Notre Dame, Ind. – The website dictionary.com lists 18 synonyms for the word “* sparse”, and I may have occasion to use a handful of them in today’s * narrow practice report.
Remarkably present today was former LSU head coach (no, not that) Ed Orgeron. Oregon agreed (actually offered) to speak to reporters after the training. A father of three boys, one of them is looking to get into coaching, and we’ll find out more later this morning. (It is believed to be one of his twin sons, Cody and Parker, who also played college football at LSU.)
Can not miss such a * rare opportunity to interview the sociable Orgeron.
Still on the sidelines among Coordinator Tommy Rees’ offensive troops:
- Sophomore C Pat Coogan: right knee support
- Freshman OL Billy Schrauth: I did not see a cast on his surgically repaired foot, but will try to confirm after practice
- Educated WR Joe Wilkins: left foot cast
- Educated C Jarrett Patterson: torn pectoral (but no sling)
- Educated WR Avery Davis: Again participated in stretching period before joining the walking wounded on bicycles and in Matt Balis recovery program
We did not see first-year offensive lineman Joey Tanona for training today as he continues to recover from a car accident on his way to winter training.
There was a. Snap, then. * Insufficient for our purposes, but here’s what happened.
The offense “won” to begin training as a walk-on running back Chase Ketterer scored over the right side. Steve Angeli was quarterback along with Eifert, Ratigan and Cook.
(It’s Griffin, not Tyler; Conor, not Brian; and Henry, not Brandon, but seemed more fun the other way around.)
They were helped by linemen Tosh Baker, Andrew Kristofic, Michael Carmodyand Quinn Murphy among the linemen helping the third unit. (There is no third unit Olympics this spring, as you probably know).
Do not read anything in Baker / Kristofic with the ‘3s’ in this case: Jacob Lacey was out there defensively to lend a hand with. Just missing linemen.
No contact-tackling exercises (tag-off) that have been a part of each of the four exercises we participated in in the spring. The sideline is meant to be the defender’s friend, though Notre Dame’s faster offensive talents sometimes undo this advantage.
- Braden Lenzy routinely blowing off defenders who are at a half step disadvantage when this exercise starts …
- Audric Estime’s light feet remain an enticing feature of his game. However, I would prefer that he * rarely * exhibits that ability, as his pillows and power provide a much-needed physical presence to the backfield.
- Chris Velotta cuts past JD Bertrand’s left side – his surgically repaired wrist gives * few and far between chances to play in space this spring.
- Logan Diggs with a hesitant pull to slip past Bo Bauer down the sideline. Diggs
- When filling out your depth chart, keep this in mind: Chris Tyree is 1A, probably not 1B, and not 1C or 1D. We forget how fast he is in space because he never had anyone behind the porous Irish offensive line in the first half of 2021. It’s * uncommon for him to even be touched in this exercise …
- Walk-on No. 35 is kindly fast. My list shows his tight end Hakim Sanfo. * Barely playing time exists in tight than with what the Irish have in the fall, but Sanfo blinked a few times in the spring.
- Even the leverage exercise offered * small observation opportunities today …
SPECIAL TEAMS: OFFENS
Tim Prister will catalog the defensive participants in today’s Kickoff Return exercise.
To no one’s surprise, Chris Tyree was lead kick returns. He was backed by B-Speedy, Braden Lenzy and NOW we’re talking!
Blocking with the first device: Tight ends Kevin Bauman (second level on the right) and Mitchell Evans (first line outside right), wide receiver Jayden Thomas (first line outside left), Matt Salerno (back), runs back Audric Esteem (back left), fullback Davis Sherwood (midfield).
Joining the other unit instead of Salerno was Lorenzo Styles with Deion Colzie setup at first line (center).
Wide receiver coach Chansi Stuckey trained the kickoff returns. I did not see Styles return, but he did not block as much as Salerno either.
Marcus Freeman took time to see the recipients run through exercises today. All five of them.
(Joke, kidding. But seriously, they have five walk-on recipients and five scholarship members. Including former walk-on Matt Salerno. It’s an * uncommon total at the Power 5 level. Or any level.)
The last exercise of the day, open to the media, featured a close end and a wide receiver set up against the open air of the palace-like Irish Sports Complex. They are adjusted in pairs as follows:
This is what I saw in the reps, all of which were Post-Corner routes (time-based).
- Beautiful top-tap post corner from Lenzy on a beauty from Pyne
- Styles is waiting for a Buchner passport (exactly)
- Pyne a little late to Salerno and to the wrong (inner) shoulder
- Buchner nice touch to Thomas, maybe a touch late
- Colzie good route and Pyne on goal
- Corner to Ratigan from Buchner is on target, hard late
- Mayer is good. Pyne throws him a pass.
- Bauman looks great in the open space on this particular rep. Have never really thought about him before. More of a tight-end phone box with toughness and hands, but not this time.
- Evans jumps effortlessly after the catch. That child is a natural recipient.
And the horn sounds.
* Stingy, I admit.