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Team Assessment


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Just by my quick + and - I'm worried about the defensive line and a bit about the Offensive line. I think Hiestand has the most talent to work with so I'm less worried about finding two guards. The defensive line loses Foskey, both Ademilola twins, Chris Smith etc

The offensive  outlook is better skill wise

The defense is solid in terms of the 2nd and 3rd level. I worry up front though.

QB=+

RB=+

WR=+

OL=--

TE= -

DL= -----

LB=+

S= -

CB= +

 

 

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14 hours ago, FaithInIrishForever said:

Just by my quick + and - I'm worried about the defensive line and a bit about the Offensive line. I think Hiestand has the most talent to work with so I'm less worried about finding two guards. The defensive line loses Foskey, both Ademilola twins, Chris Smith etc

The offensive  outlook is better skill wise

The defense is solid in terms of the 2nd and 3rd level. I worry up front though.

QB=+

RB=+

WR=+

OL=--

TE= -

DL= -----

LB=+

S= -

CB= +

 

 

I agree with your overall assessment. But what did you mean by the defense is solid in terms of 2nd and 3rd levels? I just read an article suggesting they move Lewis from S to CB to strengthen depth since there are so many unproven young guys in backup rolls. Also I’m not sure they have decided on starting LBs. so some veteran starters might be replaced with younger more athletic guys.

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3 hours ago, ND_JACK said:

I agree with your overall assessment. But what did you mean by the defense is solid in terms of 2nd and 3rd levels? I just read an article suggesting they move Lewis from S to CB to strengthen depth since there are so many unproven young guys in backup rolls. Also I’m not sure they have decided on starting LBs. so some veteran starters might be replaced with younger more athletic guys.

the 2nd level is my shorthand for linebackers  and 3rd is dbs.

By solid I just mean starters return.

i'm just not wowed by the defense, like you said they will move pieces to patch holes, lewis is too good not to play. Jr and Sneed will play too.

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1 hour ago, tneun89 said:

The offense should take a massive step forward. Last year, they put up 31.8 points/game, which ranked 42nd in the country. The year before, they put up 35.2 points/game, which was 20th. The high water mark in the last decade is the 2019 team, which averaged 36.8 points/game, which was 13th in the country. The 2023 offense should come close to that mark.

Sam Hartman is the best QB since at least Deshone Kizer, but I think he's much better than Kizer and probably the best since Clausen. (He was a great college QB his Junior year, regardless of how his pro career went).

The skill position talent will be much better, minus TE, obviously. Diggs and Estime are only getting better. And if Price comes back fully health (which he should), then the RB room should be one of the best in the country. I think Tyree would benefit by moving to slot full time - basically the reverse Theo Riddick situation. I like the WRs but still think ND is missing that bona fide #1. I really like what Thomas and Colzie did in the second half of the season. I think Styles plays much better with a better QB. And I'm hopeful Merriweather makes a jump and Kaleb Smith (VTech transfer) can be a Javon McKinley 2020 type player. Mayer is impossible to replace, but Evans should be good and hopefully Raridon gets healthy. Staes should be good too.

I'm not as worried about the OL. Alt is an All American. Fisher has the potential to be one. Correll played well at center for most of the season. It'll be hard to replace Patterson and Lugg, but Kristofic has starting experience and Schrauth is getting great reviews. It might take a game or two, but at least ND opens against Navy and Tennessee State, not at Ohio State.

The offense will carry this team. In an ideal world, the offense is the best of the last 10 seasons, Hartman contends for the Heisman, and Tommy Rees parlays the success to a lower tier P5 head coaching job.

The defense worries me. The DL is missing a lot of pieces, including a true sack man and size in the middle. Botelho played well against South Carolina and had some good moments in the back half of the season, but he's always lacked size to hold up against the run and doesn't consistently get to the QB. But he played with more discipline in the back half of the season and hopefully he can put it all together for his senior year. I like the OSU transfer and think he could get 6-ish sacks next season. ND needs to land a guy or two from the portal. They really need someone at DT.

LB needs to figure out the rotation. Bertrand is for sure a starter. But what about Liafau and Kiser? Kollie looked really good at times last year, but played like a younger guy and made some mistakes (one of which in the first quarter against South Carolina resulted in him getting benched). Sneed has speed and athleticism, but I would think mentally he is far behind the upperclassmen.

The secondary should be very good next year with Hart and Morrison, plus an improving Watts. Lewis and Mickey provide good depth at CB. I'm worried about the other safety spot - not sure Henderson or Brown are starting material. The Oklahoma State transfer sounds more like a nickel.

Special teams will be good as long as Mason is here. I just hope we never see Tyree return another kick - he is too hesitant. ND needs a playmaker back there.

Brillant post. You and feel exactly the same way! My worries are squarely on the defense as well.

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DL is definitely thin but has loads of talent and many unknowns. 
 

I’m calling it now, Botelho is going to be an All American. The amount of sacks and pressures he had with such a limited amount of snaps is impressive. He’s also 6’3 250lbs and is one tough SOB. 
 

The OSU transfer had like 6 sacks in limited time and is like 6’6 250 lbs. 

Ford is 6’4 275 and was a top 100 guy. Burnham was a top 100 guy and Gobaira was just outside the top 100. 
 

Mills, Rubio and Cross are all capable in the middle and I’d expect one or two to take another step. Keanaaina provides some size we are sorely lacking. 
 

Jason Onye and Ehrensberher are both big bodies who provide depth. I haven’t even mentioned Osafa Mensah.

ND just needs two of the unknown guys to hit and the d line might end up being the surprise strength of this team like defensive back was in 2022. 

If there should be any concern it’s with the linebacking core. If Kollie and Sneed cannot overtake Marist and Kiser, it’s going to be a LONG season. 

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