Home / Author Archives: Frank Vitovitch

Author Archives: Frank Vitovitch

NFL Draft Proves Kelly, Hiestand Have Rebuilt the Irish Line

Ronnie Stanley - NFL Draft

From 2004-2013, Notre Dame football produced just one offensive lineman drafted high than the 6th round in the NFL Draft. That’s 10 NFL Drafts and just one lineman selected higher than the 6th round for the Fighting Irish – a program once known for its linemen.  In the last three years, however, Notre Dame, under the guidance of offensive line coach Harry Hiestand has produced four such players including two first rounders.  The pipeline, ladies and gentlemen, is once again open. After Jeff Faine became a first round selection for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the line Notre Dame offensive lineman to ...

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Notre Dame’s Early Departures Decisions Validated in ’16 NFL Draft

Will Fuller - 2016 NFL Draft

After years of avoiding a max exodus and early departures, Notre Dame lost four players this off-season who had eligibility remaining – Will Fuller, Keivarae Russell, CJ Prosise, and Jaylon Smith.  By the end of the second day of the 2016 NFL Draft, the quartet has been largely validated in their decisions. On Thursday night, Will Fuller got things started for Notre Dame.  After Ronnie Stanley was selected with the 6th overall pick becoming the first Golden Domer selected in the top 10 since Bryant Young, Fuller was off the board at 21st overall.  The Houston Texans traded up in the ...

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No Shamrock Series Game for Notre Dame in 2017

Notre Dame Shamrock Series

When Notre Dame travels to San Antonio, Texas in November to take on Army, it will mark the eighth straight season in which the Irish have traveled to another city to “host” a home game in the Shamrock Series.  According to ESPN,  Jack Swarbrick stated the Irish won’t make it nine years in a row in 2017 but are planning on adding the series back in future years. “In all likelihood we will not do one in ’17, because that’s the opening of the Crossroads and we want to maximize the number of home games, but we anticipate doing it ...

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Notre Dame Should Benefit from New Recruiting Rule

david-robinson-notre-dame

The NCAA made some headlines last week by banning “satellite camps” like the ones Michigan held this past off-season.  While that ruling has no real impact on Notre Dame since they have never conducted satellite camps, the NCAA’s decision to allow an institution to cover the costs for two parents/legal guardians to accompany prospective recruits on official visits could end up being a huge boost for Notre Dame on the recruiting. Prior to the NCAA’s decision, parents and legal guardians of prospective recruits had to pay their own transportation and food costs if they wanted to accompany their child on a recruiting ...

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Kevin Stepherson Lives Up to Hype in Blue Gold Game

Photo: Matt Cashore // USA TODAY Sports

One of the hottest names during Notre Dame’s 2016 Spring Football was early enrollee wide receiver Kevin Stepherson.  From Brian Kelly raving about his hands to teammates offering up kudos to the youngest just a few months removed from being a high school senior.  Last Saturday, Stepherson showed Notre Dame fans that he might just be worth the hype. Stepherson caught four passes for 70 yards on Saturday and would have added greatly to those totals had he been able to haul in a long bomb from Deshone Kizer that appeared to be perfectly placed but bounced off his finger tips.  That single play ...

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Get Your Notre Dame Elite 8 T-Shirt Now!

notre-dame-elite-8-tshirts

Notre Dame has advanced to the Elite 8 for the second year in a row and for the second time, the Irish have one of the tournament’s favorites standing in their way of their first trip to the Final Four since 1979.  The Irish used another dramatic ending to take down Wisconsin for a 61-55 victory setting up a rubber match with North Carolina Sunday night.  Show your support for the Irish buy picking up a Notre Dame Elite 8 t-shirt today! Our partners over at Fanatics have officially licensed t-shirts in both long and short sleeves commemorating Notre Dame’s ...

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Everett Golson’s Strange Journey Brings Him Back to Notre Dame

Everett Golson returning to Notre Dame

Everett Golson is returning to Notre Dame.  Again.  Two years after Golson returned to Notre Dame following his academic exile for the 2013 season, Golson will again be returning to participate in Notre Dame’s Pro Day after spending the 2015 season as a graduate transfer at Florida State. Golson raised some eyebrows a few weeks ago when he said that he wasn’t sure whose Pro Day he would attend – Notre Dame’s where he spent three years or Florida State’s where he transferred to for his final season of eligibility.  Tuesday Golson’s story came full circle when news broke that ...

