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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Thoros of Beer, Feb 3, 2016.
There's no way he's 220.
I think he was actually only 190 a couple months back. He did a ton of summer work just to get to the 200+ he’s at now, per reports.
If there are any positions I trust the coaches to figure it out and at least coach up/scheme decent play it's Lea with linebackers and Elston with DL.
I don't think Hamilton will ever grow to the size/shape of a traditional LB, but lots of defenses are bringing in an extra safety to play LB these days and I could see him doing that.
Not great bob
so the one advantage here is that you can scheme away from TE if we would really be down to tremble and wright
Hopefully it’s not too serious
Seems like we've been hit by the injury bug a bit this week, but this is why having depth across the board is so important. I feel like practices the last couple years under Kelly seem more competitive/intense, but you can get away with doing that when you have a couple lines of players you have confidence in.
Kmet would obviously be a huge loss though - all reports is that he is on pace to be a top tier weapon this year.
It truly is possible for every scholarship quarterback on the roster to throw the ball well – collectively – in a single practice.
It didn’t seem like it Sunday in Notre Dame’s first practice at Culver Academies when red-shirt freshman Phil Jurkovec and freshman Brendon Clark struggled to complete the simplest of passes. Four days later, starter Ian Book, Jurkovec and Clark were competent-to-very good throughout the fifth and final practice in Culver, Ind.
Jurkovec came out to the practice field and just threw the football. He didn’t over-think it. He didn’t “feel” his way through passes and slow his arm speed. He just caught snap and threw the football. Lo and behold, the football didn’t flutter, other than a swing pass to Kyren Williams that Williams caught it and took upfield.
During one-on-ones, Jurkovec connected on 7-of-8 passes. During a 7-on-7 segment, six of his eight passes were completed. Jurkovec continues to throw a nice deep ball. One bomb to Braden Lenzywas a bit overthrown and might have been caught had Lenzy stretched out for it.
With Alohi Gilman blanketing Cole Kmet in the corner of the end zone, Jurkovec lofted a perfect pass to Kmet who pulled it in. Jurkovec hit Javon McKinley for a 40-yard touchdown before the No. 3 unit concluded practice.
Clark, too, was much better than he had been on Sunday. He was 3-of-4 during one-on-ones, 2-of-4 in 7-on-7, and 2-of-4 with a drop in 11-on-11. Clark’s throwing motion is more compact than Jurkovec’s now that Jurkovec has gotten away from what he utilized in the spring. As he showed in high school and on the all-star circuit, when Clark muscles up to throw the football, he can really bring it.
For the record, Book was 0-of-5 during one-on-ones with a pair of overthrows, although one – to Lenzy – would have been a pass interference in a game. Book bounced back with a 2-of-2 in a 7-on-7 red zone drill, 5-of-7 in 7-on-7, and 5-of-6 in a second 7-on-7 red-zone drill.
When the Irish went to a full-scale 11-on-11, Book completed all three of his throws in a 75-yard touchdown drive, including a 23-yard fade to Chase Claypool on the first play of the series, a 14-yarder to Jafar Armstrong, and a seven-yarder to Claypool.
Book came back in for one more series and completed 3-of-5 before a quick-whistle sack by Julian Okwara and a coverage sack stopped the drive.
Physicality earmarked the performance of Notre Dame’s five running backs, particularly Tony Jones Jr., who ran with a purpose.
Early in the practice session, a one-on-one open-field tackling drill distinctly favored the offensive skill players, particularly the running backs. Of the dozen-and-a-half or so reps, the defense won four or five at the most. Kyren Williams put his head down and bulled his way through a tackle attempt by Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, and then did it again to Owusu-Koramoah moments later.
In 11-on-11, Jones powered his way for six yards, Jahmir Smith bulled his way for 11, Armstrong added a seven yarder, and Jones blasted his way for another 11, immediately followed by a seven-yarder.
There were some dropped passes early in the session, including one by C’Bo Flemister. But Flemister shined late with six- and 12-yarders among the final six snaps of the day. Williams made a nice twisting catch of a swing pass that was behind him. During 11-on-11s, Williams ran over safety Derrik Allen.
One of the things that Chip Long said about running backs coach Lance Taylor is that his troops play hard and play with physicality. That clearly was evident Thursday.
Long and offensive line coach Jeff Quinn were disappointed when Armstrong was stood up from the one-yard line. But on 3rd-and-goal, Armstrong powered his way through tackle attempts of Jalen Elliott and Alohi Gilman to complete an eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive.
Bad news hit about midway through the two-hour-45-minute practice when Kmet’s leaping grab in the corner of the end zone was mitigated by the apparent shoulder injury suffered by the junior tight end as Alohi Gilman fell on top of him.
Kmet left the field on a golf cart. Without access to Irish head coach Brian Kelly or the players, the severity of the injury was not immediately known. In his absence, Brock Wright had a solid day with an unofficial seven grabs in one-on-ones, 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s combined.
Wright made a great contested catch on Troy Pride Jr. and came back to the football on a sideline throw to make the catch. Wright also scored as he tight-roped the back of the end zone.
Notre Dame’s starting receivers made themselves known, particularly Chris Finke and Michael Young. Chase Claypool has picked up where he left off in the spring when he simply put his head down and worked his tail off on a daily basis.
Claypool willingly and frequently sacrifices his body in an attempt to make a sprawling catch. He came up a bit groggy on a deep ball in the end zone that Pride and Kyle Hamilton defended.
