Archive for the ‘Brandon Walker’ Category

Fall Camp 8/13

August 14, 2009
Secondary has it covered @ Rivals Video

Walker tougher than the rest @ Rivals Video

Options abound for Polian @ Rivals Video

Wu Am I? Childish Gambino & Gratuitous F-REEK

June 1, 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 11 & 12…

Brandon Walker #14
6’3″ 202 lbs.
Findlay, Ohio
Wu Name: Childish Gambino

If you take Jimmy Clausen out of the conversation- Brandon Walker is the most criticized player on the Fighting Irish roster. Since the day that Walker stepped on campus, most observers thought he was the best kicker on the team and would grab the starting position. I wonder if Brandon knew what kind of pressure cooker he was getting himself into when he decommitted from Louisville and signed with Notre Dame? If he didn’t- he does now. Walker has had a rough start to his football career at Notre Dame going 20-36 for his field goal attempts for a very poor 55%. On the flipside, he is 61-62 for his PATs.

2009 will be a defining year for Walker as he enters summer camp with competition arriving in the form of freshman Nick Tausch. Either Walker cements himself as the starter or he may slip into obscurity. Notre Dame needs Brandon to be the guy. He has been in the heat, and he will have a better handle on things as a junior as opposed to a freshman still getting his feet wet. I think he will finally come into his own this year as a competent and steady kicker. By all accounts the Fighting Irish shouldn’t need him to kick for victories at the end of the game, but they will need him to put points on the board after a stalled drive. That’s so important, and often overlooked. Three stalled drives inside the 30 can equal 9 points. That’s the difference between a 7-5 season and a 10-2 / 11-1 season.

Darius Fleming #45
Defensive End / Outside Linebacker
6’1″ 242 lbs.
Chicago, Illinois
Wu Name: Gratuitous F-REEK

Darius Fleming was one of those guys. Darius was one of the 4 players I wrote about almost 2 years ago in my post, “Four 2 Score.” Darius was a must get for the Irish because he was 1) a big time prospect from Chicago, and Notre Dame needed to re-establish itself in the Windy City 2) A freakish athlete that would add size and speed to the front seven & 3) he was an absolute need for roster depth. All these things made Fleming so important, that his early commitment to Notre Dame in the spring of 2007 one of the biggest catches in the #1 overall class in the country. It took a few games for Fleming to really see some strong minutes, and while he only amassed 24 tackles and 2.5 sacks- he was starting to become a very important piece of the puzzle. One of the biggest clues to the level of importance that Fleming was becoming was the statement by Coach Weis before the bowl game. Basically he said that ND would be playing a lot of nickel and that meant Fleming would see a ton of time. When you start to become the integral piece of a particular scheme or defensive alignment- that means you are pretty good.

In 2009 , Fleming is listed as an outside linebacker after playing 2008 with his hand on the ground. What does this mean for Irish fans? I’m not sure. While I always envisioned Fleming as that WILL backer, I also liked seeing the speed on the outside rush from the end position. Notre Dame has really started to find some much needed depth along their front 7, so with the emergence of a few guys, it meant Darius could take his hand off of the ground. That doesn’t mean it won’t be there from time to time, and by all accounts I think he is supposed to be an end in the nickel in 2009. Whatever it may be, expect a lot out of Fleming this season.

Kicking Ass Wu Style

April 29, 2008

Time for 2 more of the 36 Chambers to be opened. Todays deadly assassins are…

Brandon Walker #14
6’2″ 190lbs.
Findlay, Ohio
Wu-Name: Childish Gambino

The Irish need a big year from Brandon. No. The Irish need a fucking super-sized year from Brandon. Charlie Weis is a offensive genius… right? Well that may be true but he is also flipping insane when it comes to the kicking game. Weis doesn’t trust it, and he has no real reason to. This is the main reason for so many 4th down attempts and why he didn’t kick the field goal against Navy. Notre Dame is still going to be very young on offense this year and there is no real way of knowing how good they are going to be. If they want to win the close games and the tough road games, Walker must be as cold as ice and willing to sacrifice his first-born child and knock that pigskin through those fucking goal posts. BTW- people from Findlay are totally psycho. My college roommate in the Fraternity house was from Findlay and had a complete arsenal in the closet… we had grenades. Walker HAS to drop bombs of his own.

Eric Maust #43
6’2″ 180 lbs.
Roswell, Georgia
Wu-Name: Superintendent God-Botherer

Consistency. That is exactly what we need from Maust. We all thought that is what we were going to get from Geoff Price last season and unfortunately for us all, it just wasn’t there. With a young ball club, field position means so much. When the offense can’t get that first down, it is up to the punter and the coverage to squeeze the opposing team into a corner. That also gives the defense so much more room and confidence to make plays. Not just stop the opposing “O”, but make those turnovers inside OUR redzone. Kick the Eric and kick it hard.

