October 21, 2008 // Notre Dame Football

Remaining Freshmen Likely to Retain Eligibility

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Charlie Weis has played a number of freshmen this year already – Robert Blanton, Ethan Johnson, Steve Filer, Darius Fleming, Jonas Gray, Michael Floyd, Trevor Robinson, Kyle Rudolph – but that group likely won’t have anymore additions to it unless things change according to Weis.

Okay, now, both the young wide receivers, meaning John (Goodman) and Deion (Walker), have made significant strides from when they first got here, to the point where if I had to play them in a game, I believe they would do just fine. Okay, if I had to play them in a game, I believe — now, I would not have said that at the beginning of the year. But at this point right now, if I had to play them in a game, I think they would do just fine.

I find it interesting that Weis didn’t mention Joseph Fauria considering the numbers the Irish have at tight end.  It sounds as though the plan for Fauria will be to “redshirt” this year if possible since he’s yet to play this year.    Steve Paskorz has been lining up as a blocking tight end in running formations the last few weeks so look for that to continue.  I was also hoping to see Deion Walker get on the field this year because I think he will challenge for the #3 wide receiver position next year, but it doesn’t seem like that will happen.

Now, because I’ve got some big bodies on the defensive line, and let me take Kapron Lewis-Moore. He’s a very athletic guy who athletically we could get on the field right now. But is he going to be as good or better than the guys that are already out there playing? It’s not a question of whether he’d be good enough to play. The question is do we gain anything from that being the case.

It’s good to see that Kapron Lewis-Moore is impressing in practice because we are going to need some of the freshmen defensive linemen to contribute next year.  Through fall camp Lewis-Moore stood out on the practice videos and looked very similar to a young Justin Tuck as a tall, lanky defensive end.

The remaining freshmen who haven’t seen the field yet include: Walker, Goodman, Fauria, Lewis-Moore, Brandon Newman, Hafis Williams, David Posluszny, Sean Cwynar, Jamoris Slaughter, Anthony McDonald, Dan McCarthy, Lane Clelland, Braxston Cave, and Mike Golic.

Edit:  I forgot Cave handled long snapping for the San Diego State game.  He has not played since though and without an injury, he won’t be able to get a redshirt for this season.

Comments to this Article

  • faithfulfan commented on October 21st, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    I thought Cave was longsnapping at one point.

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  • Frankie V commented on October 21st, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    You’re right, I forgot he long snapped for the SDSU game. He hasn’t been in since according to the game participation charts though. I edited the post though.

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  • Billy W commented on October 22nd, 2008 at 6:28 am

    Can’t you participate minimally in the first 25% of the season and still gain a redshirt. I thought you could outside of a medical redshirt. I’ve been wrong before though:) GO IRISH! and I agree on saving eligibility. We need to develop upper class leadership with seniors and 5th years!

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  • Frankie V commented on October 22nd, 2008 at 6:56 am

    As I understand it, once you play, the only way to get a 5th year year is applying for a medical hardship from the NCAA.

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  • David commented on October 22nd, 2008 at 9:13 am

    I think we should give some of the young WRs game time in the upcoming games. I would love to figure out who our number 3 is going to be by seeing them perform in a game

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  • Josh commented on October 22nd, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    With all due respect David, that makes very little sense. The receiving corps, for the most part, has been one of the strengths of the team. Why burn a redshirt in the simple interest of trying to gauge whether or not a freshman will be a capable third receiver next year.

    If the kid’s talented, he’ll get the chance to prove it next year and he’ll still have four years of eligibility. All with little to no pressure to perform, as Tate, Floyd, and Rudolph should absorb all the attention of opposing defenses.

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  • David commented on October 22nd, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Game experience is very different than practice. How a guy performs in practice has no importance if he cant catch a ball in front of 80,000 fans on national television.

    Preserving eligibility should not be a coaching concern. You should have faith in your ability to recruit to keep the talent pool flowing. The coach should play the best player available, and let players that will see significant time next year get their feet wet when he has the chance.

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  • Josh commented on October 22nd, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    I see your point, but managing talent over the long term is an important contributor to long term viability as a coach. That includes having the availability of a fifth year of eligibility for some players. In this year’s case, there’s no real need right now for Goodman or Walker to play. Will they be that much of an upgrade over Grimes (when healthy) or Kamara (who seems to be getting back on track)? I don’t think so.