It was a mixed bag of work for red-shirt junior Javon McKinley, who is trying to earn a backup W role behind Claypool as Kevin Austin – who pretty much was non-existent in the passing game Thursday – plays out what is expected to be a four-game suspension to start the 2019 season.
Early in drills, McKinley dropped a pass. But he came on to make five grabs, including a beautiful body-shielding touchdown catch at the goal line against Temitope Agoro for a 40-yard score.
After taking a good chewing from Chip Long following a dropped pass, tight end Tommy Tremblescored on a crossing route approaching the pylon. Fellow red-shirt freshman tight end George Takacsmade goal-line touchdown grab from Jurkovec.
There wasn’t much in terms of production from the promising sophomore class. Lenzy had the aforementioned opportunity on a deep ball that he didn’t stretch out for. Lawrence Keys III had two catches during one-on-ones. There was just one grab by Joe Wilkins.
With the injury to Quinn Carroll (right knee) earlier in the week, it prompted the shift of Josh Lugg to left tackle behind starter Liam Eichenberg with freshman Andrew Kristofic getting most of the snaps behind right tackle Robert Hainsey.
Speaking of Eichenberg and Hainsey, both were completely undressed off the edge by Julian Okwara, which says more about Okwara than anything the two offensive tackles are lacking. Okwara is just a freak of a pass-rusher.
The usual starting offensive line was in place with Hainsey at right tackle, Tommy Kraemer at right guard, Jarrett Patterson at center, Aaron Banks at left guard and Eichenberg at left tackle. The second unit from right-to-left included Kristofic, John Dirksen, Colin Grunhard, Dillan Gibbons and Lugg. The third team from right-to-left had Cole Mabry, John Olmstead, Zeke Correll, Logan Plantz(who moved back the offensive line from defensive tackle) and walk-on Quinn Murphy.
Once the Irish got past their tempo drill, fifth-year senior Trevor Ruhland worked at No. 2 left guard behind Banks.
A young man who continues to impress is Grunhard, the walk-on from Mission, Kansas whose father Tim was a starting guard on Notre Dame’s 1988 national championship squad.
Grunhard, who missed the spring recovering from a shoulder injury, is a capable major college center. He lacks stature at 6-foot-0½, 289 pounds. But he’s a technician and he knows how to play football. Lugg likely would get the call if something happened to Patterson, although Grunhard is a capable backup.
Jonathan Doerer attempted seven kicks. He was successful from 20, 36, 39 and 47 yards; he was unsuccessful from 31, 43 and 50 yards with the last one from 50 yards falling well short and to the right of the crossbar.
Thursday was our first glimpse of freshman walk-on Harrison Leonard. He attempted five kicks from 20, 32, 36, 40 and 42 yards out. Every kick came of his foot explosively. Every kick had the same end over end trajectory. Every kick went through the uprights.
Culver, Ind. — Notre Dame’s fifth and final practice from Culver Academies featured plenty of hitting as squad’s first day off is forthcoming Friday back in South Bend.
Today’s defensive injury news:
Safety Alohi Gilman later in practice (unclear if it was his neck, head, shoulder, upper body). Gilman did not leave practice but was sidelined for the late-session scrimmage after taking a shot in goal line action. More on that below.
Stationary Bikes: Cornerback Houston Griffith, safety D.J. Brown, later joined by cornerback Avery Davis.
Long-snapper John Shannon: Withheld from field goal duties early in practice and rode the bike late. Shannon went through skeleton punt team drills (as thrilling as it sounds).
A run through the units as they aligned during opening position drills:
SDE: Khalid Kareem, Ade Ogundeji, Jamir Jones, Kofi Wardlow, NaNa Osafo-Mensah
Shark: Julian Okwara, Daelin Hayes, Justin Ademilola, Isaiah Foskey, Ovie Oghoufo
NT: Kurt Hinish, Jacob Lacey, Ja’Mion Franklin, preferred walk-on Zane Heemsoth
DT: Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, Jayson Ademilola, Howard Cross, Hunter Spears
Let’s dismiss with the pleasantries: Julian Okwara is a game-wrecker off the edge. Today he made life miserable for both Liam Eichenberg and Robert Hainsey. Okwara either knows the quarterbacks’ cadence or has little jets implanted in his shoes. My goodness.
(That said, I thought the offensive line was better than the DL overall today.)
After being bludgeoned early by left guard Aaron Banks, Tagovailoa-Amosa began to flash, shedding a tackle to register a stop for not gain on brute strength at the 1-yard line, then recording a chase down TFL at scrimmage.
Kurt Hinish penetrated on two different occasions but was sealed thereafter, first by Jarrett Patterson, then by Banks. Since both took Hinish away from the play, it’s a win for the offensive interior.
Jayson Ademilola continues to shine when he can shed and chase but was engulfed at the point on two occasions today by backup center Colin Grunhard. Grunhard had a good day in drills I was told as well.
Ovie Oghoufo appears slated for special teams work. (A lot of it.) At one point during late-practice defensive line work, Oghoufo left the drills as the starting punt coverage unit was working 3-on-1 vs. the returners.
Justin Ademilola with a sound play in scrimmage, maintaining leverage outside on a QB Keeper by Phil Jurkovec, then running with the speedy quarterback to the sideline for no gain.
