into weapons - so long as you have guys like Tuitt, Nix, Shembo, Smith, Vanderdoes, etc buttering his biscuits in the trenches.
  8. UND's video profile listed him at 5'11" on signing day. Kinda curious as to why they'd undersell a kid's height. Doesn't mean the kid can't play if he is 5'11". Just look at Russell. Still, 3 inches in height does certainly change my perception on the kid.
  9. I think Ty Isaac's problem is that he just kept growing. Teams that were drooling over him early in the process weren't. Heck, even ND wouldn't guarantee him a crack at RB. I think USC's signing day profile even listed Isaac at 6'4"? Whether he's 6'3", 6'2.5", whatever the case is, he was a tall RB as a junior and kept growing - a lot of teams shied off of him because of it. That had just as much to do with Isaac not looking around with any seriousness as did whatever positive factors drew him to So Cal in the first place. Kid may end up making good on his 5 star status. He sounds like a good kid. But unlike some kids that blow up late and become hotter commodities as the process plays out, his recruitment lost momentum late. In the end, I don't lose sleep over losing out on Midwestern kids. ND needs to land kids in their backyard - the Eiferts, the Martins, the Caves of the world - but if you ask me, I'm not bending over backwards to put Chicago on lock down. I'm all for ND's "global" recruiting process, and picking and choosing when to roll up in force at the Chicagoland Catholic schools.
  10. That, and we're talking about a kid who got banged up and didn't do the combine circuit. At some point, ratings are arbitrary. Doesn't make him any less of a prospect over the next 3-5 years. Interesting that they pegged him as a corner.
  11. I'm actually going the other way - think he turns in maybe 10 sacks. Not downing on the kid in saying that either - I just see our pass rush coming from other areas while Tuitt works on being a more technically sound player.
  12. Kinlaw is a diamond in the rough. If the injury bug is indeed a thing of the past, we're getting a good one. A lot of kids coming in with the potential to impact special teams. He's among them.
  13. Admittedly, my Dad's history with nerve injuries are with different parts of the body. He also didn't have access to the kind of physical therapy that Amir has had from day 1. Still, he's 0/2 on getting back to where he was pre-injury, and this is more than a decade after the fact. Nerves CAN heal, but it isn't a given that they will either. I'm not saying we should revoke the kid's scholarship. Heck, there are a number of players that get hurt along the way and keep playing at a super high level. The difference here is, Amir is being honest about everything, and the injury is well documented. I'm in the camp of "give this kid time". The kid got banged up at USC, and he's been banged up at ND. He's clearly a dynamic athlete when healthy. All I hope for is that a) He gets back to a point where he feels comfortable contributing, and b) we put him in a position where he can succeed. To me, that is most likely to happen in the slot, where he isn't asked to take on defenders that run him a higher risk of serious injury.
  14. I hope we aren't 2nd guessing Kelly's handling of Golson last season, considering that we had an undefeated season, and Golson was one of the few guys that actually showed up against Bama and carried his weight. I think the safety discussion will be had in The Gug during the spring. On one hand, it's hard to argue with an undefeated regular season where we got beat by a physically superior team in the title game. When we look at why we lost that game, play calling is maybe 4th on the list behind the recruiting gap, strength/conditioning gap, and the uptight first couple minutes of the game, I'm not sure the emphasis will be on going back to riskier football, but rather to address some of the concerns about depth. On the other hand, I feel that Kelly would love to put some of these close contests out of reach much earlier - get the 2nd unit more meaningful burn, and in general make the process of winning easier by scoring more early rather than leaving it up to shanked field goals and whatnot. I think whatever "opening" we see from the playbook will directly correlate to whatever drop off their is from the defense in the wake of losing it's top 3 leaders, including a nationally decorated middle linebacker. When your defense is giving up close to 10 points a game on average, there isn't much incentive to go anything but vanilla - and I can't say as I blame them either.
  15. Yeah, there's plenty of reasons for that. Sometimes a kid travels just to open the door of communication with a HS staff - and vice versa. Fitts would actually be a prime candidate considering how brief his recruitment went - on the off-chance that he falls in love with Notre Dame and can't envision going anywhere else, then great, he took the visit to find that out, but if not, at least make sure that Kelly & Co. have an open dialogue established with his HS so that maybe next year they look at other scholarship athletes. Sometimes, there's more of a long game emphasis than a short game one (maybe that's why we're seeing Folston's HC get out in front of his recruitment too - trying to send his kids to a good school now and down the road). I think Fitts ends up in UCLA too, but if there's a reason he'll attend a school half way across the country and endure cold toes, God would probably be it. Not great odds, but I didn't expect us to have a foot in the door for in home visits before his visit to begin with. Heck, that there's talk of an unofficial back at USC is troubling in and of itself.
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