    As for game experience versus practice experience: of course that’s important. But I think less so for the wide receiver position. Look at the track record for superbly talented receivers this year. If a kid can play, it appears he can play right out of the gate. Floy, AJ Greene, and Julio Jones come to mind. As does Kamara in 2007.

    I think Weis is making the right decision at the moment. You can never absolutely count on recruiting to continue to flourish, not to mention you never really know how a player’s high school talent will play out at the college level. So when you can avoid burning a year of a player’s eligibility when there’s no dire need to do so, I’d say it’s good coaching and team management.

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  • David commented on October 23rd, 2008 at 7:22 am

    You have to continue to believe your recruiting can flourish or your team is going to be poor in the future. I am just saying there are alot of things that can happen to a kid regarding injury, academics, or law enforcement where he could lose his ability to play (especially at notre dame where the smallest things can get you tossed).

    The other thing you have to consider now that our program is getting back on track with some top recruits, alot of these kids will leave after they are 3 years out of high school for the nfl. Whether that means they have played 2 seasons or 3 seasons, if they believe they can be drafted high, then they are gone.

    Injury could also strike one of our starters next year and this young kid with no experience could be our number two.

    Thats just why i believe you should get the kids on the field early whenever you can. I see where you are coming from, but i think there are to many outside factors that could influence them with that “extra year” of eligibility.

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  • Josh commented on October 23rd, 2008 at 8:46 am

    This will be my last reply, as I think we’ve fully exhausted this topic. But I think your points actually back the argument I’m making. They’re can be a lot of injuries and with quality players there will be some early defectors to the NFL. That’s why having kids with an extra year of eligibility is essential in the success of a good program. Those kids aren’t needed this year and they really won’t gain that much from being the 3rd or 4th WR on the team. So let them redshirt, come in next year, and have 4 years of eligibility remaining.

    You are absolutely correct in suggesting that continued recruiting success is equally essential for long term success. But if you can work it like Weis has this year — such that some freshman contribute while others preserve eligibility — I think that only benefits you going forward. It improves the depth of the team in case of injury or NFL defection, while keeping the cupboard full for future teams.

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  • David commented on October 23rd, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Well we arent going to agree on this one. But let me finish with one last comment, kids that wont get the chance to play, will transfer. Most of the teams we play usually have a transfew student from notre dame on their team.

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  • C-Dog commented on October 23rd, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    David and Josh,
    Interesting argument from both of you. I will make this point. If a Kid is ready he’s ready. Look at Mike Floyd. He’s ready. If there is a question, the kid is better off waiting a year. I say for two reasons. 1. Becuase it gives the coaches more time to be sure and it gives the coaches recruiting options. I am a bit old school and I think freshmen need to earn time for the following year. Those who transfer usually aren’t too bright or are too selfish to be useful to the team. Too many people 30 and younger have that attitude. ND doesn’t need them. 2. For the kid themselves, it gives themm an opportunity to grow up. ND is not a big place, but unlike other schools, ND actually requires it’s athletes to study and perform academically at the college level. So they have all kinds or pressures, not just football. But to play at that level, they have to learn the system. some will learn faster than others. Personally, I don’t think a freshman looses anything by giving up a year, epsecially if they maintain the 5th year option. Can you imagine having ND pay for 5 years of school, including that first year of grad school or a dual degree program? That’s $225,000 given to the kid and his parents, since Notre Dame costs $45,000 and rising to attend. Wow!

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  • Justin commented on October 25th, 2008 at 10:00 am

    There is no reason for the younger WR’s to play this year. We have Tate who is a SO, Floyd who is a FR, and we are using Rueland also a FR qutie a bit in the passing game. They would not have the timing and experience with the routes that the others have. Goodman will be the next Shark, but not till Clausen is a SR. Give it time guys. If we can start to get to the QB’s on defense this team is going to be money for the next 3 years, and hopefully beyond.

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  • svenghali commented on October 26th, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    lol…you confused Rudolph for Reuland!

    I say let the remaining frosh get their first whiff in the Blue Gold game.

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  • Justin commented on October 29th, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    David…You do not burn a redshirt until you are forced to by injury…you don’t do it IN CASE there’s an injury you know if you can trust him or not…That would be insane to give up a full year when this kid (walker) is going to be peaking and fully developed at the collegiate level to see how good he is when he’s a freshman…No way, Crist is going to be throwing to some studs too…I also do not think we will be seeing our star recruits leaving after 3 years for the NFL, at least not many instances of it…They come to Notre Dame for an education as well..If they didn’t want a degree they could go to USC, LSU, Florida, Miami, etc.

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