As a colleague wondered aloud what we’d seen from Jacob Lacey, the true freshmen appeared on cue, pushing the pocket on consecutive snaps from the base defense to aid no gain rushes…
Around Scrimmage: Isaiah Foskey is an impressive looking athlete. He received scrimmage work today on the strong side with the third unit. When 20 more pounds are on that frame, it’s lights out…I thought Hunter Spears was caught a little high twice today though he did knife through a gap late-practice…Not a ton of push from Ja’Mion Franklin in relief but it was good to see him going full speed in 11-on-11 scrimmage. He’s more than cleared…Julian Okwara is human: ankle-breaker fake-out in the flat courtesy Jafar Armstrong…Not much from Ade Ogundeji or Khalid Kareem today though both would’ve had a sack had they not let up on the protected quarterbacks…Daelin Hayes with a sack vs. Jurkove but was unblocked off the edge…
Rookie moment for Howard Cross: after his 3rd string squad registered a 3rd Down sack (Jack Kiser), he came to the sidelines—as is customary following such a play. He was instead greeted by the acerbic tone of Mike Elston: ‘Nobody told you to come off the field.’
For the second straight practice, 5th-year senior linebacker Asmar Bilal worked at the Buck position.
Mike: Drew White, Bo Bauer, J.D. Bertrand
Buck: Asmar Bilal, Jordan Genmark Heath, Shayne Simon, Marist Liufau
Rover: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Paul Moala, Jack Kiser
Neither Jack Lamb nor Jon Jones (Mike) received much work in 11-on-11 base defenses, though Lamb entered late. Lamb, however, was a starting linebacker in the Nickel sets. Jones has a tremendous attitude in practice but he is clearly not in the game day mix (from scrimmage).
Today was clearly a session for instruction on this third down package. It was aligned as such:
DL: too heavy of a base rotation to be significant
LB: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Jack Lamb
Boundary CB: Troy Pride
Field CB: Donte Vaughn
Post Safety: Kyle Hamilton
Safety: Jalen Elliott (more of a strong side with Hamilton as the boundary or ‘Whip’ that rotated to the post on the snap
Nickel: Alohi Gilman
Gilman rarely aligned over the slot receiver, instead starting near the line and rotating back to various zone and/or man responsibilities at the snap.
Linebacker Notes: Drew White jumps a slant for a PD in 7-on-7…Poor tackling day all around for the linebackers in one-on-one drills. They clearly favor the offense because of a 5-yard head start in space, but Paul Moala was catching ball carriers rather than striking, Owusu-Koramoah was beaten by Kyren Williams (spun out of the tackle), then Jafar Armstrong (pummeled)…Bo Bauer physical in half-line (3 blockers and a running back vs. 2 DL, 1 LB), but this is another drill that favors the offense. (Inside ‘backers go with the linemen to this drill; Rovers go with CB and Safeties for 1-on-1 tackling)…11-on-11: Aaron Banks engulfs Drew White. Whoah…
As an aside: Bo Bauer emitted a growl upon tackling the donut in drill work.
Jack Kiser with two untouched “tap” sacks of quarterback Brendon Clark, blitzing off the edge in 3-on-3 action. One colleague offered after the second: ‘There’s your 2020 Blue Gold Game MVP.’…Owusu-Koramoah with a far hash sprint across traffic to put a form tackle on Tony Jones following a first down gain. Both Jones and Kyren Williams were extremely tough to tackle today in live action…
Troy Pride, welcome to Friday. The senior never quits, but he was a little worse for the wear at times during today’s session, first limping back from one deep coverage effort (1-on-1 drills) while also appearing to reach for his back in the back of the end zone in 7-on-7…
In a moment of levity (perhaps frustration), Pride walked by the scout team receivers that were staying sharp by firing passes at each (special teams drills were going on at the time) and proceeded to knock the ball from an unknowing Isaiah Robertson’s grasp. Exasperated, Robertson fired the ball at Pride instead of his fellow receiver target. Pride calmly caught the ball with perfect form and offered kindly that Robertson had nothing for him in that regard…
Of note: the senior aligned mostly to the boundary in scrimmage action today with Donte Vaughn to the field.
Limited with three cornerbacks on bikes for most of practice, opening drill work included a threesome of veterans leaving the way: Shaun Crawford, Vaughn and Pride followed by the quartet of Temitope Agoro, Tariq Bracy, Isaiah Rutherford, and K.J. Wallace.
Crawford clearly had a day off of heavy action today. He never worked the bike but also never repped in any contact situation. (Crawford isn’t allowed near the field in these situations because he tries to sneak in reps. Great tidbit if you’re a fan/reporter—not so much if you’re a coach trying to save him from himself over four months.)
Though there was plenty of ‘left/right’ alignment vs. the offense’s no-huddle, the boundary/field sets looked as such:
Boundary: Pride, Agoro, Wallace
Field: Vaughn, Bracy, Rutherford
Cornerback Notes: K.J. Wallace with perhaps the best tackle by a cornerback in 1-on-1s (that’s not saying much), taking down Kendall Abdur-Rahman upon initial contact…Donte Vaughn beaten off the snap by Chase Claypool but sticks with it to break up the under thrown sideline route…Pass interference on Rutherford vs. Joe Wilkins in a 1-on-1 PD…Very physical PD by Troy Pride downfield vs. Claypool and it was called (he held first, I think the rest was fine)…Tariq Bracy beaten deep by Braden Lenzy but the ball is overthrown (Book)…
Javon McKinley corner route touchdown vs. Rutherford…McKinley won the day vs. Notre Dame’s freshmen cornerbacks, I might add. As well he should…PD by Vaughn who was overly physical with Wilkins. If he’s allowed to do that this year he’ll be an All-American…Bracy with a leaping pass breakup of a well-thrown end zone dig route to Lenzy. Really nice play by the sophomore corner…Young beats Rutherford for a field side TD to the corner but the real story was an absolute DIME dropped by Phil Jurkovec. Wow.
