Her Loyal Sons http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog A Notre Dame Football Blog Mon, 04 May 2015 13:03:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.4 Morning Roundup: May 4, 2015 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/04/morning-roundup-may-4-2015/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/04/morning-roundup-may-4-2015/#respond Mon, 04 May 2015 13:03:00 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29263 Good morning! FROM OUR SITE Only one Notre Dame draft pick – Should we worry? RECRUITING – OFFERED Bleacher Report: Notre Dame football recruiting offers of the week Irish247 (F): Lyke lands “big” offer from Notre Dame (✰✰✰ IL S Kenney Lyke) Irish247 ($): King on Notre Dame: “I like that I’m a priority” (✰✰✰✰ […]

The post Morning Roundup: May 4, 2015 appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
Good morning!

FROM OUR SITE

RECRUITING – OFFERED

CURRENT TEAM

IRISH IN THE NFL

SCHEDULE

The post Morning Roundup: May 4, 2015 appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/04/morning-roundup-may-4-2015/feed/ 0
Only One Notre Dame Draft Pick–Should We Worry? http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/04/notre-dame-2015-nfl-draft-recruiting-comparison/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/04/notre-dame-2015-nfl-draft-recruiting-comparison/#respond Mon, 04 May 2015 10:55:37 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29259 As andrewwinn mentioned in his daily Morning Roundup, some eyebrows were raised with Ben Koyack was the only Notre Dame player selected in the 2015 NFL Draft–and in the seventh round at that. While some within ND fandom grew concerned about what this meant for the current talent in the Brian Kelly era, some outside of it […]

The post Only One Notre Dame Draft Pick–Should We Worry? appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
via Indystar.com

via Indystar.com

As andrewwinn mentioned in his daily Morning Roundup, some eyebrows were raised with Ben Koyack was the only Notre Dame player selected in the 2015 NFL Draft–and in the seventh round at that. While some within ND fandom grew concerned about what this meant for the current talent in the Brian Kelly era, some outside of it saw a golden opportunity to take a lazy potshot at the Irish as the draft wound down:

Now, there’s the obvious retort: Notre Dame is returning practically every single starter from 2014. This is certainly true, but would it then follow that the level of talent on the field is so poor that it is in every Irish player’s best interest to remain in South Bend?

Every year, we see many posts showing which school/conference managed to draft the most players. This year, I wanted to go a bit deeper–compare the draft results to recruiting rankings as well as recording the star ratings for each pick and which recruiting class they came from.

To do this, I used recruiting rankings and ratings from 274 Sports (with exception of 2010 team rankings as they weren’t available on 247–Rivals was used). The classes of 2010-2012 were examined as all but four picks came from these classes.

The end goal was to see if there is really any cause for concern for a poor draft class and if any other interesting data points/patterns could be found.

Let’s start with the top schools in terms of NFL draftees and compare them to their recruiting rankings from 2010-2012:

School Draft Picks 2012 Rank 2011 Rank 2010 Rank Avg
Florida State 11 3 1 10 4.7
Louisville 10 49 30 48 42.3
Florida 8 5 10 2 5.7
Alabama 7 1 2 5 2.7
Miami 7 9 34 16 19.7
USC 6 11 6 1 6.0
Oklahoma 6 12 16 7 11.7
Stanford 6 7 23 26 18.7
Missouri 6 2 51 21 24.7
Oregon 5 4 13 13 10.0
Auburn 5 24 5 4 11.0
Clemson 5 13 11 19 14.3
Georgia 5 23 7 15 15.0
Texas 5 46 3 3 17.3
Ohio State 5 34 9 25 22.7
Mississippi State 5 26 35 38 33.0
Oregon State 5 16 41 44 33.7
Arkansas 5 30 22 49 33.7

The obvious outlier here is Louisville and they have an outlier within their draft class as well, a 2014 JUCO transfer, James Sample (who originally started at Washington). Sample went in the fourth round and the Cardinals also claimed Mr. Irrelevant, the last pick of the draft, Gerald Christian. Still, that’s quite an impressive haul for Louisville, even though their draft rankings are by far the lowest out of the teams on this list.