Freshman Are Special People

August 3, 2007

With the first practice of the season coming in just a few days, the mention of the new season is causing an overabundance of excitement all across ND Nation. One of the primary topics every year is “What freshmen will play right away?”. This year is already no different in that aspect. Every message board on the net has more than enough threads debating this very subject matter. The one difference this year however, is that there are very few returning starters on both sides of the ball. This makes for an interesting preseason camp. The starting lineups we saw in the spring may differ before it is all said and done.

We can debate and speculate all we want about the depth chart for the offense and defense. There is certainly a wealth of talent coming in this year for us to do so. Will Clausen start? What about Kamara? But generally speaking over the years, the biggest overall impact a freshman class can make is on special teams. This is where I believe the frosh are going to see significant playing time, and hopefully contribute to some great plays and victories. Who? Where?

  • Brandon Walker K– With the lack of success the kicking game had last year, Walker has an excellent chance to take over the duty if he performs well during practice. This probably isn’t too much of a surprise to anyone that saw last years debacle. His main competition will be Ryan Burkhart, who could never usurp Carl Gioia in 2006. The shortcomings of last years field goal unit, were instrumental in the decisions that Weis made regarding play calling (especially on 4th down) once The Irish got within the opponents 30 yard line. Weis may be a risk taker, but he was a risk taker on steroids last year with no confidence in the kickers. Look for Walker to take the job and pull double duty next year after Price is gone Ala Fitzpatrick.
  • Armando Allen KR– The Irish lacked explosion last year on this unit. Allen can bring a million tons of TNT to this position. With David Grimes starting at WR, this could probably open up the spot for the speedy Allen. Look for Allen to become a staple on this unit as the Irish have a very inexperienced offense that will need quality field position to loosen up.
  • Golden Tate KR– Speaking of returning kicks… Look for Tate to see some time back there as well. George West is a probable starter at WR and that may also affect his PT retuning kicks. Tate is very quick and athletic and the possible duo of him and Allen sounds very enticing.
  • Steve Paskorz, Harrison Smith, and Aaron Nagel KICKOFF– Steve Paskorz might get arrested this year for assault. He looks like an animal after hitting the weight room harder than Latimer on “The Program”. He is also pretty fleet footed and could prove to be a very good hitter/gunner for this unit. Fumbles are what we are looking for from Steve. Fumbles and body bags. Aaron Nagel can be seen in the same light. Though not as big a specimen as Paskorz, he is quicker and is a very good tackler who impressed all the coaches at the Army All-American game. I love me some safeties. Safeties are excellent players for the kickoff team as they are fast and tackle very well with some authority. Harrison Smith fits this mold. He may have a lot of competition though with guys like Jashaad Gaines, Sergio Brown, and Leonard Gordon looking for playing time as well. But, I think he could do very well , given the chance.

That’s it? Well it is only the first week of August. Time will tell what freshman will do what soon enough. I will already concur that I feel Clausen will start at some point this season (or at least some very significant PT), Kamara should see a lot of action at WR, Hughes and Allen could wind up in the rotation at RB, and Kerry Neal may see the field soon at OLB and on special teams. This is a list of what I believe are the probables going into preseason camp.

Please keep in mind that these are only freshman, and may have some very wide eyes. This is the case for a lot future stars around the country. One of our greatest players ever at ND, Tim Brown, even fell into this sea of wonder his freshman year during the 1984 season opener versus Purdue in Indianapolis as told by him in Eric Hansen’s Stadium Stories: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

“But when [ coach] Gerry Faust is giving his big
speech in the locker room, he ends it with, ‘Tim Brown, I want you to return the
opening kickoff.’ I was just shaking in my pants, man.”

So shaken was Brown that he forgot his helmet in
the locker room and had to run back to get it. That was the last vivid memory of
the opening moments of his collegiate football career.

“I can honestly say I don’t I don’t remember what
happened,” he said with a chuckle. “All I know is they squib kicked the ball to
me. I remember getting over to it and getting my hands on it. And I saw a hole
and started running. It was weird, because I’m like, ‘Why isn’t anybody trying
to tackle me?’ At some point. I must have dropped the ball. I must have freaked
out, went into shock or something, because I have no recollection of fumbling
the ball. I know I didn’t get hit. I finally turned around, and it was like,
‘What happened?’ What a way to start your career.”

Hopefully, someone relays this story to Armando. Tell him, “If you fumble, make sure you win the Heisman your senior year.”