Home / Author Archives: Scott Janssen

Author Archives: Scott Janssen

Notre Dame Football On Verge of Doing Something it Hasn’t Done in 23 Years

Photo: Matt Cashore // USA TODAY Sports

It will have been 247 days and approximately 5,928 hours since Notre Dame last took the field by the time the Fighting Irish square off against the Texas Longhorns this upcoming Sunday  (but who’s counting?) in Austin, and there are countless storylines that will occupy Irish fans this week until zero hour.  Will DeShone Kizer or Malik Zaire emerge as the starting quarterback?  Can Notre Dame overcome the loss of Max Redfield at safety?  How will defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder create an effective pass rush, or does Notre Dame simply lack the weaponry to do so?  While relevant, all of ...

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Notre Dame Football’s 2016 Season Prediction – Part III

Deshone Kizer is 1-0 in his career against USC (Photo: Matt Cashore // USA TODAY Sports_

Two weeks ago Notre Dame’s September opponents were previewed with the Irish earning big victories over Texas and Michigan State, and last week took a look at October’s slate of games, leaving Notre Dame with an undefeated record heading into November for only the second time in the Brian Kelly era.  Can Notre Dame wrap up November with an unblemished record? Notre Dame at Navy (EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL) Head coach Ken Niumatalolo has more than kept Navy’s upward trajectory since taking over for former coach Paul Johnson in 2008.  Niumatalolo has had only one losing season in his seven ...

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Notre Dame Football’s 2016 Season Prediction – Part II

Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Last week Notre Dame’s September foes were previewed, resulting in big wins over Texas, Michigan State and Duke, and an uncomfortably tight match with Nevada.  The Irish head into October undefeated for the third year in a row under head coach Brian Kelly with stiff challenges from the likes of Stanford and Miami.  Can Notre Dame exist October with an undefeated record still intact? [Related: Full 2016 Notre Dame Football Schedule] Notre Dame at Syracuse (MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ) Syracuse is putting its dreadful 4-8 season from last year behind them and saying hello to new head coach Dino ...

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Notre Dame Football’s 2016 Season Prediction – Part I


With the 2016 football season a few short weeks away the time has finally come for everyone, whether a fan or writer, to put on record their predictions for the season for future bragging rights.  While injuries can occur – who could have predicted DeShone Kizer would have Notre Dame knocking on the door of a playoff appearance? – and momentum varies throughout the year, a preseason prediction allows you to reflect on your assumptions.  Last year I correctly predicted a 10-2 regular season for Notre Dame but expected the two losses to come at the hands of Georgia Tech ...

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Nyles Morgan: Notre Dame Football Now or Never ’16

Notre Dame LB Nyles Morgan (Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Over the past six weeks UHND has previewed a host of players for its annual “Now or Never” series, from quarterback Malik Zaire, wide receivers Torii Hunter and Corey Holmes, tight end Durham Smythe, running back Tarean Folston and safety Max Redfield.  This week UHND concludes the series with an in-depth look at new starting Mike linebacker, Nyles Morgan. Pedigree Nyles Morgan was a highly coveted 4-star inside linebacker prospect from Crete, Ill., with scholarship offers from the nation’s top programs, including Alabama, Ohio State and USC.  Despite the elite offer list Notre Dame found itself in a battle with ...

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Max Redfield: Notre Dame Football Now or Never ’16

Max Redfield - Notre Dame S

In the past month UHND’s “Now or Never” series has previewed the offensive side of the ball, from quarterback Malik Zaire, wide receivers Torii Hunter and Corey Holmes, tight end Durham Smythe and running back Tarean Folston.  This week UHND moves to the defensive side of the ball to take a look at the up-and-down career of senior safety Max Redfield. Pedigree Max Redfield was one of the crown jewels of Notre Dame’s 2013 recruiting class.  A 5-star prospect from Mission Viejo, Cal., with scholarship offers from the likes of LSU, Nebraska and Oregon, Redfield committed to the USC Trojans ...

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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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