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Notre Dame a Finalist for Clemson DT transfer Scott Pagano

Scott Pagano - Clemson DT Transfer

Over the weekend defensive tackle Scott Pagano announced that he would be transferring from Clemson for his final year of eligibility.  At the time it was reported that Notre Dame reached out, but in our report we noted that it could be more wishful thinking than anything else.  Well, it looks like it might be more than wishful thinking.  On Monday, 247Sports reported that Notre Dame was one of seven finalists for Pagano. According to the report;  Oklahoma, Cal, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas and Arkansas are among the the finalists for Pagano along with Notre Dame. When Dabo Swinney accounced Pagano’s ...

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Notre Dame Interested Clemson DT Transfer Scott Pagano?

The Notre Dame coaching staff has been busy the last few weeks closing down the 2017 recruiting class and securing commitment after commitment for the class off 2018.  They have also been busy on the graduate transfer route.  Last weekend Notre Dame secured Michigan grad transfer wide receiver Freddy Canteen.  This weekend there are reports that Notre Dame is interested in Clemson DT graduate transfer Scott Pagano – one of the most sought after “free agents” on the market. Scott Pagano just announced on Friday that he will be seeking a graduate transfer for the 2017 season, but according to ...

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The State of Notre Dame Football: Q&A with Blue & Gold Illustrated

With Signing Day all wrapped up and weeks until spring football, we’ve hit one of the dreaded lull periods on the football calendar.  This year, however, there has been so much going on around the Notre Dame program that there is PLENTY for us to dive into over the next few weeks.  So we called in an expert – football analyst Bryan Driskell at Blue & Gold Illustrated. “Coach D” as some of you may know him from his Twitter handle (@BGI_CoachD) is a former coach who provides excellent commentary at BGI and was kind enough to answer A LOT ...

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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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DelVaughn Alexander Unofficially Rounds out Notre Dame Staff

Notre Dame had one more opening on it’s 2017 coaching staff that has now been reportedly filled.  Notre Dame is set to hire DelVaughn Alexander sometime between now and National Signing Day after that swift background check process allows Notre Dame to officially announce the hiring.  Notre Dame officially unofficially hired Clark Lea as linebackers coach earlier this week. And with that, we may just have the 2017 Notre Dame football coaching staff.  That is, of course, once official word on the defensive line coach is announced although all reports indicate that position will be filled by Mike Elston with ...

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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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Brian Kelly Giving Up Notre Dame Play Calling Duties a Big Deal

Brian Kelly - Notre Dame Head Coach

When Mike Denbrock left Notre Dame to become the offensive coordinator on Luke Fickell’s first staff at Cincinnati, we heard a lot about how Denbrock was going to lose his play calling duties at Notre Dame.  At the time, it was assumed Brian Kelly was taking them back under his control.  Then when news broke that Notre Dame’s new offensive coordinator was 33 year old Chip Long, we heard again how this was in an effort for Kelly to call the shots.  Well, not so fast my friend. Notre Dame finally officially announced the hiring of Chip Long yesterday – gotta ...

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Notre Dame Must Unleash Dexter Williams in 2017

The struggles of the Notre Dame offense were at times exaggerated in 2016.  The Irish offense, for all of the criticism it received, still averaged 30.9 points a game in 2016 – good enough for the third most of the Kelly Era.  That said, this was an offense that could have scored more points than any of the Kelly Era.  For it to reach that level in 2017, one thing Notre Dame’s new offensive brain trust must do is unleash Dexter Williams. When Dexter Williams touches the football, good things tend to happen.  Williams started the 2016 season on a ...

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Notre Dame Can Restore Tight End U Moniker in ’17

Notre Dame had one hell of a run of tight ends from 2005-2014 with six consecutive starting tight ends getting drafted. Five of of the six were even second round picks or better.  Since then, however, production at the position has been virtually non-existent.  That should change in 2017 with the talent Notre Dame has at the position. The return of “Tight End U” could have very well happened this year for Notre Dame if not for the suspension of Alize Jones.  The sophomore was suspended for the entire season in August.  With Jones sidelined, no one stepped up and seized ...

