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Author Archives: Scott Janssen

Tarean Folston: Notre Dame Football Now or Never ’16

Tarean Folston returns from an ACL injury to lead a crowded Notre Dame backfield in 2016. (Photo: Robin Alam // Icon Sportswire)

UHND’s annual “Now or Never” series has explored the offensive futures of quarterback Malik Zaire and wide receivers Torii Hunter and Corey Holmes, as well as tight end Durham Smythe.  This week UHND continues on the offensive side of the ball with senior running back Tarean Folston. Pedigree Tarean Folston was a highly coveted 4-star running back from Cocoa, Fla., possessing scholarship offers from in-state programs Florida and Florida State, and was a major target of the Auburn Tigers before ultimately offering his pledge to Notre Dame in January of 2013.  Folston was a member of Notre Dame’s No. 2 ...

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Durham Smythe: Notre Dame Football Now or Never ’16

Durham Smythe - Notre Dame TE

UHND’s annual “Now or Never” series has weighed the future of Malik Zaire and laid out a case for wide receivers Torii Hunter and Corey Holmes to have breakout seasons in 2016.  This week UHND will remain on the offensive side of the ball and take a closer look at senior tight end Durham Smythe. Pedigree Durham Smythe was an underrated prospect coming out of high school, only earning a 3-star ranking from outlets such as Rivals.com despite an impressive scholarship offer list that included the likes of Florida, Georgia and Michigan.  The Belton, Tx., native committed to the in-state ...

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Corey Holmes: Notre Dame Football Now or Never ’16

Corey Holmes emerged in the spring for Notre Dame.  Can he follow that up on the field in 2016?  (Photo:  Matt Cashore // USA TODAY Sports)

UHND’s annual “Now or Never” series began by forecasting Malik Zaire to finish second in Notre Dame’s quarterback race and predicted a breakout season for Torii Hunter.  This week UHND stays at the wide receiver position by taking a closer look at junior Corey Holmes. Pedigree Corey Holmes was a 4-star wide receiver prospect hailing from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with a strong list of scholarships offers.  The Florida native was coveted by last year’s ACC representative in the national championship game, Clemson, as well as in-state powers Florida and Florida State.  UCLA made a serious push for the talented pass ...

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Torii Hunter Jr: Notre Dame Football Now or Never ’16

Notre Dame needs Torii Hunter to emerge as a star from a group of gren wide receivers this season.  (Photo: Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

After exploring the murky future of quarterback Malik Zaire, UHND continues its annual “Now or Never” series with Torii Hunter Jr., a wide receiver Notre Dame is hopeful will become the next star pass catcher for the Irish. Pedigree The son of retired MLB star Torii Hunter, Hunter Jr. had the bloodlines of a great athlete despite his status as an unheralded 3-star recruit from Prosper, Tex., that failed to crack Rivals.com’s original list of national recruits.   Despite his under-the-radar status Notre Dame recruited the Texas product hard, a move that would play the biggest role in Hunter’s eventual decision ...

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Malik Zaire: Notre Dame Football Now or Never ’16

Malik Zaire - Notre Dame QB

Notre Dame’s freshmen have reported to campus and moved into their dorms, and the 4th of July is within sight. For football fanatics, these developments can only mean one thing: the start of the college football season is right around the corner, and UHND will be here to prepare you for the impending 2016 campaign with the annual “Now or Never” series, starting with the complicated career of quarterback Malik Zaire. Malik Zaire’s Recruiting Pedigree Malik Zaire was a 4-star prospect hailing from Kettering, Ohio, with scholarship offers from the likes of Alabama, Nebraska and Ohio State. The No. 3 ...

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Notre Dame Recruiting: 2016 Irish Invasion Preview

2016 Notre Dame Irish Invasion

Notre Dame is gearing up for its third annual Irish Invasion recruiting event this weekend, and South Bend will soon be flooded with elite high school prospects from across the country. Although a recent creation, the Irish Invasion has been very successful for Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts, and head coach Brian Kelly’s staff has done an excellent job of drawing top talent to this year’s camp. While the list of prospects is lengthy and an argument can be made for many others, UHND will outline five important prospects to keep an eye on moving forward. Robert Beal Hometown: Norcross, GA ...

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Irish Invasion a Recruiting Windfall for Notre Dame

Josh Adams - Notre Dame RB

Notre Dame is set to host its third annual Irish Invasion camp the weekend of June 18th.  The elite on-campus event represents Notre Dame’s attempt to join the college football mainstream on an idea first conceived by Urban Meyer while head coach of the Florida Gators.  In 2005 Meyer started a “Friday Night Lights” event on Florida’s campus, which consisted of inviting top-flight recruits to work out in front of the coaching staff under the lights of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium while music blared and highlights of Florida’s previous season looped on the jumbotron. Meyer’s idea was such a success ...