Mississippi State, Oregon State, and Arkansas all found themselves with a ranking average in the mid-thirties and tied teams with top ten average rankings. So it certainly seems that your draft class isn’t dependent on recruiting rankings, let’s see how this works the other way with rankings sorted by average recruiting class:

School Draft Picks 2012 Rank 2011 Rank 2010 Rank Avg
Alabama 7 1 2 5 2.7
Florida State 11 3 1 10 4.7
Florida 8 5 10 2 5.7
USC 6 11 6 1 6.0
Oregon 5 4 13 13 10.0
Auburn 5 24 5 4 11.0
Oklahoma 6 12 16 7 11.7
Notre Dame 1 19 8 14 13.7
Clemson 5 13 11 19 14.3
LSU 4 33 4 6 14.3
Georgia 5 23 7 15 15.0
Texas 5 46 3 3 17.3
Michigan 3 6 28 20 18.0
Stanford 6 7 23 26 18.7
Miami 7 9 34 16 19.7
Texas A&M 2 14 31 17 20.7
Nebraska 3 27 17 22 22.0
Ohio State 5 34 9 25 22.7
UCLA 3 18 42 8 22.7
Washington 4 15 26 28 23.0

Why hello there, Notre Dame, good to see you sticking out like a sore thumb. So, the talent should certainly be there according to the recruiting rankings. ND isn’t alone with solid recruiting marks and low return on draft picks either.

So is ND not developing their talent or seeing a high number of busts? Not really.

The 2010 class saw a few people drafted last year: Louis Nix, Prince Shembo, and Bennett Jackson. Last year’s draft also took Aaron Lynch (albeit not a true Irish pick, but explains the ranking boost) and Stephon Tuitt from the class of 2011. And as for the 2012 class, no one left early for the draft, although Ronnie Stanley and Sheldon Day certainly could have (and probably Everett Golson too if he really wanted to roll the dice).

And really, we should talk about people leaving early. A lot is made about the young guns in the draft, but only 40 of the 256 picks (~15%) came from the class of 2012 (not including one JUCO in the class of 2012). The class of 2010, meaning the fifth years, were the most drafted class this year pulling down 98 picks (~38%). The class of 2011, some of whom did have another available year, had 92 total picks (~36%).

So a strong senior/fifth year crop is what tends to boost the number of draft picks. So young teams like the Irish tend to not put together impressive draft classes. There was notable exception to this standard and that was Florida State who had four draftees come from the class of 2012.

And what about star power? Is the lack recruiting/retaining five-stars hurting the Irish in the draft?

Again, that doesn’t seem to be the case. As there are so few five-stars overall, there isn’t a round in which they dominate. Not surprisingly, the first round is where you see the most, and this year saw eight former blue-chippers drafted; however, there was at least one five-star taken in every round, even the seventh.

This year, the majority of five-star talent came from the class of 2012 (15 out of 24), giving more credence to the argument that the recent attrition of five-star plays might just be expected. After all, if these guys are really as good as their ratings, they are looking for the best route to maximize their potential and exposure in the least amount of time.

As far as those diamond-in-the-rough players that also get their fair share of love, they actually take up a sizable portion of the draft. 61 players were drafted with a rating of two stars or less–that’s almost a quarter of all the players taken in the draft (23.8% to be more precise). Normally, I’d say that Notre Dame would get roasted for taking players like that in their draft class, but these also include walk-ons and the Irish just so happen to have a walk-on that might have an outside shot at landing on an NFL team next season in Joe Schmidt.

Three-star selections account for the lion’s share of the picks in the draft (~44%) with the class of 2011 (your seniors and redshirt juniors) taking up the largest piece of that pie. This all points once again to a strong, developed senior class being the ticket to a strong draft class.

So yes, it’s certainly great to have the ability to brag post-draft that the guys you were watching on Saturdays will start playing on Sundays, but it certainly isn’t a solid measuring stick year in and year out. With eight players departing in last year’s draft and six the year before that, there was bound to be a gap year for the Irish in the draft.

There were simply too many gaps to fill with a lot of young talent who needed to make their mark on the depth chart rather than the draft. A handful of players could have left early to boost number, but they didn’t.

All of that talent is coming back to play another year for Brain Kelly and we should be nothing but over-the-moon excited about it. Don’t convince yourself that this is a sign that Kelly failed to develop talent. On the contrary, this program unbelievably healthy and continuing to move in the right direction.

