Home / Author Archives: Scott Janssen

Author Archives: Scott Janssen

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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Torii Hunter Jr. Becoming Weapon for Notre Dame

Torii Hunter Jr - Notre Dame WR

Wide receivers coach Mike Denbrock has a tough task in front of him this spring.  Replacing three starters is never ideal, but how do you replace three wide receivers that accounted for 142 receptions and 2,210 yards as well as 19 touchdowns?  Answering that seemingly unanswerable question is Denbrock’s task, and while there is still a long road ahead, senior wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr. is developing into the weapon Notre Dame fans believed they were getting when he signed his letter of intent in 2013. The son of retired MLB star Torii Hunter, Hunter Jr. was an unheralded 3-star ...

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Avery Davis’ Commitment Provides Notre Dame Flexibility at Quarterback

Avery Davis - Notre Dame QB Commitment

Spring practices have begun for Notre Dame football and in recent years that has meant only one thing: quarterback competition. It seems every year since head coach Brian Kelly’s arrival in December of 2009 a battle at the position has taken place, and even on the rare occasion where a starter seemed straightforward something negative intervened to throw the situation into chaos. In 2010 Dayne Crist tore his ACL against Tulsa, forcing true freshman Tommy Rees into the starting lineup, and in 2013, fresh off a national championship appearance, Tommy Rees was forced to step in again as the starter ...

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Notre Dame’s Junior Day Draws Top Prospects

Notre Dame Football Recruiting 2016

Junior Days are one of the more important dates for college programs as they introduce themselves to a new round of recruiting prospects. Last year’s Junior Day was an important recruiting event for Notre Dame’s new and relatively unproven assistant coaches, and UHND reported Irish fans should keep an eye on prospects Khalid Kareem and Javon McKinley. Defensive line coach Keith Gilmore stated his intention to sign more Michigan-based recruits given his background in the area, and Gilmore came through by flipping Kareem away from his Alabama commitment and toward Notre Dame. Likewise, quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford was brought in ...

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Notre Dame Spring Preview: Restocking the Secondary

Nick Watkins - Notre Dame CB

The past several weeks UHND has examined some of the pressing issues facing head coach Brian Kelly’s squad heading into the spring practice session, including looking into Notre Dame’s pass rushing issues and going over the new faces at wide receiver. With practices set to begin this week, the final spring preview will take a look at how Notre Dame expects to fill the holes in its secondary. The Irish pass defense struggled in 2015 and failed to live up to its level of talent, ranking No. 57 in the nation in passing efficiency and No. 96 in interceptions. Making ...

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Notre Dame Spring Preview: The New Faces at Wide Receiver

Torii Hunter - Notre Dame CB/WR

As winter continues to make way for spring – Daylight Savings is a few short days away for those living in sun-deprived areas like me – Notre Dame’s spring practice session is right around the corner. In preparation for the return of football UHND has begun to outline the most pressing issues facing the program, such as how Notre Dame intends to generate a pass rush in 2016. This week will preview the new faces at wide receiver after all three starting wide receivers – Will Fuller Chris Brown and Amir Carlisle – either graduated or departed for careers in ...

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Did Jaylon Smith’s Injury Lead to Early NFL Departures for Notre Dame?

Jaylon Smith Injured in Fiesta Bowl

Star Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith’s career had been going exactly according to plan. The one-time five-star prospect arrived in South Bend as the highest rated linebacker recruit Notre Dame had signed in the Internet recruiting era, even surpassing the ranking of Manti Te’o, one of the most decorated defensive players in college football history. Smith managed to live up to the sky-high expectations placed upon him by garnering All-American accolades and capturing the Butkus Award, an annual honor given to the nation’s top linebacker. The next step in Smith’s storied career was a jump to the NFL where stardom ...

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Notre Dame Spring Preview: Where’s the Pass Rush?

Andrew Trumbetti - Notre Dame DE

February is the hardest month of the football calendar. College football fans suffering the effects of withdrawal after the end of bowl season are given a brief reprieve until early February when the Super Bowl officially wraps up the football season. And while games won’t start anew until late August, spring football is only a few short weeks away, and UHND will preview the major challenges confronting the Notre Dame program heading into 2016. The first challenge is arguably the most daunting: how will Notre Dame generate a pass rush? If you were one of the 111.9 million viewers of ...

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Creative Southern Recruiting is Key to Notre Dame’s Future

Photo originally posted to Twitter

Notre Dame stepped into the modern era of recruiting when head coach Brian Kelly arrived in South Bend in 2010. It began with the “Pot of Gold” campaign, a bundle of mailers sent to potential prospects and committed recruits over the past several years. The Class of 2016’s “Pot of Gold” included fake scratch-off lottery tickets revealing different messages, such as an awarded scholarship, as well as photos of each recruit wearing Notre Dame jerseys. The Pot of Gold packages includes faux scratch off tickets with messages and pictures. Pretty cool pic.twitter.com/zsZyDpTbKR — Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) January 30, 2016 This ...

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Why 2016 is the Most Important Season of the Brian Kelly Era

Brian Kelly - Notre Dame Head Coach

Last week’s National Signing Day closely mirrored the 2015 football season for Notre Dame. Head coach Brian Kelly fell just short of securing the signatures of two impact 5-star linebackers, a development that could have turned a good recruiting class into a great one. Likewise, Notre Dame’s last second losses to Clemson and Stanford caused the 2015 football team to fall just short of a playoff appearance. And falling just short has been an unfortunate central theme during Kelly’s tenure in South Bend. Despite his inability to date to assert Notre Dame as a powerhouse on the college football scene, ...

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Final ’16 Notre Dame Recruiting Predictions

Ben Davis - Notre Dame LB Recruit

For the past month UHND has brought you weekly recruiting updates as Notre Dame seeks to fill the final few spots in its 2016 recruiting class. With only a few days left until National Signing Day it’s time to make final predictions on where each of Notre Dame’s remaining recruiting targets is headed. The prospects listed below are placed in order by star ranking. Ben Davis Hometown: Gordo, AL Position: LB Star Ranking: Rivals 5-star; 24/7 5-star; ESPN 4-star Top Offers: Alabama, Florida State, LSU Notre Dame’s recruitment of 5-star linebacker Ben Davis is one of the finest of the ...

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