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Author Archives: Greg Flammang

Notre Dame Football Recruiting 2018: Off To A Flying Start

Things are happening, folks. Things. Are. Happening. The plan for the UHND staff following the February 1st signing day for the 2017 class was to put recruiting on the back burner and focus on upcoming spring practice, winter conditioning, and the 2017 season. Luckily, that was not the plan for the revamped Irish staff. Notre Dame picked up three big time commitments this week–with a possible fourth coming on Friday in receiver Micah Jones–and coupled with the three additions that came on national signing day and the three pickups in the last couple of weeks in the 2017 cycle, that ...

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Notre Dame Football Needs To Stop Playing Catch Up

Upon reflection following his Notre Dame career, head coach Lou Holtz surmised that his biggest mistake as the Fighting Irish head coach was complacency. Following the teams success in 1988 and 1989, which brought a 24-1 record and a national championship, and having reached the “pinnacle” of the sport, he simply sought to maintain their status, instead of trying to grow on it. Subsequently, they stagnated while the rest of college football caught up, and they were never able to fully regain their dominant form. Since Holtz resigned in 1996, they’ve been chasing a formula of excellence ever since, with ...

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Sleepers Into Stars: Brian Kelly’s Best Recruiting Hits For Notre Dame

Signing day 2017 finished with a flourish for Brian Kelly’s Fighting Irish, signing six players in the last two weeks after sending out a boat load of new offers while bringing in a new staff and losing commitments to other schools. The excitement regarding these signees was somewhat tempered, mostly because they weren’t a bunch of high profile players that the talking heads at ESPN would fawn over and create headlines. In fact, while browsing the ESPN recruiting home page, of the top 14 headlines, Notre Dame is not mentioned. This class lacks the star power of a Jaylon Smith, ...

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5 Instant Impact Players in Notre Dame’s 2017 Recruiting Class

Our 2017 signing coverage continues with a look at five players I think could make, or are at least capable of making an instant impact on the Notre Dame football team in 2017. I say “at least capable” because this class could have a difficult time actually breaking through to get meaningful minutes on the football field in their first seasons. If Notre Dame was anything last year, they were young, and there are a litany of players returning who played a lot of snaps on both sides of the ball. And green as they were, it is a talented ...

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Notre Dame Recruiting 2017 Signing Day: 5 Diamonds In The Rough

Our 2017 signing day coverage continues with one of my favorite columns of the year, my look at the signees who I think will far exceed their recruiting projections and star for the Irish during their careers. Last year, Julian Love made this list on his way to also being my freshman of the year, so naturally one of these guys will also star on the field next season and make me an instant genius.  Some people are saying it’s the “diamond in the rough” bump, I’m not saying that, but that’s what many people are saying. To be clear, ...

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Notre Dame Recruiting: Brian Kelly Enters Critical Final Stretch

With one week until thousands of high school players put pen to paper and officially become committed to their schools of choice, Brian Kelly and his football staff are working furiously to round out their staff. In the last couple of weeks, after a number of de-commitments from the 2017 class (after experiencing none last cycle), the Irish coaches added a slew of new offers, over 20, in an attempt to salvage what was once considered a top 10 class.  Will it work? For the record, I’m not a big class ratings guy. Brian Kelly has proven again and again ...

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Notre Dame Recruiting: Meet Notre Dame’s Five ’17 Early Enrollees

Last weekend five recruits from the 2017 recruiting class moved into their Notre Dame dorm rooms and began life as college students–offensive linemen Aaron Banks and Robert Hainsey, tight end Brock Wright, running back CJ Holmes, and athlete Isaiah Robertson. Since they took the time and effort to graduate from high school early and attend the university we all love and cheer for, and in doing so will likely get lost in the signing day excitement, they deserve to be highlighted, celebrated, and broken down by me, a guy with zero credentials as a talent evaluator except that I screamed ...