Physical coverage by Wallace on Tony Jones. Impressive. Terrible route by Wilkins but Donte Vaughnis all over it for the PD, regardless…Troy Pride with a pass defended vs. Claypool to open 11-on-11 scrimmage. Dude won’t take a rest.
Pass broken up by Agoro in 11-on-11, solid coverage vs. Young? (but not sure of the #)…Bracy beaten for the score by Lawrence Keys who had a good day…Field side pass breakup by Bracy who was busy this afternoon…
Unlike the cornerbacks, this was easy to track today:
Field/Strong/Stud: Jalen Elliott, Derrik Allen, Patrick Pelini
Boundary/Free/Whip: Alohi Gilman, Kyle Hamilton, Litchfield Ajavon
Kyle Hamilton: after getting dusted in his first 1-on-1 tackle attempt, the freshman finished off the next three including a strip of classmate Cam Hart…
Red Zone 1-on-1: Lawrence Keys beat Hamilton for a corner route touchdown and Jafar Armstronggot to rookie on a short out score, but Hamilton closed on the latter, and that’s an impossible-to-cover in 1-on-1. Wow.…Hamilton gives up a step to Chris FInke on a post-corner, (bad pass) that falls incomplete. That’s about as good as it gets vs. Finke when he has a whole field to work with.
11-on-11: Interception by Hamilton defending the deep post…Hamilton with a diving pass breakup in the end zone (should’ve been a touchdown) against Claypool…
Rough day for Jalen Elliott in 1-on-1s (he drew Finke each time) and in tackling drills. Elliott then took a shot (along with Alohi Gilman) on an attempted stop of Jafar Armstrong at the goal line. Armstrong won—and Gilman never returned….
Derrik Allen took one on the chin from Kyren Williams downfield in scrimmage action. Wow that was a physical finish by the freshman runner…
Alohi Gilman coverage: Wears people out—unfortunately today to the detriment of his team. On four consecutive 1-on-1 coverage situations, Gilman produced the following:
Pass defended on an out-route to Kmet
Pass defended on a cross to Armstrong
Pass defended on a dig to McKinley
Pass smacked down but somehow juggled and caught by Tommy Tremble on a deep corner route
Inside the jersey of Kmet on a corner route but the junior tight end somehow makes the catch, despite Gilman landing on him in the end zone.
Edit: And Kmet injured his collarbone on the play, to be addressed by Brian Kelly on Saturday.
I joked in Monday’s podcast that Kmet has to be sick of Gilman always being matched with him in 1-on-1’s because of the latter’s physicality and penchant for getting inside him as he lands.
Now it’s not a joke. It’s hard-nosed football, but it’s unfortunate for Kmet.
CULVER, Ind. - Notre Dame had its first full-padded practice of the 2019 season, and the Fighting Irish offense had a strong overall practice. Standouts and quick observations from the offense.
OFFENSIVE LINE – I couldn’t point to just one standout offensive linemen from today’s action; the group as a whole was just outstanding. The group dominated the defensive line – inside and outside players – during 1on1 pass rush drills. Right tackle Robert Hainsey stoned end Khalid Kareem on back-to-back reps, and Liam Eichenberg beat end Julian Okwara on two straight reps as well.
During team, Okwara was able to get around Hainsey twice and Eichenberg once, but overall the line was absolutely dominant. They were pushing the entire defensive line around and opening up big holes in the run game. The pass protection was especially good, with the line giving both Ian Book and Phil Jurkovec plenty of time to throw the football.
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Left guard Aaron Banks was the most up-and-down of the group, but even he had plenty of strong moments, and right guard Tommy Kraemer was a standout. Jarrett Patterson held his ground in pass pro, got a decent push in the run game and twice snapped the ball early when the defense jumped, drawing an offsides penalty.
I was also impressed by backups like Colin Grunhard, Joshua Lugg, Dillan Gibbons and Andrew Kristofic.
PHIL JURKOVEC, QB – The sophomore QB had the best practice I’ve seen from him in a Notre Dame uniform. He was snapping the ball off with authority – usually – and when he does that the ball jumps out of his hand. He went 8-10 with a dropped pass on the first portion of 1on1s, showing better timing and ball location. During the red zone 1on1 period he went 5-9 with two drops and threw some impressive balls. His touch on the backshoulders, fades and wide fades was quite good and he threw with good velocity on in-breaking routes.
During 7on7 he went 6-10 with three dropped passes.
Jurkovec threw two excellent deep post routes during team that fell incomplete. On the first he threw one to Braden Lenzy, who thought the pass was going to be short apparently, so he slowed down, and that caused the ball to go off his fingertips. Javon McKinley basically stopped running on the next post throw, which from my vantage point would have hit him in stride if he kept running. Jurkovec had a nice scramble play where he avoided the pressure, stepped up and hit Tommy Tremble on a crosser for what would have been a huge gain, and he would have had a long run, maybe a touchdown, if the referees didn’t blow the play dead because a defender was three steps behind him.
Jurkovec and McKinley hooked up later on a post route for a touchdown during team. The ball wobbled, which some like to focus on, but it hit McKinley right on the hands and the senior receiver hauled it in for a score.
Jurkovec’s best pass was a perfectly placed drag route to Chris Finke that went right over the head of Jalen Elliott. His big miss was an interception during 7on7 when he threw a drag route too far and it was picked off my Kyle Hamilton.