Now, should next year’s draft see only one player drafted, something went terribly wrong and I’ll be the first to start screaming that the sky is falling. But for now, take a deep breath and get ridiculously excited for the potential that the 2015 squad has.

The post Only One Notre Dame Draft Pick–Should We Worry? appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/04/notre-dame-2015-nfl-draft-recruiting-comparison/feed/ 0
Morning Roundup: May 3, 2015 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/03/morning-roundup-may-3-2015/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/03/morning-roundup-may-3-2015/#respond Sun, 03 May 2015 12:00:51 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29256 I had a very frustrating – but unsurprising – conversation with a Twitter user Saturday night. Him: “Am I correct that the only ND player drafted was [Ben Koyack]? That tells you the true lack of talent at ND.” Me: “The team is returning 19 of 22 starters next year.” Him: He didn’t know that, […]

The post Morning Roundup: May 3, 2015 appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
I had a very frustrating – but unsurprising – conversation with a Twitter user Saturday night.

Him: “Am I correct that the only ND player drafted was [Ben Koyack]? That tells you the true lack of talent at ND.”
Me: “The team is returning 19 of 22 starters next year.”
Him: He didn’t know that, but he’s not impressed with Brian Kelly anyway.Me: “OK. Who do you think could do a better job?”
Him: He wanted Urban years ago. Was this Kelly’s first recruiting class?
Me: Yes.
Him: Then his first recruiting class didn’t have much NFL talent.
Me: I note Aaron Lynch and Troy Niklas in addition to Koyack and DaVaris Daniels.
Him: “I have not been able to watch in 3 years due to Saturday commitments so I am fairly out of the loop but root for ND.”

I love Twitter. But allow this to be your reminder that most people love to talk out of their ass.

Now, headlines!

IRISH IN THE NFL

RECRUITING – OFFERED

RECRUITING – ND INTERESTED, BUT NO OFFER

CURRENT TEAM

MISC.

The post Morning Roundup: May 3, 2015 appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/03/morning-roundup-may-3-2015/feed/ 0
Morning Roundup: May 2, 2015 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/02/may-2-2015/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/02/may-2-2015/#respond Sat, 02 May 2015 12:00:32 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29250 Good morning! Boy, the authors at Her Loyal Sons – myself included – have really fallen in love with the “roundup,” eh? I named this daily feature (available most days by 8 a.m. – tell your friends!) “Morning Roundup” because I am unoriginal. I wish there were a better story. I suppose I could call […]

The post Morning Roundup: May 2, 2015 appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
Good morning! Boy, the authors at Her Loyal Sons – myself included – have really fallen in love with the “roundup,” eh? I named this daily feature (available most days by 8 a.m. – tell your friends!) “Morning Roundup” because I am unoriginal. I wish there were a better story. I suppose I could call it “Morning Hot Links” or something. If someone has a great name idea, put it in the comments.

Without further delay, here are your headlines:

FROM OUR SITE

RECRUITING – OFFERED

  • CougFan ($): 4-star LB setting WSU official visit already? (CA Bryce Youngquist)
  • Irish247 (F): Elite WR to visit Notre Dame this summer (✰✰✰✰ FL WR Tre Nixon)
  • Irish Illustrated (F): Insider report: On the move (✰✰✰✰ FL DE Patrick Bethel, ✰✰✰ FL RB Deon McIntosh, ✰✰✰✰ IL DE Josh King, Nixon, ✰✰✰✰ FL RB Tony Jones Jr. – committed, ✰✰✰✰✰ FL DE Nick Bosa, ✰✰✰✰✰ FL WR Trevon Grimes, ✰✰✰✰ MI WR Donnie Corley, ✰✰✰✰ MI WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, ✰✰✰ IL CB Julian Love – committed, ✰✰✰✰✰ GA WR DeAngelo Gibbs, ✰✰✰✰ IN WR Austin Mack, ✰✰✰✰ IN DE Auston Robertson, ✰✰✰✰ IN QB Hunter Johnson, ✰✰✰✰ MD QB Dwayne Haskins, ✰✰✰✰ CA WR Javon McKinley, ✰✰✰ CA S Chacho Ulloa, ✰✰✰✰ IN RB Chad Evans, ✰✰✰✰ PA CB Damar Hamlin, TX TE Brock Wright)
  • Irish Illustrated (F): In the film room…Ikenna Okeke (✰✰✰ TN S)
  • Irish Sports Daily: Recruiting week in review (McKinley, ✰✰✰✰ CA WR Osiris St. Brown)
  • Scout (F): Lewis visits Notre Dame (CA WR Joseph Lewis)
  • Scout (F): Five-star DE will visit Irish (FL Nick Bosa)
  • USC Football.com ($): Javon McKinley highlights (✰✰✰✰ CA WR)

