Over the summer of 2009, folks from The Blue-Gray Sky, Classic Ground, Rakes of Mallow, and Her Loyal Sons held a mock draft from a pool of talent consisting of the rosters of the 2009 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and their opponents for that season. As the season approaches, we’re presenting our picks in hopes of sparking some debate and helping the ND fanbase better know the ND team and their opposition.
Player: Brian Smith
School: The University of Notre Dame
Finally, a Domer!
I almost couldn’t believe that Brian Smith was still available this late in the draft. I suppose that’s a testament to the strength of the overall talent pool in this draft at the linebacker position. At least, I hope so, because the Irish are going to depend a lot on Mr. Smith this season.
Career: Became a sensation and one of a very few bright spots in the 2007 season with his intense play that earned him a starting spot at OLB by the end of the year. He even offered a glimmer of hope to the Irish’s season, at least for an hour or so, in the BC game when he returned an interception for a TD. At that point, we here at HLS were still formulating ways for the Irish to become bowl-eligible. In 2008, Brian was moved to the interior and frankly seemed a bit uncomfortable there. He recorded just 4 tackles for a loss in 2008, the same total he managed in 2007 with far less playing time. Also recorded just 54 tackles even though the defense was supposed to be spoon-feeding them to Brian. Still, we continue to love the “spark” he adds with his enthusiasm and intense play.
Prediction for 2009: More hope than prediction – Brian will find a more comfortable and natural place on the linebacker corps in 2009 that will allow his knack for big, disruptive plays to take over. Frankly we think his value to the team would be much higher if he’s concerned with accumulating TFL stats rather than accumulating regular tackle stats. (Since writing the previous few lines, we’ve been to the open practice. Brian looks like he’ll be the #1 MIKE. Hopefully last year’s experience will pay big dividends.)