MICHAEL YOUNG, WR – Speaking of Michael Young, he had a strong day as well. In fact, he’s the only player I have marked down as catching a pass against Donte Vaughn, which he did when he and Jurkovec hooked up on a backshoulder throw against tight coverage. Young was sharp off the line, did an excellent job working into coverage and showed the speed to get over top of defenders.
He beat Troy Pride Jr. with speed on an in cut, which says a lot, and he also beat freshman Isaiah Rutherford on a fade route for a touchdown. The coverage was actually good, but the throw from Jurkovec was perfect and Young did a great job making the catch and getting his feet down in bounds.
Young and Ian Book hooked up for a Cover 2 hole throw that was actually a touch behind him. It was good timing by Book, and the throw was close enough where Young could reach around and make the tough catch for a big gain.
--- Starting tight end Cole Kmet went down during 1on1s after making an excellent grab for a touchdown. He came up holding his shoulder and was out the rest of practice. With him out, junior Brock Wright and sophomore Tommy Tremble stepped up and performed well, especially Wright.
The junior made a number of chain moving throws, he blocked well for the most part and he did a good job getting separation as a route runner. He was able to beat Asmar Bilal and Shayne Simon during team/7on7 periods to move the chains, he beat Alohi Gilman for a score during 7on7 and also beat Troy Pride for a touchdown on a slant throw.
Tremble got jumped on by Chip Long on a few snaps for not being sharp, but he also made a lot of plays in the pass game. His speed always stands out.
Sophomore George Takacs made a few plays today as well, working mostly with the second and third group.
--- Michael Young got credit for being the standout at wide receiver but he wasn’t alone. The drop on the deep post aside, Braden Lenzy impressed me on the play by smoking CB TaRiq Bracy, who is one of the other fastest players on the team. Lawrence Keys continues to be a matchup nightmare in the slot, and he made Hamilton look really bad on a few 1on1 reps. Keys also blocked well during today’s practice.
Senior Javon McKinley was up and down. He had some strong grabs and plays, and also had some plays where his effort was less than impressive. He has to eliminate those types of plays if he’s going to get legit action this year. Senior Chase Claypool was steady, making some quality grabs and competing hard against Pride and Vaughn.
--- The running backs got off to a rough start during individual, dropping a number of passes, but they settled down and performed well the remainder of practice. Tony Jones Jr. ran very hard during team, making one of the plays of the day by being decisive getting through the first level, then cutting outside and finishing the play off by running over a couple of defensive backs to move the chains. His one mistake was bouncing outside on a counter that could have been a big gain if he cut vertically.
Sophomore Jahmir Smith had several good runs, both inside and outside, and didn’t seem to have any ball security issues despite having his left hand in a cast. He wasn’t thrown the ball at all, but he ran with authority. Jafar Armstrong was solid, with his best play coming when he ran through Alohi Gilman for a touchdown on a goal line snap.
Kyren Williams was active today and made a lot of plays in the pass game. He’s a really sharp route runner and makes way more contested catches than a guy who is about 5-8 should make. C’Bo Flemister had a couple of drops but his vertical speed jumps out at me.
CULVER, Ind. - Notre Dame had its first full-padded practice of the 2019 season, and the defense had some up-and-down moments, but overall it was a strong day for the team.
ALOHI GILMAN, S– For the second straight practice, the senior safety was a standout for the Irish. Already a proven run defender, what has stood out about Gilman so far in fall camp has been his excellent coverage. Even when he got beat by TE Cole Kmet on a touchdown, Gilman was in very good position, requiring an elite catch and a perfectly thrown pass from QB Phil Jurkovec.
Gilman was all over Kmet and the other Irish pass catchers during 1on1s. He forced an incompletion on his first rep against Kmet and broke up a pass intended for RB Jafar Armstrong on rep two. The only other pass that was caught on Gilman in 1on1s was another perfectly thrown ball from Jurkovec, this time to TE Tommy Tremble.
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Gilman got redemption later during a 7on7 period, forcing an incompletion against Tremble and Jurkovec.
The Irish safety was active in the run game and showed physicality today, which is what we expect to see from him.
DONTE VAUGHN, CB– It was another top-notch performance for Vaughn, who is looking to bounce back after two injury-riddled seasons. He gave up just one catch on four attempts during 1on1s, and the only catch required a well-thrown backshoulder pass and a strong catch from WR Michael Young. Vaughn blanketed WR Chase Claypool on a deep route on snap one and had back-to-back break ups on reps three and four.
During team and 7on7 we never heard from Vaughn. In fact, going through my notes I don’t have one pass attempt made on him during the 7on7 or team periods, which says a lot about his coverage ability. Vaughn was once again very physical at the line, his transitions were smooth and he showed the ability to run vertically with faster players.
It’s just two open practices, but so far Vaughn has been one of the best defensive players on the field for the Irish.
JULIAN OKWARA, DE– Okwara didn’t have much success during 1on1s or the two-man stunt period against the Irish line. He lost back-to-back reps against left tackle Liam Eichenberg, but the talented edge rusher turned it up another level during the final team period of the day.
Okwara blew past right tackle Robert Hainsey on two different rushes and later beat Eichenberg outside with a pure speed move. Even when they blocked him, Okwara was able to get enough of a push that the quarterbacks were forced to step into the pocket.
Okwara was also active during the run periods, showing an impressive burst off the line and improved strength at the point of attack.
MYRON TAGOVAILOA-AMOSA, DT– None of the interior players had truly great days, but Tagovailoa-Amosa looked much closer to his old form against the run today. On multiple snaps he was able to quickly get penetration and make stops at or behind the line. On one snap from inside the 2-yard line, Tagovailoa-Amosa beat left guard Aaron Banks up the field, hit the running back and stopped him in his tracks, forcing a third-and-goal run.
