Archive for the ‘Fleming’ Category

More Practice Video & Player Interviews

August 13, 2009

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
Kicker
6’3″ 202 lbs.
Junior
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.
Sophomore
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.

A Plethora Of PiƱatas

April 10, 2009

Practice With Flemming

September 1, 2008

Darius Flemming.

Four 2 Score

July 3, 2007

Before this 2008 recruiting class really took off into the stratosphere for the Irish, a lot of ND fans had 4 guys pegged as MUST gets for this class. Those 4 are; Steve Filer, Brandon Newman, Michael Floyd, and Darius Fleming. It was said back in March, that landing these 4 Blue-Chippers would make the 2008 class a huge success.

Steve Filer has been on the tip of every tongue in NDNation. He was one of the first offers for the ’08 class and represented a huge need at linebacker. Just as important, was to begin to really establish that Chicago pipeline to ND. Filer is being courted by a bevy of schools, but none more important than Illinois and Michigan. Most Irish fans expected Steve to commit early as ND appeared to be the leader early on in the process. That may or may not have changed, but Steve is keeping very low key at the moment and is putting his Senior year as a top priority. According to some, he does not talk to the coaches (any school) all that much and will probably make a decision sometime after his H.S. season. The Irish have already took 3 commitments from linebackers for this class with Fleming, McDonald, and Posluszny. They have offers out to a few others as well. Look for the Irish to hold out for Filer, but they may also take another LB to fill much needed depth. I believe Filer should be, and is, a top 2 priority for the Irish. It may be a long wait, and the Skunkbears are breathing down our necks, but I see Filer at ND via Corwin Brown.

Michael Floyd is another prospect that Irish fans have been drooling over for quite some time now. He has been mentioned as a huge Irish lean since last year, along with Filer. Floyd is maybe what may make this class something VERY special. The need at WR is undeniable, and with last years debacle with Benn, and Greg Little, ND can not afford to lose out on a WR of this caliber. ND has some major competition as well with Mike. He has offers from perennial recruiting powers Michigan, Ohio State, and Florida. He also is considered job #1 for Minnesota and their new head coach Tim Brewster (a huge dork). ND has one commitment so far for the 2008 class at WR; John Goodman. John may be good, but Floyd looks as though greatness is upon him. We may not have to wait very long to know the outcome for Floyd, he is nearing a decision and most insiders believe it will be before July is over, and some think the Irish are a lock. With all that said, ND looks to be very much in the mix for another Blue-Chipper at WR in Brice Butler. He will make his decision in August and the Floyd decision could make an impact on Butlers college choice. (I can’t say what kind of an impact, but it will none-the-less).

Darius Fleming was a enormous get for ND. He represents a lot of tangibles in ND recruiting that has already been mentioned with Steve Filer. He was considered a MUST get for ND and was courted by Corwin Brown as such. A Chicago guy and a bigtime defensive player at a position of need at LB. Flemming was considered a big ND lean all late winter and he eased the Irish faithful as he pulled the trigger for the Spring Game. Fleming has been a H.S. DE but in Brown’s 3-4, he will play the OLB spot as a pass rusher. Darius chose the Irish over a host of schools , but most notably; Michigan, Illinois, and USC. He wants Filer at his side in South Bend, and make it a point to say so publicly whenever asked about the 2008 class. Fleming is solid and we should see no wavering come signing day, or beforehand.

Brandon Newman became the target for ND and its fans throughout the Winter and Spring. ND needed a NG for its new 3-4 scheme and the recent commitments of Hafis Williams and Sean Cwynar did not ease the burden as they are considered DEs in Browns defense. The Newman watch was in full force and everyone had a tidbit to add or a rumor to throw in. He finally did commit to ND (after spending the weekend at Braxton Cave’s home) in May and the Irish faithful did jigs of joy. DT has been a huge need for a long time and despite promises of early playing time, big-time recruits have steered away from the Irish for one reason or the other. Brandon chose the Irish over in-state schools Louisville and Kentucky. With the recent addition of Omar Hunter, the depth may finally be coming at this position.

As stated, of the 4 prospects, 2 are already Irish. The other 2 (Floyd and Filer) are still being wooed by the ND staff. The 2008 incoming class may be the best class ND has seen since the days of Holtz. To cement this notion, and to ease ND fans everywhere, ND must receive commitments from both Filer and Floyd. ND may still get Butler and another LB or 2, but none of which will ease the loss of Filer and Floyd. It may be a while before we know the outcome of this saga, but it is something Irish fans should be seeing a lot more of in the future. Weis has already proven his recruiting prowess and will be in a lot more of these battles in the future. If we win these battles, the wars with U$C and the Skunkbears should and will turn in our favor.