Archive for January, 2009

Depth Chart Filler

January 27, 2009

On Monday, Daniel Smith, Wide Receiver from Clay High in South Bend, committed to Notre Dame and became the second player to do so for the 2010 class.

The 6′-4″ 205 pound Smith, didn’t hesitate to jump on the opportunity to play for the Fighting Irish. Almost immediately after he was offered a scholarship, Smith scooped it up.

I’m a little late on the draw here so here are a few links that you should read if you haven’t already…

Welcome to Notre Dame Daniel!!!

I promised you guys this the other day, so I might as well put it on here. The following is the 2010 eligibility chart. Before you go crazy on my ass, I better explain a few things first.

  1. The senior column has all those that have that kind of eligibility. I’m not sure who from that column that will have a 5th year, will decide to come back or leave.
  2. Also, the freshman column is a little thin. This is because we still have to wait a while to find out which 2009 freshman will redshirt in 2009.

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Bagpipe Monday… The Battle Draws Near

January 26, 2009

The recruiting wars are becoming things of legend. Signing day is 9 days away and things are getting tense. Last week I asked “Do you follow College Football recruiting?”

  • 53% said they check the recruiting services now and then.
  • 23% said that I must be kidding. They already have a top 100 for 2017.
  • 14 % said they have Mike Franks number on speed dial.
  • 10% said they have bigger problems than dealing with an 18 year olds college choice.

I’m sticking with the theme for this weeks poll. The hour awaits… enjoy the pipes!

Asaph Schwapp Is History & Other Roster Hits

January 26, 2009


It’s over for Schwapp. Asaph has declined an offer to play for a fifth year at Notre Dame, and will look to try and become a blocking fullback in the NFL according to the NFL Draft Bible.

Draft Daddy had this to say about Asaph:

Of the new names, not counting the 4 big names we reported Monday should’ve been on the list, Asaph Schwapp should be the most notable to college football fans. He was the top high school player from the state of Connecticut in the class of 2004 and was hotly recruited, but did not have a great career at Notre Dame. Schwapp accumulated only 98 rushing yards and 62 receiving yards, with no touchdowns, in his four years in South Bend. That said, he may earn a free agent deal and tried as a blocking back.

This is obviously not a surprise to most, but it does leave a gaping hole at the depth the Irish have at fullback for the 2009 season. Steve Paskorz will enter the spring as the #1 fullback… the only fullback. But does it really matter?

Notre Dame has not really used the FB as an effective offensive weapon since the departure of Powers-Neil. When RPN was playing in the Weis system, he was effective as a running fullback, a receiving fullback, and as the featured back near the goaline and short yardage. He worked.

Notre Dame can actually make this position viable again by incorporating those same type of principles with the 2009 offense. But, that depends on the player available.

As mentioned earlier, Steve Paskorz is now the #1 FB on the roster. A converted Tailback from High School, Steve started as a linebacker for the Irish until an onslaught of injuries at the TE and FB positions, along with an influx of talent at the linebacker position forced a move.

Steve certainly has the athleticism to help improve the play at the fullback position. He had his senior season in high school cut in half because of a bad hamsting, but before that happened, Steve rushed for over 4000 yards in his career at Hampton High School in Allison Park, Pennsylvania. He had over 2000 yards duiring his sophomore season.

There may be other options for the Irish as well. Notre Dame was actively recruiting two prospects this year as a fullback- Tyler Gaffney and Toben Opurum. Opurum verballed to Kansas and the opportunity to be more of a featured back. Gaffney is making his verbal declaration on Monday, and it is looking like a Stanford and Irish battle. Gaffney was the player of the year in his division in California and he is exactly what we are needing in a fullback. The problem is, is that he may want to be more of a featured back and Stanford has shown what it can do with a powerful, fullback like runner with Gearhart (I really don’t care if I spelled this right… he plays for Harbaugh).

Now, listen to Yoda… “There is an…oth…er, Sky…walk…er.” There is, but his name ain’t Luke- it’s Robert. Robert Hughes to be exact. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that there is no way that is going to happen, and maybe you are right for the most part. While recruiting Hughes, Weis assured Robert that he would be used as a feature back and not as a fullback. Weis is many things, but he is no liar. That’s not to say that Weis won’t have a talk with Hughes about playing a little more fullback, but I’m sure the conversation will be more of a tester than a demand.

The thing is, Hughes should jump at this chance. I see the Irish offense spreading itself out more in 2009 and using its best weapons in the passing game. There will be more and more formations used that offer only a one back set, but you know Charlie will pull out the regular two back formations a lot as well. How would a switch help Hughes then? Well, it wouldn’t be a full switch. The times that ND would need or want Hughes in the same backfield as Allen, Aldridge, and Gray they would be able to put him there with the confidence that he can accomplish the goal of the play.

Really, all I’m saying is that an athletic fullback can drastically improve the offense that has a hard time getting the short yards that it needs to sustain drives. Look at U$C and their fullback Havili. That guy may be their MVP. He’s fucking ridiculous the way he catches the ball out of the backfield, blocks, and runs. That’s what wee need, and at the moment- we probably lack. That could change soon however.

Yoda thinks Hughes is the shit.

Some other quick roster news… Nyshier Oliver is probably going to decommit from the Irish and head back to his original commitment of Tennessee. This is not fact yet, but I ‘ve read enough to just face it and admit that he is probably gone. Nyshier visited Tennessee this weekend, and all signs point to him spurning the Irish. Oliver was a very nice grab for this class, but the combination of a very talented depth chart at WR at Notre Dame, and a smooth-talking Lane Kiffin, will probably end this relationship. Good luck to Oliver.

