Archive for the ‘Hand’ Category

Doesn’t The Word "Depth", Imply Deep?

January 19, 2008

With the departure of Pat Kuntz this spring, and the future of Darrell Hand a question mark (Hand has been linked to rumors about heart problems that may end his football career) where do the Irish go to find its defensive lineman?

For argument sake, let’s take Hand out of the equation even though nothing has been officially announced. This leaves the Irish with only 6 scholarship players on the defensive line for the Spring game. That includes early enrollee Freshman, Sean Cwynar. Including Sean are: DE Paddy Mullen (JR), DE Justin Brown (5SR), NT Ian Williams (SO), DE Kallen Wade (JR), and offensive line covert DT Emeka Nwankwo (SO). Of these players, only Ian Williams and Justin Brown have started for the Irish and those were due to an injury pushing them into the lineup. Not very deep, is it? For the past few years, Notre Dame has had to use a rotation system with the offensive lineman and play them for both the Blue and Gold teams. It looks like this year, the defensive line might have to play the Iron man role. This does not look good for a defense looking to improve during the second year of Corwin Browns system.

There is hope on the way however. Come summer and fall, the Irish D-Line will be infused with more talent and youth. 3 more players will be suiting up and will be looking for significant playing time due to the lack of depth…and their own talent. DE Ethan Johnson, NT Brandon Newman, and DT Hafis Williams will be ready to go and might have that impact that Freshman All-American Ian Williams had last year. Plus, Kuntz might be able to return to ND as soon as this summer. That is starting to look a lot better. The Irish are still hammering away at possible commitments from two other D-Line prospects for the freshman class with signing day only 17 days away. DE Kapron Lewis-Moore is on campus right now, and DT Mike Martin will be visiting the Irish next weekend. Both are rated as 4 stars and could be impact recruits. The Irish already have their best D-line haul in almost two decades and it could be significantly better if one OR both commit to the Irish. We will have to wait and see.

Any way you look at the situation, the Irish should be in a lot better shape come Summer. In the meantime, watch the progression of the players at the Spring game. Hopefully, they will all improve and help create a real solution to a terrible problem. Doesn’t the word “depth” imply deep? Not quite yet, but soon.

Hand Out

August 4, 2007

Derrell Hand, a Junior defensive tackle, was suspended indefinitely yesterday for a violation of team rules. (Apparently, the team rules has something in it about prostitutes or… just being arrested in general).
This is a bit of a blow to ND, which is already thin at DL, if he does not come back this year. Reports are, that he was making significant progress during the Spring and was looking at quality minutes as one in the rotation for NT.
Good luck Darrell.

Link to South Bend Tribune Story