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8 Notre Dame Defenders to Watch in Mike Elko’s Defense

Mike Elko is still settling in as the new defensive coordinator at Notre Dame, but it’s not too soon to start thinking about players who will benefit the most from Elko’s defense.  Former defensive coordinator Brian Vangorder’s complex defense stopped working after about five games in 2014 leaving Notre Dame fans longing for a simple defense that produced results.  Elko’s defenses at Wake Forest did just that. Like Vangorder, Elko’s defense features a four man front, but where the two differ is in what Elko ran in 2016 at Wake Forest at the next level.  Elko’s utilized a 4-2-5 in ...

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Tommy Rees Dispels Rumors He is Returning to Notre Dame

Sunday afternoon Keith Arnold of NBC Sports reported that the return of former Notre Dame quarterback Tommy as  quarterbacks coach was “imminent”.  A few hours later, however, Rees told the South Bend Tribune that that was news to him and that he hasn’t nterviewed for the position.   Again, you thought anything this off-season would be simple? First off, here’s the initial Tweet from Arnold. Not official, but imminent: Multiple sources tell me that Tommy Rees is returning to Notre Dame to coach quarterbacks. — Keith Arnold (@KeithArnold) January 2, 2017 Mike Vorel of the South Bend Tribune, however, reached ...

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Report: Notre Dame Adding Chip Long as Offensive Coordinator

Earlier today I wrote that all signs and logic pointed to Jeff Quinn being the obvious choice as Notre Dame’s next offensive coordinator.  Well, it wouldn’t be 2016 without some news out of left field that Memphis offensive coordinator Chip Long will be named the next offensive coordinator for Notre Dame. As I wrote earlier today, the pressure is on Brian Kelly with this hire.  Kelly let a known commodity and proven recruiter Mike Denbrock walk away to be the offensive coordinator at Cincinnati.  It looks like Kelly did that knowing that he had Long lined up to take over ...

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Pressure is On Brian Kelly to Find Offensive Coordinator

With Thursday’s news that Mike Denbrock is leaving Notre Dame to become the offensive coordinator for Cincinnati, the pressure just dialed up on Brian Kelly.  Notre Dame’s embattled head coach has three vacancies on his offensive staff and Denbrock’s departure tells us Kelly didn’t want to give him too much control of the offense. Mike Denbrock has called the plays for Notre Dame the past two seasons despite Mike Sanford holding the offensive coordinator title. With Sanford out, the easy move would have been for Kelly to simply promote Denbrock and give him control of the offense.  Denbrock leaving for Cincinnati is ...

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What Does Mike Elko Have to Work With on Notre Dame DL?

Notre Dame DE Daelin Hayes (

New Notre Dame defensive coordinator Mike Elko has his work cut out for him with the Irish defense but nowhere is that more apparent than the defensive line.  Despite featuring two veteran, potential star linemen in 2016, the Notre Dame defensive line was a flop.  Heading into 2017, Elko won’t even have those two – Isaac Rochell and Jarron Jones – to build around.  What will he have? Elko will have a lot of bodies to sift through once he starts working with the Notre Dame defensive line this spring.  Notre Dame has recruited in quantity along the defensive line ...

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Mike Denbrock Leaving Notre Dame for Cincinnati

Tuesday night news broke that Mike Denbrock was leaving Notre Dame to be the Offensive Coordinator at Cincinnati only to be refuted early Wednesday.  Multiple sources are now all reporting that Denbrock has officially informed Notre Dame that he is leaving for Cincy.  Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel, who initially broke the news Tuesday, was first to report Denbrock’s decision tonight. Source: Mike Denbrock has informed Notre Dame officials he's leaving for Cincinnati. — Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) December 30, 2016 And with that, Notre Dame will have an entire new set of offensive leadership on the sidelines and in the booth ...

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