Updating the Eligibility Chart for 2009. As I was taking Schwapp off of the chart, I decided to do the same with Oliver. Again, this may be jumping the gun, but someone has to be the asshole… it might as well be me. I also put Gary Gray back on the chart as it was reported that he will be back at ND this summer. (BTW- I will have an eligibility chart for 2010 out soon as we already have one commitment for that class and we may get another this week).

The Irish have 5 spots open for 2009, and as of right now, they are in the mix for Starling, Moore, Te’o, and Gaffney. The Irish are in good shape with 3 of the 4 with Gaffney probably heading to the Farm. Te’o is down to three, and Moore decommited from USC and most likely will sign with the Irish… knock on wood.

Special Thanks to Frankie V at UHND.com Blog for posting a lot of good recruiting info that I and other bloggers have neglected this last few weeks. Good show.

Gregisms Live On

January 20, 2009

The Michigan Skunkbears have hired former Syracuse head coach Greg Robinson as their new defensive coordinator.
Let that sink in for a moment…
I almost couldn’t believe it when I got the phone call from a friend today about the hire (no, it wasn’t Troy Nunes- although I’m sure somewhere in New York the famous Syracuse blogger is laughing his ass off).
After a moment, it made perfect sense from a Dick Rod point-of-view. Notre Dame lost to Syracuse. It blew donkey nuts and it is still a painful image to conjure in my mind, but seriously… Greg Robinson? Dick Rod must really not care what the Michigan fanbase is going to say. I haven’t heard them yet, but I’m positive most of them are shitting their collective pants.
At least Michigan recruiting may take a different spin…

Bring It In

January 19, 2009

There is a ton of coaching news today for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. First, Tony Alford has been named the running backs coach (a position previously held by Mike Haywood). This was a name that never surfaced during the search, but that may be because the concentration has been on the offensive coordinator job. Either way, Alford looks like a solid hire and someone that can work to develop the overwhelming, yet perhaps underachieving talent, that is present on the Notre Dame depth chart.

Also, two former players are coming home to coach as grad assistants. Bryant Young is taking the defensive G.A. position and Tim Grunhardt is sliding into the offensive G.A. position. Bryant Young was a beast at Notre Dame and a future Hall of Famer in the NFL (A great in depth piece on Young from TGIAB.com). Both of these guys will be counted on to help improve both our defensive and offensive lines.

So welcome to Notre Dame Tony, and welcome back home, Bryant and Tim. Coach Weis is piecing together a very nice staff that should help this team get over the next step.

Bagpipe Monday… Waiting

January 19, 2009

Welcome back to Bagpipe Monday. Waiting. What a pain in the ass. We are all waiting for something everyday. Whether it be for a coffee in the morning, the minute to clock out of work, or even to see the inauguration of the United States first African-American President- we all are waiting for something, everyday.

As Fighting Irish football fans, the 2008 season may be over, but the continuing quest remains intact. The next big event for the program is the same big day for other programs across the country- National Signing Day on February 4th. So the countdown continues…
Last weeks poll asked simply, “Tebow ?”
  • 31% said he was a closet devil-worshipper
  • 26% said he was a future Pro Bowl fullback
  • 22% said he was the epitome of jealousy
  • 21% said he was the savior of crack-babies.

He very well may be all of those things as we keep hearing that Tebow is the greatest human being that has ever existed (you can still save crack-babies as a devil-worshipper- just differently). How’s President Obama dealing with that?

Don’t forget to vote in this weeks poll and enjoy the pipes!

The Madness Continues…

January 16, 2009

The coaching situation is getting hotter everyday at Notre Dame as Charlie Weis looks for replacements on his staff. The Fighting Irish have already hired Frank Verducci as their offensive line coach to replace the favorite heel of Irish fans, John Latina. I dropped the ball on this story and never did fully respond about the hire. In a weird twist of fate however, I will just say that I agree with both The Biscuit and Domer.mq about the hiring of Frank and the stupidity of others. Spot on.

So that’s one down.

The other coaching position that is getting a lot of message board talk and focus, is the defensive line coach. Reports were, that Ohio State assistant coach and former player Luke Fickell was offered the job. I was getting used to the idea of Fickell joining the staff, until this morning where I was reading that it isn’t going to happen. The next man in line for the job may be Steve Stripling. (What the hell?!!! Another Michigan guy). As much as it hurts to see more former skunkbears flock to the Golden Dome, this guy knows his stuff and he could be a huge difference with the young talent ND has on hand.

And that’s about it. No more word on the offensive coordinator/running backs coach openings and Reuben Mendoza still has a job. So the madness continues, as does the pressure…

Luginbill’s Got Our Back?

January 16, 2009

This was one of those moments where you are watching ESPN, and as Howard and Stewart are listing off their top 50 wide receivers coming back in 2009, you want to throw a brick or at least a Pringle at the TV screen. Then, something happens and you realize yet again that the first letter stands for “entertainment.” Luginbill comes to the rescue… Tom Fucking Luginbill.

Petey Poodle Is Pissed

January 15, 2009

Southern Cal quarterback, Mark Sanchez, made his announcement that he would forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft. I guess the Poodle didn’t take it so well…

USC coach Pete Carroll was extremely ungracious during the Mark Sanchez press conference. He stormed out of the room and did not even sit at the table before Sanchez addressed the media. Something he never did when Matt Leinart, etc., announced their decisions.
Carroll never sat down at the table but stood with his palms on the table. His anger was clear if you spend time around him.
Not a great moment. – Scott Wolf, The Daily Trojan

What a dick.

The Final Blogpoll Top 25

January 14, 2009

The final commentary from Brian and the rest of the poll can be found here.