RECRUITING – ND INTERESTED, NO OFFER

  • Badger Nation ($): Alloway sees rich RB tradition (✰✰✰✰ CA WR Damian Alloway)
  • Irish Illustrated (F): Insider report: On the move (✰✰✰✰ IL S Kenney Lyke, ✰✰✰✰ GA S Nigel Warrior, ✰✰✰✰ GA CB Chad Clay, ✰✰✰ GA ATH Malik Staples, NC RB Christian Beal, no rating yet)
  • Scout (F): Johnson checks out Notre Dame (✰✰✰✰ CA ATH Greg Johnson)

CURRENT TEAM

SCHEDULE

IRISH IN THE NFL

MISC.

The post Morning Roundup: May 2, 2015 appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/02/may-2-2015/feed/ 0
Friday Roundup – Episode 26 (May 1, 2015) http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/01/friday-roundup-episode-26-may-1-2015/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/01/friday-roundup-episode-26-may-1-2015/#respond Sat, 02 May 2015 02:15:59 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29248 In this episode of the Friday Roundup, I’m talking NFL draft and which schools are the front-runners after the first round. Also, when should kids be allowed to go pro? A discussion on whether or not Notre Dame will schedule a 13th game and other major headlines throughout college football.

The post Friday Roundup – Episode 26 (May 1, 2015) appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>

In this episode of the Friday Roundup, I’m talking NFL draft and which schools are the front-runners after the first round. Also, when should kids be allowed to go pro? A discussion on whether or not Notre Dame will schedule a 13th game and other major headlines throughout college football.

The post Friday Roundup – Episode 26 (May 1, 2015) appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/01/friday-roundup-episode-26-may-1-2015/feed/ 0
Friday Roundup: Shots Fired http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/01/friday-roundup-shots-fired/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/01/friday-roundup-shots-fired/#respond Fri, 01 May 2015 14:03:09 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29240 With Tex on his first week of federally mandated HLSMLA, it’s up to yours truly to fill in and take you through the highs and lows of the week, insofar as the Irish are concerned. So let’s get after it: The Draft: So last night kicked off the NFL Draft, the League’s star-studded selection show […]

The post Friday Roundup: Shots Fired appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
With Tex on his first week of federally mandated HLSMLA, it’s up to yours truly to fill in and take you through the highs and lows of the week, insofar as the Irish are concerned. So let’s get after it:

The Draft: So last night kicked off the NFL Draft, the League’s star-studded selection show upon which professional football fans will pin their hopes for the next decade until next year. Jameis Winston went first, to Tampa Bay, while Leonard Williams, Andrus Peat, Cameron Erving, Nelson Agholor, Damarious Randall, and DeVante Parker all ended up as first rounders faced by Notre Dame last season.

Before we leave talk of the draft, it bears noting that this week marks, as well, the fortieth anniversary of the fall of Saigon and the “end” of the Vietnam “War.” I couldn’t help but compare the spectacle of beaming young men, clad in fantastically expensive bespoke suits, striding to shake the hand of the newly for-profit commissioner to the young men whose numbers were drawn and who ultimately fought and died in our nation’s Southeast Asian adventure.

Vietnam

Shots Fired: If not the weirdest development of Draft Day One, the news coming out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was certainly the most disturbing. LSU’s La’el Collins, a certain first round pick, begged to be placed into the league’s supplemental draft when news that BRPD wanted to question him in the death of his pregnant former girlfriend, who died of gunshot wounds. La’el will be tested to determine if he is the father of the baby, who survived the murder, but is not slated to talk to the cops until next week. Whether he gets picked up by a team, much less whether or not he will face criminal charges, are questions that won’t be answered for awhile.