It was one of several reps where he used his quickness to get upfield and his hands to get off the block and into the backfield. There was one particular play where the offense ran a counter play in his direction and he quickly got upfield, aggressively took on the pulling guard and forced an early cut by the back, resulting in a tackle for loss for the defense.
His pass rushing is still way behind and he’s not using his hands well enough to win in the pass game, but his run game work was impressive.
--- The defensive line struggled to get much of a pass rush against the offense today. Part of that is how well the offensive line played, but the interior of the defense especially has really struggled to get much of a push. Sophomore Jayson Ademilola had a few pressures against the second offensive line and freshman Jacob Lacey had a few nice charges, but overall the line got controlled by the offense.
This was especially true against the run, with the offense ripping off a number of chunk runs today. The safeties prevented even longer runs, but there was way too much room for the offense to work in the run game.
Freshman defensive tackle Howard Cross III gets engulfed at times, but he’s very quick and disruptive off the ball. We didn’t see it much during team, but was noticeable during the inside run periods and half-line periods.
--- The linebacker alignment was a lot different today, as expected. Senior Asmar Bilal worked with the first group at Buck linebacker with junior Drew White starting at Mike. The second string linebackers were Bo Bauer at Mike and Shayne Simon at Buck. Jack Lamb got action with the first squad during the nickel period.
Bauer was more disciplined today and was especially good during the half-line run period, flying downhill and playing aggressively. Lamb stood out in coverage throughout the day.
--- The secondary and wide receivers continue to battle hard. Today the offense made more plays, and there were a couple of snaps where the defense allowed a wideout to get deep, but the physicality and competition is impressive.
The issue for the defensive backs was thin numbers today. Houston Griffith, DJ Brown and Avery Davis were all out with injuries and Shaun Crawforddidn’t take any reps despite being dressed and on the field. It seemed to be more of a rest situation for Crawford.
Freshman KJ Wallace caught my attention today with his physicality. He was very good in coverage, got his hands on a few passes and showed toughness. He’ll have a chance to compete for nickel action this season if he keeps that up.
quick summary - Okwara is going to be a monster
our oline is going to be amazing
all this assuming we stay healthy
Thanks a1ND , I will read all of it tomorrow while pretending to work
from Coach D - Got confirmation that Kmet did in fact break his right collarbone. Initial target date for his return is the game on Sept. 21.
Damn that sucks 6 weeks should be plenty of time for they though
if your gonna get injured, get injured now?
if it is a clean break that shouldnt be too bad.
Broken collarbone should heal quickly. Have broken both playing rugby at separate times and was able to go full contact in 4-5 weeks. Kmet will be fine.
That is encouraging but I also feel like he will miss lot of valuable time.
Did mine in high school playing football. I missed 5 weeks.
If you listen to the armchair doctors, depending on the break he should still be able to lift etc.
Two guys I played with broke their collar bones, and then rebroke them the first practice back so hopefully they ease him in.
Floyd broke his twice no?
Which are fb talk numbers. So he's prob 190.
so thinking about it more and more and im progressively happy its a collarbone. A thing like a separated shoulder (which i orginally thought, just on the back of the description of the incident) usually lingers a bit and has a bigger risk of reinjury. This is just letting it heal and its as good as new (even slightly stronger) as long as the break is clean. Also, you can still work out in a bunch of core/leg stuff so he should be ready to go quite soon after recovering
BTW in 2022 Indiana has a 5 star. now watch him go to Ohio State
That kid is like 11 years old, let’s hold off on this
ow i know its nut. Were talking about a kid whose first college game is more than 3 years away. Still if he ends up being even remotely close to the ranking I dont want to miss out on a elite DEnd close to home
If he's from Indianapolis he will.
Surprisingly Loy has crystal balled him to ND
He plays in a pro-ND environment at a Catholic school so fingers crossed.
What is the kids name?
he even has that OSU stare of im just gonna play 3 years and NFL bound i am down
Couple things...this kid was likely born the year I graduated high school, which is depressing as fuck. Also....that is a 15/16 y/o?!
My first thought also. Dude looks like he should be graduating college not buying pencils for his So yea of HS. May be our next OMS.
Isn't that the school that lost its Catholic school accred for not firing a gay teacher?
I don't believe it lost any sort of accreditation it's just no longer a member of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. The school still has priests and celebrates Mass etc.
Even crazier, the Brebeuf teacher's husband was the dude fired from Cathedral a couple years ago for being gay.
Why are you speaking in 3rd person here?
Boykin looked fantastic last night for the Ravens. I think he's going to win a starting WR position and may become their #1 guy
Derrick Allen is gone. Transfer
Hamilton made his ass quit
Kinda saw that coming
Brebeuf having a 5 star that hasn't already been paid 5 figures to move over to Carmel is wild.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Ian Book wrapped up his junior year in May with similar aspirations to every other college quarterback. He wanted to get his program into the College Football Playoff — again, in his case. He wanted to perform better when he got there — much better, in his case. He wanted to eventually take these lessons learned and apply them in the NFL. And that all sounds good, easy to say and a hell of a lot harder to do.
So when Book’s phone buzzed in late spring with a text message, the sender represented an opportunity Notre Dame’s starting quarterback couldn’t get on campus. There are no points of comparison for Book inside the Gug anymore, aside from wall art in the quarterback room: Quinn, Mirer, Clausen. This incoming text would offer something different. Something bigger.
