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Saturday, April 14, 2007

That's two down...

The 6'3" 220 pound inside linebacker from Sherman Oaks, California committed to Notre Dame on Wednesday this week as the second linebacker in the Class of '08. Anthony McDonald's father Mike played football at USC and in the NFL, yet Anthony got rid of his USC blood and said, "I have Notre Dame blood in me now."

McDonald plays inside linebacker at Notre Dame High School, and has so far been quite successful from that position. As a junior, he recorded 101 tackles, 30 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, and forced five fumbles. He runs in the 4.5-4.55 range in the forty yard dash, benches 350 pounds, and squats 450 pounds. McDonald also holds a 3.4 GPA in the classroom and is clearly Notre Dame material. Well at Notre Dame High School, I guess you could say anyone is "Notre Dame material!"

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Poz is Irish!

The Irish picked up linebacker David Posluszny, who stands at 6'2", 206 pounds, shortly after he finished his visit to Notre Dame yesterday. Although he may seem rather light at 206 pounds, don't let the size of the brother of All-American Paul Posluszny fool you. He is a standout linebacker who runs a 4.6 forty, benches 300 pounds, squats 360, and power cleans 205.

"I like to think of myself as a leader. I think that's my biggest strength on the field. My teammates can feel off of my intensity. I'm very smart on the field too." Posluszny is also a leader in the classroom, currently holding a 3.5 core GPA.

Posluszny is the sixth commitment of this year's class, which is already looking like it will be one of the best classes in the nation for the third straight year.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Mid-Term Grades

By Sir John

The main concern of ND fans is of course the quarterback position. That apparently won't be resolved till about sometime in May. The other positions as well are mainly up in the air. The 3-4 is being slowly implemented by design to prevent information overload.

What is striking to me is the overall situation. If the players are the working parts the coaches are quite satisfied with their attitude and learning curve. Coach Weis did say that at least he's not out their saying "My God what are we going to do?" So in that aspect he seems confident with HIS team against what some call a very bad opening schedule. Some and that may have included me at one time before now, felt perhaps he is doing a media confidence thing for the public. I have discarded that because if anything he is blunt in his analysis.

I noticed 'fun' popped up in relation to football in statements by Weis and Brown. Weis has given Brown full reign to talk to media. Handed the defense over to him whereas with Minter he constantly had to worry about that side of the ball. Weis' comfort level has increased these now are his kids, he's got more coming in late summer and no one knows what the hell we are going to do on the field.

As one blogger said the stadium should be half filled with scouts for our opponents. Completely new offensive schemes, four of the best quarterbacks in the land if things should go bump in the night, and of course the not widely used in college 3-4 defense.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Quinn's stock falls, Weis's stock rises

By Sir John

100 NFL Coaches, owners, and scouts turned out for Notre Dame's pro day. Like you, I have been reading the accounts of Brady Quinn's work out. It would be redundant to repeat here all that you have read about the first pro day in many other articles and sites.

Coach Weis has become more settled in as a college level coach. I'm not saying he never was before, but he admits to having discussions with other Division 1 coaches on how to approach a bowl. As well earlier this year made changes in how he approaches recruiting.

What I am seeing now from this pro day is how he is marketing Notre Dame and himself as head coach in this the first of two. If you noticed HE ran it. HE did it as if he were still one of those 100 pros. Not too long ago in print someone named Zook rolled his eyes that "a college coach could get an NFL guy on the telephone and influence him." That was a Zook and media smack in the mouth to coach Weis who has also said in print that he could pick up the phone and call any NFL guy.

Media specifically mentioned that the Vikings coach and Romeo, Weis's friend, drooled over Brady and the number of passes thrown which was "more than a combine." To me this is nothing more than Weis marketing Notre Dame and himself as doing more for his kids than the NFL expects or any other college coach can do. Also notice that the second NFL pro day comes the day after Notre Dame opens spring practice. Do you need a picture to see that not just the normal Notre Dame media followers will be on campus for this, but 100 NFL owners, coaches, and scouts?