In unrelated, related news, Cyrus Jones became the FOURTH ‘Bama player arrested since late March. Of this year. Honestly.

Shots Fired: The NCAA and the SEC are after Notre Dame’s A.D., Captain Jack Swarbrick, and he’s shooting back. With coaches in the SEC banned by their league from conducting “satellite camps,” they, and the NCAA are firing up the shutdown machine in an effort to end Brian Kelly’s barnstorming through their backyards. Notre Dame’s head coach will be holding camps in Georgia, Texas, and Los Angeles this summer and this has Auburn’s A.D. hot between his collar and his big, old, red neck. “Camps have been in the past a challenging thing to monitor and keep up with and we’ve been very successful in our league of doing that so let’s don’t create a new paradigm for everybody,” said Jay Jacobs. “Plus our league has done pretty well as far as recruiting goes as it is. It seems to benefit some schools that may be in the past had a history of success and now don’t so they’re trying to grow their brand a little bit more. For us, we like where we are.” For his part, Jack Swarbrick is confident that anti-trust laws will keep the NCAA from banning the camps.

Oh, Canada!: Melissa Tancredi will join Notre Dame’s and Redondo Beach‘s very own  Shannon Boxx at the Women’s World Cup this summer. Melissa, a 2004 graduate, was named to Canada’s national team. Perhaps best known for stomping on Cari Lloyd’s head, Tancredi is no stranger to the world stage, once beating the vaunted Hope Solo.

Chewie, we’re home.

The booze: I’m not a beer guy, and with the weather in the Big Easy sunny, warm, and Stefani this weekend, I can’t help but think the Venetian Sunrise is the perfect accompaniment to whatever you get up to. In a champagne flute, combine prosecco, fresh orange juice, and a splash of grenadine. When it perfected, it should look just like this:

Venice Sunrise

The post Friday Roundup: Shots Fired appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/01/friday-roundup-shots-fired/feed/ 0
Morning Roundup: May 1, 2015 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/01/morning-roundup-may-1-2015/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/01/morning-roundup-may-1-2015/#respond Fri, 01 May 2015 13:59:24 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29237 Good morning! There were some quality tweets last night from Notre Dame players regarding the selections in the first round of the NFL Draft. Let’s jump into those before we get to the headlines: Love always Jameis 😘 pic.twitter.com/higdHOIViT — Jarron Jones™ (@Who_GotJones94) May 1, 2015 Throwback to Sacking the #1 Draft pick… Can't wait […]

The post Morning Roundup: May 1, 2015 appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
Good morning! There were some quality tweets last night from Notre Dame players regarding the selections in the first round of the NFL Draft. Let’s jump into those before we get to the headlines:

Now onto the headlines:

RECRUITING – OFFERED

RECRUITING – ND INTERESTED, BUT NO OFFER

CURRENT TEAM

IRISH IN THE NFL

SCHEDULE

MISC.

The post Morning Roundup: May 1, 2015 appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/05/01/morning-roundup-may-1-2015/feed/ 0
Afternoon Roundup: IT’S A DRAAAAFT! http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/04/30/afternoon-roundup-its-a-draaaaft/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/04/30/afternoon-roundup-its-a-draaaaft/#respond Thu, 30 Apr 2015 16:00:58 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29225 Good afternoon! At 8 tonight, the first round of the NFL Draft will commence. In recent years, Irish fans have waited nervously to see where elite talent like Zack Martin, Tyler Eifert, Manti Te’o, Michael Floyd and Harrison Smith would land. It’ll be quite different this year as the Irish’s first selection – tight end […]

The post Afternoon Roundup: IT’S A DRAAAAFT! appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
Good afternoon! At 8 tonight, the first round of the NFL Draft will commence. In recent years, Irish fans have waited nervously to see where elite talent like Zack Martin, Tyler Eifert, Manti Te’o, Michael Floyd and Harrison Smith would land.

