Before spring practice started, one of the position changes that seemed likely under the new coaching regime was rising junior Trevor Robinson moving from guard to tackle. As of last weekend, Robinson began working at right tackle and he’s spent most of this week running with the first team as the right bookend.
Earlier this spring Brian Kelly talked about how tackles in his offense don’t necessarily need to have prototypical size – the kind 6’6″, 325+ lb behemoths that have become labeled ideal tackle prospects in recent years. Because the quarterback takes the majority of the snaps out of the spread in college, the tackles don’t need to have that same kind of size. Thus Robinson, not “ideal” height for a tackle, appears to be settling in as the right tackle on the Irish offensive line.
Even before the shift in offensive philosophies with the new coaching regime, there was speculation that Robinson would eventually make the move to tackle with Notre Dame losing both starting tackles from the 2009 to graduation this off-season.
Robinson is the best lineman on the team right now and has the agility to be able to lock down the right tackle position.
With Robinson moving to tackle, there’s been a little movement at the guard position as well. Senior to be Taylor Dever has moved inside to the right guard spot and has been running with the first team in practice.
Overall, the latest first team offensive line has been, from left to right, Zack Martin (LT), Chris Stewart (LG), Braxston Cave (C), Dever (RG), and Robinson (RT). Matt Romine had been running with the first team at left tackle earlier this spring, but lately it’s been Martin, a sophomore to be who “red-shirted” last year, that’s been lining up with the starters.
None of these moves, or even the current group of first teamers, is set in stone at this point. New OL coach Ed Warinner told the SBT that they won’t rush to make a final decision on a first team right now.
“The sooner we can get set, the better,” Warinner said, “but we’re not going to rush it. When it’s ready, it’s ready. I’d like to come out of spring with a pretty good idea of who our guys are going to be.
“They’re learning a completely different offense. There’s very little carryover, other than we’re playing football. The terminology is completely different, schemes and so forth. Some guys take just a little longer. We’re off to a good start.”
Lane Clelland Back to OL
One of the other spring position move experiments was junior to be Lane Clelland to defensive end from offensive tackle. That experiment appears to be over with Clelland wearing #73 in practice and moving back to the offensive line.