Archive for the ‘Aldridge’ Category

Fall Camp Updates… It’s Actually The Bye Week

August 26, 2009

The Dictator Lives! Viva Anello!!!

August 9, 2009

Wu Am I? Fearless Overlord & Spunky Misunderstood Genius

May 26, 2009

Welcome to another edition of Wu Am I? for the 2009 season. Once again- I am trying to identify the 36 players of impact for the 2009 squad. So without any further bullshit, I open chambers 9 & 10…

Jimmy Clausen #7
Quarterback
6’3″ 218 lbs.
Junior
Westlake Village, California
Wu Name: Fearless Overlord

You all know the recruiting story of Jimmy Clausen, and the story of his now infamous commitment to Notre Dame. Fuck everyone else. Seriously. Jimmy had two of the best statistical years for any freshman and sophomore quarterback in Notre Dame history with two of the youngest teams in Notre Dame history. At times, Clausen has looked like the real deal with a cannon arm, and pinpoint accuracy that rivals any former Irish signal caller. Jimmy’s weakness has been his decision making in key situations. Sometimes those poor decisions were due to being gang-raped by opposing defensive lineman, linebackers, defensive backs, mascots, concession workers, etc. Some, were due to a belief that he can make any pass a completed pass. What ever the cause of the error, it generally resulted in an Irish loss. This was a young quarterback.

The excuses are all gone. Jimmy may still have to run for his life this year, but the general consensus is that Notre Dame should have a much improved run game and pass protection due to a very veteran line that still has vast potential. I have always said that I don’t like comparing former years and former players to the current year and current players, but the similarities of this 2009 team are frightening close to the 2005 squad. Jimmy will have better overall talent around him catching passes. I honestly think that Jimmy will have a better statistical year than Quinn had in 2005. Can he cut down on the mental errors and prove that he can lead this team? That will be the difference in at least two games in 2009; “Did Clausen lead them to victory?” I believe he can- and will. Fuck U$C.

James Aldridge #34
Fullback
6’1″ 225 lbs.
Senior
Crown Point, Indiana
Wu Name: Spunky Misunderstood Genius

James was part of the 2006 recruiting class that boasted 28 players, a number #8 ranking nationally, and the first early enrollees in Notre Dame history with Aldridge, Stewart, and West all enrolling in January. James was a beast during his High School career and earned a Five star rating. However, he suffered a knee injury during his senior year and it never fully recovered until last spring. The expectations for a 5 star are always astronomical, but for a 5 star running back heading to Notre dame early- there were a lot of expectations. By all accounts, Aldridge looks like the player Irish fans were yearning for. He has a tremendous burst through the hole and enough shake and speed to make the long run. After leading the irish in rushing in 2007, he took another backseat to Allen and Hughes in the rotation in 2008.

Now this has me really pumped. Remember RPN? Remember what a Charlie Weis offense looks like with an athletic fullback? Rolling. That’s what they were. With Schwapp at fullback, the Irish lost speed and pass catching ability. How many times did we see the ball carrier reach the edge of a stretch play or a sweep before the fullback- and then get crushed? Too many times. Asaph was not suited for the speed of the defenses facing the Irish. By all accounts, James is really embracing this new role to help the team. I fully expect the Fighting Irish offense to a lot more dynamic with an athletic talent at fullback. For another example, look at what those Trojan commie bastards do with Stanley Havili at fullback. It’s impressive. Just watch it. Watch how things just come together, and after everyone gives the credit to the new line coach, the other running backs, the passing game- everything else- rewind and look what James Aldridge did in his Senior year. In the end, this is why he came to Notre Dame.

The Interviews Keep Coming…

March 25, 2009

Mike Floyd

Floyd raising the bar @ Rivals Video

James Aldridge

Aldridge on the move @ Rivals Video

Robert Hughes

Hughes back in action @ Rivals Video

2009 Eligibility Chart Updates

March 22, 2009

Since I had a few minutes this morning, I decided to take a look at the Eligibility chart for 2009 and see if any adjustments were needed. Sure enough, there were. Here are a few notes pertaining to the eligibility chart, followed by the chart itself.