It’ll be quite different this year as the Irish’s first selection – tight end Ben Koyack – won’t likely be grabbed until, at earliest, the fourth round (maybe to the 49ers?). So while we settle in for the long wait, let’s check some headlines (ordered from oldest to newest):

FROM OUR SITE

IRISH IN THE NFL

RECRUITING – OFFERED

RECRUITING – ND INTERESTED, BUT NO OFFER

CURRENT TEAM

SCHEDULE

The post Afternoon Roundup: IT’S A DRAAAAFT! appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/04/30/afternoon-roundup-its-a-draaaaft/feed/ 0
Putting the “Depth” in Depth Chart http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/04/30/putting-the-depth-in-depth-chart/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/04/30/putting-the-depth-in-depth-chart/#respond Thu, 30 Apr 2015 10:00:23 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29205 Coming out of spring practice, most of the questions Notre Dame had entering the session remain. As expected, no one was named the starting quarterback heading into the Fall. Similarly, Alex Bars and Quenton Nelson will continue to battle through the summer to capture the starting LG duties. CJ Prosise made a splash with an […]

The post Putting the “Depth” in Depth Chart appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
Coming out of spring practice, most of the questions Notre Dame had entering the session remain. As expected, no one was named the starting quarterback heading into the Fall. Similarly, Alex Bars and Quenton Nelson will continue to battle through the summer to capture the starting LG duties. CJ Prosise made a splash with an extended look at running back both adding depth and muddying the waters for how snaps might be shared. While the team awaits the arrival of promising tight end recruit Aliz’e Jones over the summer, Durham Smythe made his push to be the next great Notre Dame tight end emerging as the seeming favorite to replace Ben Koyack as the week one starter. Where in the World is ND going to find enough snaps for all of the returning wide receivers? Finally, what’s going to happen with the numbers crunch on scholarships?

Simply put, there’s an interesting summer ahead in terms of Notre Dame’s depth chart. But, in a surprising plot twist, most of the questions are positive in nature. There are enough names and enough talent cluttering up the squad that Brian Kelly and his staff will be forced to make some difficult decisions. Decisions that the Kelly tenure, and Notre Dame in general, have not dealt with previously. As Kelly enters season six, he is finally seeing the payoff of recruiting efforts that far exceeded his immediate predecessors. While certain positions still lack optimal depth, there is little doubt that the 2015 team will be the most talented team, top to bottom, first string to third string, that coaches and fans have experienced in quite some time.

Indulging my offensive fixation, I took a look at the Notre Dame depth chart on the scoring side. First, let’s run through the positions to see what’s returning, what’s coming in, and what was lost (namely from a scholarship perspective):

QUARTERBACK

Returning: Incoming: Departing:
Golson, Everett Wimbush, Brandon
Zaire, Malik  
Kizer, DeShone    
VanGorder, Montgomery

Where ND was last year: Tommy Rees’ graduation, Andrew Hendrix’s decision to transfer, and Golson’s re-admittance created quite the dynamic last spring. While spring practice was nominally made a battle between Golson and Zaire, the expectation was that Golson would get the gig if he didn’t fall flat. Zaire opened up some eyes at the Blue-Gold Game but not enough to dethrone Golson who was eventually named starter.

Where ND stands now: Golson and Zaire are once again engaged in a starter battle, but this one is legitimate. Golson’s uneven 2014 accompanied with a strong bowl game performance by Malik Zaire led Brian Kelly to open up the starting job again this spring (I bet BK is just drooling for a chance to not have a quarterback battle). Rising sophomore DeShone Kizer provides nice third string depth, and Notre Dame landed a top 5 quarterback recruit in Brandon Wimbush to make quarterback deep….perhaps too deep. Time will tell.

RUNNINGBACK

Returning: Incoming: Departing:
Folston, Tarean Williams, Dexter McDaniel, Cam
Bryant, Greg Adam, Josh
Prosise, CJ  

Where ND was last year: Cam McDaniel experienced a break out year as a junior including being introduced to the World as America’s next great heart throb. Reliable but not ideally the centerpiece of a rushing attack. George Atkinson’s decision to enter the NFL draft early was an unexpected hit to the depth chart. Greg Bryant, coming off an injury shortened freshman campaign, and Tarean Folston who emerged late in his freshman year were the centerpieces for what was expected to be a renewed rushing attack.

Where ND stands now: The always reliable McDaniel has now graduated. All eyes will be upon the Folston/Bryant duo. No longer the up-and-comers, Folston and Bryant will both be expected to be significant contributors. Depth remains an issue, but C.J. Prosise’s spring which drew rave reviews from the coaching staff should relieve some of that concern. A Signing Day commitment from 4-star running back Dexter Williams was also a substantial get. Williams could easily see playing time immediately.