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How Notre Dame Will Replace Steve Elmer

Steve Elmer - Former Notre Dame

Notre Dame already had to replace two stalwarts on the offensive line heading into the 2016 season.  The decision by Steve Elmer to end his career early and pursue his political career a year early on Tuesday pushed that number to three leaving the Irish with just two returning starters next season. Before jumping into just how Notre Dame replaces Elmer – on top of replacing Ronnie Stanley and Nick Martin – let’s give a quick tip of the hat to Elmer for making what could not have been an easy decision and another for even having that type of decision ...

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Notre Dame Awaits Demetris Robertson’s Decision

Demetris Robertson - Notre Dame WR Target

Notre Dame’s 2016 National Signing Day didn’t go exactly how the Irish coaching staff would have liked it to with the Irish batting one for three and losing out on two 5-star recruits – linebackers Ben Davis and Caleb Kelly – in the process.  Even with Signing Day essentially over, however, Notre Dame still has their eyes set on adding one more 5-star recruit.  Demetris Robertson. The recruitment of Demetris Robertson has been interesting to say the least.  After originally committing to Alabama, Robertson opened his recruitment back up and focused on Notre Dame and Stanford – two schools with ...

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No 5-Star Additions for Notre Dame Again on NSD

Caleb Kelly - Notre Dame LB Target

Notre Dame had high hopes coming into National Signing Day 2016 with a pair of 5-star linebackers – Caleb Kelly and Ben Davis – in their sights.  Neither would end up selecting the Irish, however, and Notre Dame’s only addition to the class of 2016 ended up being Florida linebacker Jonathan Jones. A month ago hearing that Notre Dame missed out on Caleb Kelly and Ben Davis wouldn’t have been too surprising, but the Notre Dame coaching staff did a good job of getting and keeping Notre Dame in the race up until the end.   Unfortunately for Notre Dame, ...

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Jonathan Jones Commits to Notre Dame

Jonathan Jones - Notre Dame LB

Notre Dame got some good news early Wednesday morning with when Florida linebacker Jonathan Jones selected Notre Dame over Michigan at his 10:30 announcement – especially after Notre Dame lost out on 5-star LB Ben Davis earlier this morning. Jones, a one time Michigan commitment, had been trending towards Notre Dame for a little while making his announcement not too surprising while at the same time reassuring for Notre Dame fans beings as Jones was considered the only “sure thing” heading into Signing Day. At 5’11”, 220 lbs, Jones checks in a bit undersized.  In fact, that might be the ...

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Meet Notre Dame Football’s ’16 Defensive Recruits

Spencer Perry - Notre Dame S

Julian Okwara – WDE Summary: The younger brother of graduating defensive end Romeo Okwara, Julian Okwara comes to Notre Dame as a similar, but more developed prospect than his older brother.  Julian Okwara projects as a weakside defensive end just like his brother but will be a full year older than his brother was as a true freshman.  People forget that Romeo Okwara was playing NCAA football not long after his 17 year old birthday.  Julian is already 18 months before even reporting to campus.  Like his brother though, the younger Okwara will need some time to develop as he was ...

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Meet Notre Dame Football’s ’16 Offensive Recruits

Ian Book - Notre Dame QB

Ian Book – QB Summary: For a while it looked like Notre Dame might not add a quarterback in the class of 2016.  The Irish appeared to be the leader’s in the clubhouse for elite 2017 QB Hunter Johnson and had just landed the dynamic Brandon Wimbush in the class of 2015 and they were having a hard time gaining the interest of 2016 signal callers.  Enter Ian Book.  The one-time Washington State quarterback who Mike Sanford became familiar with while coaching at Boise State in 2014, didn’t have an impressive offer list – mainly due to his measureables – ...

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7 Future Stars in Notre Dame’s Recruiting Class of ’16

Javon McKinley - Notre Dame WR

Every year we look at some instant impact and hidden gem recruits (coming soon) around National Signing Day.  You know the ones who could see the field right away and those that could develop into great players in a few years.  We haven’t really looked at players who will almost definitely be big time players but might not exactly be instant impact recruits because of depth, injuries, or any other number of reasons they might just need a little time before their every down players.  We are today. Here are 7 players in Notre Dame’s class of 2016 that will ...

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Autry Denson Fueling Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Autry Denson - Notre Dame RB Coach

When Urban Meyer convinced Tony Alford to leave Brian Kelly’s staff a year ago for the same position on his, Notre Dame fans – this one included – were terrified about the potential recruiting impact Alford’s loss would have.  Well, a year later, Autry Denson -Alford’s replacement – is making us all forget all about those worries. Prior to joining the Notre Dame coaching staff last February, Autry Denson had limited coaching experience.  He coached the running backs at Bethune-Cookman for three seasons before joining Chuck Martin’s staff at Miami of Ohio in 2014.  Just before joining the Irish staff, he ...

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