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Analyzing Notre Dame Football’s Extreme Makeover

Gosh, we expected changes, but this? We all knew a shakeup was going to be coming; Brian Kelly and his football team couldn’t endure a 4-8 season and simply run it back with the old gang while making a tweak here and there. I’m not sure anyone saw the makeover that took place within the coaching staff, and probably most surprising, Kelly giving full control of the play calling to a new comer in the program, offensive coordinator Chip Long from Memphis. In all, Notre Dame is likely to welcome five new coaches, including both coordinators, and make an overhaul of the ...

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Can Brian Kelly Turn Around Notre Dame Football?

Whether you are the type to take out an ad in the local newspaper calling for everyone to be fired or you think it makes sense for Notre Dame to retain Kelly for one more season, there is  pretty much a consensus amongst hardcore Notre Dame followers: it may not be this year, but Brian Kelly is toast. I wrote about this in October in my weekly Stock Report column, when I had Kelly as a sell after the loss on the road to NC State. It’s not so much that I thought he deserved to be, it’s just that ...

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2016 Notre Dame Football Awards Extravaganza

It’s understandable that many feel there should be no awards given out to a 4-8 team, but as someone who took part in a 2-8 season as a high school football player I remember we put on ties, ate some pretty darn good prime rib, and trophies were distributed. So in that spirit, if I can eat some prime rib for my awful football team then I can hand out some fake awards for Notre Dame Football 2016. And really, there were some performances worth celebrating and once we’ve all gotten over the shock and dismay of the season, we’ll ...

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Revisiting The Notre Dame Preseason Over/Under Predictions: Defense

It’s generally best to predict any defense that is being led by Brian VanGorder to underwhelm and that sentiment certainly proved correct this season for a unit that finished (incredibly) at 45th in total defense. In hindsight it was a crime not to give an over/under on how many games VanGorder would last as the Notre Dame defensive coordinator, but in fairness to myself I was still soaking in the “third year in the defense” narrative and trying to conjure up ways that Notre Dame could somehow overcome losing Sheldon Day on the defensive line and the best linebacker in ...

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Revisiting The Notre Dame Preseason Over/Under Predictions: Offense

Back in August I made some over/under predictions for the Notre Dame offense and now that the season is over it seems appropriate that we take a look back and see how I did. It’s important to remember that when these guesses were made I was operating under the crazy notion that Notre Dame would be a playoff team (don’t laugh, you thought they’d be good too). That being said, the results were a mixed bag with some correct predictions and some that were way off. Quarterback Starts By The Quarterback Who Doesn’t Take The Field First Against Texas: 2.5 ...

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Notre Dame Football Stock Report: Week 12

When it rains it pours, the hits just keep on coming, if it wasn’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all, kick a man while he’s down, and just when you thought things couldn’t get worse you go and do this. All things Notre Dame fans could have uttered at any number of happenings during the 2016 football season. Plainly put, it has been a nightmare, and the NCAA announcement on Tuesday that Notre Dame would have to vacate all the wins from their best season since 1993 just put the icing on that disgusting, molded cake. It’s ...

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Notre Dame Football Senior Week Stock Report

Notre Dame enters senior week on a rare high after their 44-6 drubbing of Army in the Lone Star state last Saturday. It goes without saying that this has been a very difficult and unfortunate season for the 2016 class, yet some of the strongest performances have come from those playing in their final home games for the Irish next weekend. We’ll get to those guys in a minute. As a whole, last weekend represented one of the few times we were treated to a complete performance on all sides of the ball for this Notre Dame team: the offense ...

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Notre Dame Football Stock Report: Week 10

It would be hard for things to get much lower for the Notre Dame program right about now, following last Saturday’s one point loss to Navy, although losing to Army this week would definitely represent the bottoming out of the Irish market. And the question that has befuddled fans for a little over a month now has been what in the world is going on with the offense? It’s been the tale of two seasons, pre and post VanGorder. Prior to VanGorder’s firing, the Notre Dame offense was a formidable force, scoring 40 points a game and tallying 500 yards ...

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