And so Ian Book called Archie Manning back.
Yes, he’d love to attend the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, La., for four days at the end of June. Yes, he was quite sure Brian Kelly and Chip Long would be OK with him making that trip, missing a little bit of summer workouts.
“I heard all the best quarterbacks go down there. It’s great exposure for a bunch of things,” Book said. “Anytime you can go down there and hang out with the Mannings and pick their brains, that’s a pretty good opportunity.”
Book spent the weekend around the Mannings, including a one-on-one meeting with Peyton. All the quarterbacks sat with Peyton and Eli in a group, too, able to fire whatever questions they had at the Super Bowl winners. Book wanted to know about Peyton’s mentors. Basically, who helps one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time get better?
Book stayed in the dorms at Nicholls State and roomed with USC quarterback JT Daniels. He hung around Trevor Lawrence, including when the two quarterbacks coached 7-on-7 against each other, slightly lower stakes than the College Football Playoff. Book mixed with Jake Fromm, Hunter Johnson and K.J. Costello, a few former five-star prospects like Daniels and Lawrence. All the quarterbacks threw with one another.
It all gave Book a rare self-assessment before his senior season. Either he could hack it with Lawrence, Fromm, Costello, etc., or he couldn’t. Lessons and drills were great, but what Book needed most out of the experience was a point of comparison.
“I have to prove myself this season, no doubt. But I feel like I can compete with these guys. I’m just like them,” Book said. “We all have the same dream, to go play in the NFL. We’ve all got the same dream to win a national championship this season.
“It felt like I was definitely in that group.”
To understand the Book that Notre Dame will start at quarterback this season, his long weekend in Thibodaux is as good a place to start as any. The event sold Ian Book on Ian Book. Now it’s time to take that self-belief and convince everybody else, which started last Sunday when Notre Dame opened training camp at Culver.
For Notre Dame to achieve its goals this fall, it will need Book to achieve his own. He can’t just be a quarterback who wins anymore. He needs to be the reason why Notre Dame won. This is all a big step for a quarterback who may never pass an eye test against Lawrence, Fromm or Costello.
Still, Book believes he’s ready for that exam. And that’s no small thing.
“He knows he’s a good player,” Kelly said. “I think the next step for him now is to play that way.”
Book’s completion percentage dipped dramatically in the final four games of 2018, capped off by a 50 percent effort against Clemson’s vaunted defense in the Cotton Bowl. (Tim Heitman / USA Today)
Will Hewlett stands about 17 yards downfield from Ian Book on the opposite hash. It’s a hot morning on the football field at Boerne-Samuel Champion High School in the northern suburbs of San Antonio. The private quarterbacks coach wants to put Notre Dame’s starter through another series of drills during his three-day stopover in Texas on the way back to South Bend for summer school. Hewlett has Book throwing dig routes, but with the focus on his footwork and hip action. Hewlett wants to see more from Book when it comes to making difficult throws look easy, which is why Book is training to not throw off his back foot.
Real-life quarterbacks don’t always get that luxury, after all.
Hewlett stands where he wants Book to fire passes. He stretches out his hands, ready to receive. Book drills him over and over and over in the hands, 10 straight completions, as his father Rick Book watches from the field, a rare chance to see his son deal this close. Rick wonders if what he’s seeing is out of the ordinary. Hewlett confirms those suspicions.
“The ball literally didn’t hit the ground once or twice on a poor throw. And he made hundreds of throws. The consistency was unbelievable,” Hewlett said. “That drill, he showed an NFL level consistency and placement that will translate to the next level.”
Book and Hewlett do four sessions over three days, which is all Book has time for this summer. Book throws about 200 passes each session, but Hewlett has tweaked the routines. Hewlett wants to take Book’s natural accuracy and pressurize it. He wants to see if Book can be accurate all the time and not just when he has a clean pocket.
Asked about his favorite throws from Book’s junior season, Hewlett picks out the obvious and the obscure. Book’s touchdown to Chase Claypool in the second quarter against Stanford was a contortion act in a big moment. His touchdown to Brock Wright at Wake Forest was less memorable but fundamentally impressive, too. Book twisted his body, snapping his hip to get the ball to Wright for the score with almost no leg drive.
This is the kind of stuff Hewlett wants to see more of from Book. There’s a natural athlete in Book, the kind of kid who played lacrosse in high school and did triathlons. These throws demand that athleticism comes out.
“You’ve got to be able to essentially rotate in a phone booth and still generate force,” Hewlett said. “You can’t drive into a throw like a pitcher. If we’re more efficient rotating the hips, with a good arm path and great timing, then you can get better at pressure throws. That’s a pretty large focus of what we do.”
So, too, was improving the deep ball, a fundamental tweak Book can barely talk about without laughing. On throws of more than 20 yards last season, Book was 17 of 43 for 425 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions. He was particularly bad at Virginia Tech (1 of 7 for 56 yards), which was what created the deep-ball stigma in the first place.
Improving Book’s downfield game, though, doesn’t start with increasing his arm strength. It starts with hip rotation and angles. And Book believes he got a lot of that down with Hewlett before getting back to Notre Dame for team work.
“He’s got plenty of arm to make those throws,” Hewlett said. “We made a couple of tweaks on long balls, how he positions his body. That’s not gonna be a function of arm strength.”
“People have made (deep balls) a thing. I’m not even gonna call it a thing,” Book said. “I think I had one bad game and it became a thing. It’s fine. You’ll see it this season. We’ll throw some deep balls and we’ll be all right.”