Weis just told those future college recruiters who will whisper in some kids ear, "Notre Dame and Weis can't do anything for you"; to simply, go suck a prune.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Doomed Quarterbacks

By Sir John

Ahh, to be a Notre Dame fan in 2007.

Practically every fan has an opinion as to who will be our starting quarterback this year. The votes have been counted from many websites and the results are in.

#1 Jimmy Clausen. #2 Demetrius Jones. #3 Zach Frazer. #4 Evan Sharpley. I have been a Zach Frazer guy since he verballed to Notre Dame and those arguments started before Jimmy Clausen climbed aboard. Yes indeed I have heard all the arguments. Sharpley had the actual game time but did he really? Handing off is a chore almost anyone can do.

The 2006 team never lived up to anyones expectations. I said early on that the team seemed to lack that burning desire to win. It was as if they believed in 2005 and grew doubtful in 2006 or got the 'big head' as they say. While all are grateful for what the seniors did in amassing the wins we had I have to fault the senior leadership. When you get behind a coach can do only so much and it is up to the leaders to pull the team out of a defeated mode or that losing body language I saw so often. Collectively, as a group the repeatedly had a breakdown and never came together, twice Weis had to simplify his playbook for them.

Many fans were disgruntled that Brady came in so low on the Heisman. To be honest there were games last year that I would have benched Brady if we had another QB. For some reason Coach Weis never jerked Brady. Now that is history and we move on to four quarterbacks. Take your pick from above one to four I feel it doesn't matter who starts as most likely Weis will pull him if things are going slow. Nine 5th year return, 5 & 4 on each side of the ball but otherwise we are young, green and immature. An untried quarterback is going to make mistakes and he's behind or grouped with other unknowns.

If there is a bright spot in all this it means for at least the first few games not one opponent will know what we are going to do. On both sides of the ball anything we ran last year on film is worthless. There will be some old pet plays but Charlie can experiment now a luxury we never had. As well face it expectations with a young new group will be low but exciting to see develop and very important I hope these younger bring fire and enthusiasm back.

On the D side the new Coach says "And if the offense calls for you to put more pressure on them, then maybe you should put more pressure on them. If it calls for you to play more coverage and then you gotta play more coverage. If they're an offense that says that maybe you should gear up on the run, then you gotta gear up on the run." But that is almost Rick Minter's talk of fly to the ball.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Darius Walker to enter NFL Draft

After a great season, Darius Walker shocked many Notre Dame fans by passing up his senior year to enter the NFL Draft. I for one would have loved D-Walk to stay for his last year in an ND uniform, because of his leadership and his recent speed and great performance that he showed in the Sugar Bowl against LSU. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and I wish the very best of luck to Darius in the NFL.

Here are some fun facts and stats from Darius's time as a Notre Dame running back:
  • Walker set the freshman rushing record in 2004, gaining 786 yards on 185 carries (4.2 average)
  • The first touchdown of the Weis era was a 51-yard screen pass to Walker against Pitt last year
  • Scored the game-winning touchdown last year against Stanford to seal a BCS berth and about 14.5 million dollars
  • Led the team in all-purpose yards this year with 1,658 total yards
  • Rushed for a career-high 186 yards on 35 carries against Stanford last year
  • Scored all three of Notre Dame's touchdowns in last year's Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State, a career-high, while averaging 5.6 yards per carry with a long of 20 yards
  • Led the team in rushing yards and touchdowns this year with 1,267 net yards on 255 carries and seven touchdowns
  • Fourth on the team in receiving yards this year behind Jeff Samardzija, Rhema McKnight, and John Carlson, with 391 yards off of 56 receptions and one touchdown
  • Averaged five yards per carry with a long of 39 yards this year
  • Career-long run was on a 40-yard run against Pitt in 2004
  • Full name is Darius A'Dunte Walker
Darius Walker Moments


Thursday, January 11, 2007

2006 Highlight Video

Enjoy the highlights of a great 10-3 season!