  • There is no need to be hasty and move Aldridge into the fullback slot right now. He may very well play more meaningful downs as a FB, but until we get past spring practice and the spring game- he remains a running back. I will have a post that goes a little more in depth with this possible positional change soon.
  • The same rules apply to Trevor Robinson as a tackle. He will have to win the left tackle spot, before I move him as well.
  • Since the Irish are moving away from the 3-4 terminology and settling in on a 4-3 verbal base, I have changed the position titles a bit. There are nose guards and defensive tackles.
  • There are no more hybrid slots, as you are either have your hand up or your hand down 99% of the time. Also, I have not split up the linebackers into Sam, Mike, and Will. I may do this in the future, but not yet.

Beer Olympics VS. AK-47

August 4, 2008

You will, no doubt, see the following pics on a lot of different blogs and websites soon enough as they have already surfaced at The Big Lead. Good for them. Somehow they manged to survive a 3-9 season, stay in good standing academically, and party like a rock star (even if it might be a rock star from an 80’s pop band). I’m positive that I see no AK-47’s being shot in the air in the background or a stacks of mad cash.

OR…


Save the holier than thou speech for your wives, kids, and parents.

For Heaven’s Sake

July 22, 2008

Today’s installment of the WU AM I? series includes two former 5 star prospects. We were all yelling, “Thank Heaven” at the time and should do so again in the future.

James Aldridge #34
Running Back
Junior
6′ 1″ 222 lbs.
Junior Crown Point, Indiana
Wu-Name: Excessive Wizard
James Aldridge should be a star a Notre Dame. Before Cierre Wood committed to the Irish in April, James was the only 5-star rated running back Notre Dame had signed since the internet recruiting service era began back with the incoming class of 2002. If only recruiting stars predicted the future that lays within the stars.
James has battled injury after injury since his senior year. If you followed James’ career in high school, there was a huge difference in his explosiveness and ability to break tackles last year as compared to his last fully healthy season during his junior year in high school. He led the team in rushing last year, but saw his production take a big dip in the last few games due to an emerging Robert Hughes.
Uhhh…. Fuck all that. Every year is a new beginning and James is healthier now than at any point since he arrived at ND in the spring of 2006. With all of the Irish’s weapons at tailback this year and with what should be an improved offensive line from a running perspective, James will produce. He will have fresh legs and the will to prove himself to the world. Look out! Aldridge is seeking a break out year, and I think that he may have one.

Jimmy Clausen #7
Quarterback
6’3″ 212 lbs.
Sophomore
Westlake Village, California
Wu-Name: Fearless Overlord

Only Ron Powlus knows this kind of hype. Jimmy Clausen was hailed as the best high school quarterback to come out of California since John Elway. Well, at least he didn’t go to Stanford. Jimmy was tabbed as a “5-star, can’t miss prospect” since his sophomore year in high school. ESPN did a story on him that year and in turn helped start the fire.

It’s quite unfair really. Unfair to expect a kid to dominate as a true freshman. Couple this in with an elbow injury and surgery and having limited reps in the spring and summer because of said injury. And he did fine. Fine for a freshman at Notre Dame of ALL places. He, of course, did not dominate. But he did show ND Nation that the best was yet to come with some very solid play behind a very shaky line. He had a better completion percentage and a better touchdown to interception ratio than Irish Legend, Brady Quinn.

What Jimmy is now, is the starter of this team after winning out over Evan Sharpley last year. He has a season under his belt and took a lot of shots both physically and mentally from foe and media. He is bigger and has more experience around him this year than last year at the skilled position. He is truly better.

Two things can make this year great for Jimmy: 1. His offensive line must give him time IN THE POCKET. 2. The running game must be more effective on 1st down. If these things can happen, than watch for a quarterback that looks more like Quinn during his Junior year. That is a bold statement, but I just watched Pulp Fiction.

Young Is A Monster And Running Back Has 3 Heads

March 30, 2008

Hughes, Allen, and Aldridge are looking help the team.

Sam Young is looking to lead the Irish to victory.