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Is Notre Dame the Next ‘Offensive Line U’?

Notre Dame Offensive Line

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was effusive with his praise of Ronnie Stanley, the Ravens’ first-round NFL Draft selection and No. 6 player taken overall.  And Harbaugh was quick to reference Notre Dame’s offensive line coach, Harry Hiestand, as a reason why taking Stanley was an easy choice. “You have people you trust in the profession, and that goes a long way,” Harbaugh told the media, solidifying Notre Dame’s reputation as a program NFL teams can trust to produce qualify offensive linemen.  It has taken Notre Dame a long time to turn around its spotty NFL reputation over the ...

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Mike Sanford Continues Meteoric Rise

Sep 5, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive coordinator Mike Sanford, Jr. watches warmups before the game against the Texas Longhorns at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 38-3. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame’s recruiting received a significant boost recently when 2018 quarterback prospect Phil Jurkovec offered his commitment after an unofficial visit to campus. Although still early in the process for 2018 targets, some outlets have tabbed the Gibsonia, Pa., native as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in his class given Jurkovec has the size – he’s six-feet-five-inches – to complement his mobility. Jurkovec was highly coveted by Urban Meyer and the rest of the Ohio State coaching staff but was ultimately swayed by the relationship developed with one Notre Dame coach in particular in offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Mike ...

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How Notre Dame Fits into the Satellite Camp Debate

: Apr 16, 2016; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly greets fans before the Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium. The Blue team defeated the Gold team 17-7. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason for college football is usually spent covering inconsequential items like what jersey numbers incoming freshmen will receive or, if it’s really a slow news day, what current NCAA head coach starred in a jeans commercial in the 1980s (hint: he used to coach for Georgia).  This year’s major brouhaha came courtesy of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, a man whose penchant for making the news by rubbing people the wrong way led to Newsweek comparing him to Donald Trump.  Harbaugh’s push for satellite camps – and his subsequent victory in maintaining them despite angering the SEC – has ...

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Can Notre Dame Recruit an Elite Pass Rush?

Photo originally posted to Twitter @baronbrwnng

It’s an accepted cliché within the football world that defense wins championships, but a more accurate statement might be that defenses, led by an effective and consistent pass rush, win championships.  NFL MVP Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers’ No. 1 offense looked like a runaway train of point-scoring until it was derailed by the Denver Broncos’ defense, with Newton spending most of the Super Bowl running for his life.  That is why the Denver Broncos are currently champions, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why Notre Dame has failed to get over that final hump of winning a ...

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Looking Ahead to Notre Dame’s 2017 NFL Draft Prospects

Mike McGlinchey - Notre Dame OT

When it comes to the NFL Draft, Notre Dame football has been on a hot streak.  Two years ago head coach Brian Kelly had eight player players drafted, good enough to tie Alabama for the second most of any college football program.  And most recently Notre Dame and Ohio State totaled 19 NFL Draft selections from their Fiesta Bowl match-up.  With the 2016 draft in the books, it’s time for a way too early preview of next year’s NFL Draft prospects. Mike McGlinchey, T Brian Kelly has completely turned around Notre Dame’s drought of not producing NFL players, and his ...

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Notre Dame Now Producing NFL Draft Picks with Star Power

Ronnie Stanley - Notre Dame LT

When Brian Kelly took over as head coach of Notre Dame’s football program in December of 2009, he had his work cut out for him.  In addition to inheriting a program that had just endured more losses in a three-year span than at any point in school history, Notre Dame’s NFL presence was nearly nonexistent.  The golden years of Lou Holtz developing 12 first round NFL selections had given way to Holtz’s successors producing only 3 in a span of 13 years.  Turning Notre Dame around would mean more than simply winning on the field – Kelly had to prove ...

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What We Learned from Notre Dame’s Blue-Gold Game

Dexter Williams - Notre Dame RB

Notre Dame concluded its spring with the annual Blue-Gold game after 14 practices.  And while it’s important to not read too much into what transpires during the game – there have been countless players throughout the years who have shone during the Blue-Gold game only to never be heard from again come the fall – you can get indications of what’s happening behind the scenes when the cameras are away. Below are several things we learned from this year’s Blue-Gold game. Notre Dame has a tremendous kicking game Justin Yoon missed his one and only field goal attempt, a 48-yarder, ...

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Justin Yoon No Longer Secret Weapon for Notre Dame

Justin Yoon - Notre Dame K

Kickers. Conventional wisdom has it as the easiest gig in football.  The position has staying power, with many of the NFL’s greatest playing for upward of 20 NFL seasons, all without sustaining the bone-crushing contact regular NFL players endure.  While the rest of the team is practicing by colliding into one another at the speed of a moving vehicle, kickers can be spotted in the corner of the field attempting trick shots or playing unique kicking games with the punter.  And the benefits can be substantial.  How many people realize Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri has just as many Super ...

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