Book believes it, which means maybe Notre Dame can, too. None of this is to say Book’s summer of self-confidence is simply wishful thinking. He has worked the past eight months to earn the right to carry himself that way. Book isn’t trying to be the best quarterback on his team anymore; he’s trying to best quarterback on any team.
The Manning Passing Academy was part of that process. So was the stop in Texas with Hewlett en route to South Bend. So too was Folsom Lake College. Turns out, Book wanted to work on more than his arm this summer.
Kevin Mourning got his start in speed coaching while working in a shoe store. A former player from Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills, Calif., came in looking for combine help. The player asked Mourning how he could get faster. Mourning suggested they work together. After they did, word got around. One player turned into five. Five players turned into 10. Eventually, one of those players was Ian Book.
Mourning and Book trained earlier in the quarterback’s college career and reconnected in May before Book headed to see Hewlett and hit the Manning Passing Academy. Book had tested in the high 4.6s in the 40-yard dash during Notre Dame’s internal combine. He wanted to get that time down into the low 4.6s. Mourning believes Book could go even lower than that with proper training, more than the three days they worked on the track at Folsom Lake College, a community college where Mourning had done some adjunct work.
“You look at all the things you have to work on as a quarterback, I’d say speed is probably on the low end,” Mourning said. “I’m thinking if he was going to spend some time, six to eight weeks of really working on that piece, I don’t see why he couldn’t run a 4.5.”
Mourning and Book trained in the mornings before the weather turned. A dynamic warmup led into specialized training blocks. The first was acceleration, followed by top-end speed and power development. Improving his 40 time was part of that process, but it was more about enhancing quickness on broken plays and designed runs.
Mourning wanted Book to build a base of speed that would make plays like his 23-yard touchdown run at Northwestern a regular part of Chip Long’s playbook instead of a changeup.
“Stride length, stride frequency, power from one foot to next foot, those things are quite measurable,” Mourning said. “Once we start training, we set the bar really low in terms of the time that we want. You can see everything get faster and faster as we go.”
Mourning gets the workouts on video, then plays them back for Book in super slo-mo, letting the quarterback understand the mechanics of speed.
“I liked my 40, but if I worked on the start I could kill my 40 time,” Book said. “It’s really doing that to stay in shape and to get ready for any type of combine, whenever that may be.”
Maybe that combine is in Indianapolis next February. Maybe that’s at Pro Day at Notre Dame next April. Or maybe Book puts it all off another year, which feels unlikely if this season goes as well as he thinks it will.
“The guy’s truly remarkable in that he makes some really good choices and understands his ability,” Mourning said. “I don’t know much about Brian Kelly, but that’s one of the reasons why Ian is on the field. He makes really good decisions.”
That’s all true. It’s also true that the last time Book played in a game that mattered he went 17-of-34 for 160 yards and a hopeless interception against Clemson in the Cotton Bowl. He took six sacks. He was overmatched, along with the rest of Notre Dame’s offense. It was not the stuff of a future NFL quarterback.
Book can remind himself of that regularly.
It’s always just a tweet away.
With the starting job all to himself this offseason, Book took time to compare himself to the five-star passers who are the faces of their respective programs. (Matt Cashore / University of Notre Dame)
For all the work Book put in this offseason, from Mourning and Hewlett to the Manning Passing Academy and Notre Dame’s summer workouts, the point goes back to the picture on Book’s Twitter account. After getting back to campus following the Cotton Bowl, Book changed that to a shot of him during the Clemson game. In it, Book’s head is pointed toward the roof of AT&T Stadium. He’s disgusted by what’s going on around him.
“It will stay for a while,” Book said. “It’s a good reminder of the pain I was feeling that night.”
That game was a disaster in a feel-good season when Book set Notre Dame’s single-season completion percentage record. At one point he was on track to overtake Clausen for the single-season passer efficiency mark, too. The rib fracture and kidney contusion suffered at Northwestern slowed Book’s statistical march. And Clemson stopped it cold.
Still, Book completed 214 of 314 passes for 2,628 yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions in his first partial season as a starter. After all that work logged this offseason, the point is to take those statistics higher, bringing Notre Dame’s offense with him. Book talks like that’s a near certainty, as if a quarterback with 10 career starts could be seen as a sure thing.
Notre Dame’s offense, though, can’t have it any other way. With a rebuilding defense and College Football Playoff expectations, the only way the Irish overachieve this fall is if Book does. That’s accepted as fact.
“I need Ian to go out and be a damn game-changer,” Long said. “I don’t want a game manager. I want a game-changer. Throw 30-plus touchdowns and 3,000 yards. That’s who we need. That’s who I want to see.”
Eventually Book will change the picture on his Twitter profile again, probably soon after Labor Day, when Notre Dame opens at Louisville as three-touchdown favorites. Notre Dame’s starting quarterback believes he’s good for the kind of season that reframes the argument about what he is and what he is not. The eight months since Clemson have been well spent. Now it’s time to show everybody else how well.
“There is a maturity about him,” Kelly said. “I think you’ll notice a presence about him that’s different than last year, just how he walks around, how he carries himself in the building.
“There’s an aura around him that that’s a guy.”
(Top photo: Tim Warner / Getty Images)
In terms of recruiting rankings, this is one of the better guys I can remember transfering. We've been lucky enough that most guys that leave the program are via natural attrition. This one isn't the case. Sure, Hamilton seems to be the guy at one of the safety spots moving forward, but losing a secondary player with this type of upside is a pretty big loss, especially considering that we've had a really tough time finding secondary players this year on the trail.