TIGHT END

Returning: Incoming: Departing:
Smythe, Durham Jones, Aliz’e Koyack, Ben
Luatua, Tyler
Weishar, Nic  
Heuerman, Mike  

Where ND was last year: Troy Niklas’ decision to enter the NFL Draft should not have come as a total shock, although the coaching staff seemed surprised. Alex Welch followed Coach Chuck Martin and Andrew Hendrix to Miami (Ohio) leaving the position thinner than it had been in some time. Ben Koyack’s strong second half in 2013 made him the obvious heir to the tight end throne though some expected that Durham Smythe could push him for playing time. Commits Tyler Luatua and Nic Weishar were both Composite Top 10 recruits at tight end but with an unclear time table for contribution.

Where ND stands now: Koyack’s graduation leaves a hole at starter. Spring practice seemed to suggest that Durham Smythe will inherit the crown, but as opposed to previous years, the tight end lineage is far less clear than it’s been in the past. Yesterday, Keith Arnold provided his break down of the tight end stocks post spring practice. The x-factor in the equation is Aliz’e Jones who is expected to see playing time immediately and has the natural pass catching ability to be intriguing. While the Jones commitment provides intrigue, this is the most unsettled the tight end position has been in quite some time.

WIDE RECEIVER

Returning: Incoming: Departing:
Fuller, William St. Brown, Equanimeous Daniels, DaVaris
Robinson, Corey Sanders, C.J.  
Brown, Chris Boykin, Miles
Carlisle, Amir  Guyton, Jalen
Hunter Jr., Torii  
Brent, Justin  
Holmes, Corey  

Where ND was last year: Leading receiver TJ Jones graduated after having an outstanding senior season. The only receiver returning with even 300 yards receiving was DaVaris Daniels whom many expected to finally take the leap to stardom during his senior season. In late summer, that plan would be de-railed by off-field issues. Brief but promising playing time from Corey Robinson and Williams Fuller provided some optimism, but with the lack of obvious options and playing time at a premium at running back, Notre Dame switched Amir Carlisle to the slot position.

Where ND stands now: While technically the squad loses Daniels, the reality is Notre Dame returns every reception and start it had from the receiving position in 2014. Will Fuller not only stepped up but had one of the most prolific seasons in Notre Dame history. Justin Brent was far more interesting off the field than on it but remains highly talented. Add to that all world speedster C.J. Sanders and highly regarded recruits Equanimeous St. Brown and Miles Boykin and Notre Dame is left with a roster so deep that there is a very real question whether Amir Carlisle who had 6 starts, 23 receptions, and 3 touchdowns a year ago will even have a scholarship come fall. I like Carlisle and remain convinced he’ll keep his scholarship, but the WR depth is just that good.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Returning: Incoming: Departing:
Stanley, Ronnie Hoge, Tristen Lombard, Christian
Nelson, Quenton Ruhland, Trevor Hegarty, Matt
Martin, Nick Hanratty, Conor
Elmer, Steve  
McGlinchey, Mike 
Bars, Alex    
Bivin, Hunter  
McGovern, Colin
Mustipher, Sam
Harrell, Mark
Montelus, John
Byrne, Jimmy  

Where ND was last year: Losing the all-time starts leader in Notre Dame history, Zack Martin at offensive tackle and 11 game starter Chris Watt left some considerable questions along the offensive line. Ronnie Stanley moved from right tackle to left tackle and Nick Martin, Matt Hegarty, and Christian Lombard’s returns all gave the team continued experience. Steve Elmer’s 2013 also showed some promise. A prolific and highly skilled recruiting class which included Quenton Nelson, Alex Bars, and Sam Mustipher suggested help was on the way, if unproven.

Where ND stands now: Ronnie Stanley’s decision to return for a final year was an instant boost to line. Stanley, a possible first round NFL talent will give the Irish at least four straight seasons of superb play from the left tackle position. Nick Martin also returns at center. Hegarty’s decision to transfer is the most telling aspect of the line. By the time the Music City Bowl rolled around, the Irish showed an ability to dominate an SEC defense that left many in the fan base amazed and excited. While the incoming class is smaller than previous years, Tristen Hoge was an early enrollee and regarded as the number one center prospect in the country. No obvious holes exist.

