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The Battle for Notre Dame’s No. 2 Quarterback

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas // USA TODAY Sports

Everyone knew there would be a quarterback competition at Notre Dame heading into the fall. How many knew it would be between redshirt freshman DeShone Kizer and incoming true freshman Brandon Wimbush is the true question. The departure of Everett Golson to Florida State via the graduate transfer rule upended the balance of Notre Dame’s depth chart at quarterback. Suddenly, Malik Zaire sits alone at the top while his future backup remains unclear. But Wimbush, who will arrive to campus in June, is preparing himself for the increased timetable. “I was really shocked,” Wimbush said to the media upon hearing ...

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Time for Notre Dame’s Backfield to Shine

CJ Prosise Training at RB

One of the major storylines that emerged during Notre Dame’s spring practice sessions was the stellar performance of slot receiver C.J. Prosise when given the opportunity to cross-train at the running back position. “C.J.’s as good a player as we’ve got on the offensive football team right now, in my opinion,” said associate head coach Mike Denbrock.  “You saw what he can do if you hand him the ball, and we saw [it] in the LSU game.” Prosise showcased his potential to be a star in Notre Dame’s Music City Bowl victory over LSU when he rushed for 75-yards on ...

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5 Intriguing Notre Dame Football Games in 2015

Photo: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

As the beginning of August approaches, most college football programs face at least a handful of uncertainties heading into the 2015 season, and the Irish are no different. Whether it be who emerges at tight end, can the Irish generate a pass rush, or can the program as a whole avoid the injury bug that plagued them in 2014? These are all legitimate questions that will play out over the duration of the season, but lack expedited resolutions. The one area that does provide some immediate gratification is the schedule for the upcoming season, and while a fluid situation due ...

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Notre Dame’s Quarterback Depth Still Strong

Photo: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Worried about Notre Dame’s depth at quarterback following the departure of incumbent starter Everett Golson?  Don’t be.  Even with Golson deciding to transfer and in essence conceding the starting quarterback derby to Malik Zaire, Notre Dame still remains deep and talented at the most crucial position on any football team thanks to the recruiting of the Irish staff the last few years. When news broke of Golson transferring one of the immediate concerns that popped up among Notre Dame fans was all of the snaps that Golson took away from Deshone Kizer this spring before ultimately transferring.  While those concerns are ...

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The Courting of Everett Golson Begins

Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson (5) during pre game warmups before their game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Now that former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson is officially a free agent, the one-time Heisman candidate turned backup quarterback for the Irish has begun making the rounds of college visits much like he did as a prep player out of South Carolina.  Monday Golson reportedly visited Florida State and Tuesday he was said to have stayed in state to visit with the Florida Gators. Since making his announcement last week that he was transferring from Notre Dame for his 5th year, there’s been rampant speculation as to where he would land.  Reports surfaced on Monday that Notre Dame had ...

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What’s the Plan with Malik Zaire as Notre Dame’s Starting Quarterback?  ‘Kick Some A**’

Photo:  Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire

Quarterback Everett Golson has done the expected and will transfer from the University of Notre Dame.  Now that Irish fans have had several days to digest this latest development, the true impact of Golson’s departure can be examined.a The most immediate impact is the ascension of junior Malik Zaire to the starting quarterback position, but another critical advancement involves sophomore quarterback DeShone Kizer or incoming freshman quarterback Brandon Wimbush becoming Zaire’s backup.  Notre Dame has suddenly transitioned from great depth at the quarterback position to none at all, with Kizer redshirting his freshman season and receiving almost no spring practice ...

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Notre Dame Stocked with Future NFL Talent

Jaylon Smith - Notre Dame LB vs ASU

Head coach Brian Kelly has transformed Notre Dame into a legitimate pathway to the NFL since taking the reins in South Bend in 2010.  The Fighting Irish had 8 players selected in last year’s NFL Draft, which tied with Alabama for second overall (LSU was No. 1 with 9 selections).  Notre Dame, as expected, had a quiet presence in the most recent NFL Draft with tight end Ben Koyack being the only player selected late in the seventh-round.  But Notre Dame’s silence this year serves as the calm before the 2016 NFL Draft’s storm, with the Irish having a potentially ...

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6 Notre Dame Players In Need of Strong Summer Workouts

Photo: Matt Cashore / USA Today Sports

Now that the spring game is in the rear view mirror it is time to focus on moving forward. This is true not only for Irish fans, but coaches and players also. For the first time in many years the Notre Dame football program has some exceptional frontline talent and the depth to match. While this is never a bad problem for any program to have, it does present some interesting scenarios and storylines that will reveal themselves as fall practice inches closer. The fact is, a large majority of positions for the Irish program are locked in, and barring ...

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Post Spring Notre Dame Football Stock Report

CJ Prosise - Notre Dame RB

With spring practice complete and Notre Dame ready for OTA’s, we have a somewhat better idea now of what the Irish have to work with and work on between now and September 5.  Based on what we learned this spring, here are some players who saw their stocks rise and fall over the course of the 15 practices the Irish held. A lot can change between now and the fall so this list could be vastly different once the bullets start to fly in September, but for now, here’s what we learned this spring. Trending Up CJ Prosise – Clearly ...

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Harry Hiestand Building a Legacy at Notre Dame

Harry Hiestand - Notre Dame OL Coach

When Harry Hiestand was added to the Notre Dame coaching staff following the departure of Ed Warriner to Ohio State after the 2011 season, his hiring wasn’t met with a whole lot of fanfare.  Three years later, it’s safe to say that Hiestand very well could be the single best assistant coaching hiring Brian Kelly has made since being named the head coach at Notre Dame. Since his arrival at Notre Dame the offensive line has, for the most part, been a source of strength for the Irish.  In 2012 the offensive line paved the way to a title game ...

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10 Observations from the 2015 Blue & Gold Game

Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

Notre Dame concluded spring practice on Saturday with the annual Blue & Gold game.  While it’s tough to really draw any conclusions from a glorified scrimmage, here are 10 observations from the game and some things to think about as the Irish move into the off-season. 1. There’s a reason there won’t be a decision on the Quarterback until the summer Neither Everett Golson or Malik Zaire did too much to separate themselves.  Zaire had the long bomb to Will Fuller but that was really the only difference and everyone knows that Golson has the ability to hit Fuller deep ...

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Duranko’s Digest: Notre Dame Football’s Spring Forward

Photo: Matt Cashore / USA Today Sports

Spring practice is now concluded.  What did we learn? Better than expected: Jerry Tillery at Defensive tackle.  Tillery’s move from “left tackle of the future”  to defensive tackle was an “experiment”  like the Manhattan Project was an “experiment.”   Tillery’s progress eases the burden on some promising young tackles like Cage, Hayes, Matuska, Mokwuah and the three frosh. What is unique about Tillery is that he inspires nearly head-shaking awe from all who observe him.  The recruit who requested and received an audience with  Rev. Theodore Martin Hesburgh, C.S.C. during one of his recruiting trips may have picked up a little ...

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Brian Kelly Talks 2015 Notre Dame Blue Gold Game

Photo: Matt Cashore / USA Today Sports

Brian Kelly met with the media on Saturday following the conclusion of the 2015 Notre Dame Blue and Gold Game – the 15th and final practice for the Fighting Irish in Spring 2015.  Here are some of the highlights of Kelly’s last media session until fall camp kicks off this summer. During his opening remarks singled out a few players – Max Redfield, CJ Prosise, Jaylon Smith, and Jarrett Grace.  Kelly noted that Prosise is the kind of player that will scare a coach when he puts on the tape and that Redfield continued the progression he has shown all ...

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