Composite Recruiting Rank

Another way to assess the returning depth chart is to consider the recruiting rankings that these players received. While a rough gauge, recruiting rankings on total provide a picture of how much talent is coming in and out of a program. For this chart, I used the 247Sports Composite rankings which were averaged together for each of the position groups. The results are as follows:

Position:

Returning:

Incoming:

Departing:

Quarterback

0.9093

0.9784

Runningback

0.9383

0.9262

0.8544

Tight End

0.9020

0.9685

0.9752

Wide Receiver

0.9161

0.9033

0.9534

Offensive Line

0.9233

0.9130

0.9131

From a sheer recruit rankings standpoint, the running back position lost the least (save quarterback which did not lose anything at all). Of the players that have seen significant game action at running back since 2013, Cam McDaniel was easily the lowest rated. This is not to devalue or degrade his excellent career. If anything, he provides a strong example of why all recruiting rankings should be taken with a grain of salt. However, on aggregate, the presence of Folston, Bryant, and incoming freshman Williams is an exceedingly talented backfield group.

By contrast, what is currently on the Notre Dame roster at tight end is not as good as what just left (Koyack) and what will arrive this summer (Jones). People might be shocked to see that Koyack had a higher recruiting grade than Jones, but Koyack’s pedestrian (by Notre Dame standards) college career undersells what type of recruit he was. It also won’t stop Koyack from getting draft this weekend.

Finally, I’d be remiss to fail to note that the two strongest aggregate groups returning are the running backs and the offensive line. The coaching staff has noted throughout the spring that the big uglies upfront have been impressive. #RTDB, #RTDTF.

Percentage of 2014 Starts Returning

Finally, I alluded to it earlier, but Notre Dame returns 100% of its starts from 2014 at 2 of the 4 position groups: quarterback and wide receiver. (aside: I await Tex and Elvis’ remarks about how I conveniently left the fullback depth off of this analysis). Folston ended up starting 10/13 games for the Irish at running back to Cam’s 3. Ben Koyack started every game at tight end. One start was credited to Tyler Luatua for a (gasp) two tight end play to start the game. All starts data was pulled from UND.com.

Position:

Returning:

Incoming:

Departing:

Quarterback

100

N/A

0

Runningback

77

N/A

23

Tight End

7

N/A

93

Wide Receiver

100

N/A

0

Offensive Line

62

N/A

38

The result is that for the first time in quite a while, not only is tight end unsettled, but it’s arguably the shallowest position on an otherwise amazingly deep offense. There is plenty of talent though, and the additional options provided to the coaching staff by all this depth should be, in the vernacular of Mike Mayock, “fun.”

The post Putting the “Depth” in Depth Chart appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/04/30/putting-the-depth-in-depth-chart/feed/ 0
Morning Roundup: April 29, 2015 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/04/29/morning-roundup-april-29-2015/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/04/29/morning-roundup-april-29-2015/#respond Wed, 29 Apr 2015 12:00:21 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29194 Good morning! I want to thank those fine gentlemen at MGoBlog for linking to my “amateur analysis” of the coaching tenure of Brian Kelly. They may remember Brian Kelly from such games as, “37-0, no wait 31-0, but really 37-0.” Yes, that was the way the series with the Wolverines really was going to end. […]

The post Morning Roundup: April 29, 2015 appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
Good morning! I want to thank those fine gentlemen at MGoBlog for linking to my “amateur analysis” of the coaching tenure of Brian Kelly. They may remember Brian Kelly from such games as, “37-0, no wait 31-0, but really 37-0.” Yes, that was the way the series with the Wolverines really was going to end. Talk about salt in the wound.

Humor aside, let’s take a look at the headlines:

FROM OUR SITE

PODCAST

RECRUITING – OFFERED

RECRUITING – ND INTERESTED, BUT NO OFFER

CURRENT TEAM

IRISH IN THE NFL

SCHEDULE

 

The post Morning Roundup: April 29, 2015 appeared first on Her Loyal Sons.

]]>
http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/04/29/morning-roundup-april-29-2015/feed/ 0