Notre Dame returned the practice fields on campus on Saturday after spending five days at Culver Academy. Brian Kelly also spoke to the media after practice to give some updates on the first week of fall camp 2014.
Here is the WatchND practice video from Saturday along with some notes and observations.
- The theme of physical play from the corners continues. We knew coming in that corners were going to be asked to play a lot of press coverage and every practice clip so far has shown markably more physical play from the Notre Dame defensive backs.
- Really like the way Will Fuller gets off the line. He is still pretty small so getting jammed at the line is going to be a hurdle for him, but in the clips shown he was able to use his quickness to avoid jams and get into his routes quickly.
- Read into this what you will, but there were quite a few clips of CJ Prosise shown today and the junior looked good. Amir Carlisle was shown making a nice catch on the sideline, but it looks like Prosise might be separating a bit at the slot position right now. Still a lot of time between now and the season though.
- Jhonny Williams has the looks of a guy who can play already. I’ve compared him to Justin Tuck in the past strictly from a profile standpoint but he actually looks a bit bigger than Tuck was a true freshman in 2001. Tuck needed the 2001 season to redshirt and get bigger but it doesn’t look like Williams will – especially after Kelly said on Saturday that he will play this fall.
- Freshman corner Nick Watkins looked good covering Corey Robinson on one clip and then got beat for a touchdown by Chris Brown later. Easy to see that the talent is there for Watkins but he needs some work like almost all freshmen corners do.
- I have said ti before, but freshman wide receiver Justin Brent reminds me a lot of Anquan Boldin. He isn’t going to win any track meets but he is big and physical and is going to be a chain mover for the Irish over his career. Really excited to see him develop.
- At the 2:32 mark you can see some great use of hands by freshman Jonathan Bonner. Bonner physically looks ready to play and that clip is a prime example of why Kelly has been speaking so highly of him.
- At the 2:45 mark there was a great touch pass to the corner of the endzone from freshman Deshone by Kizer to CJ Prosise. The ball was placed right where it needed to be.
- Lots of running plays during the live scrimmage that was shown in the video – that ought to make a lot of people happy who are scared that Notre Dame will become too pass happy this year.
- It is really easy to see why a lot of running plays were seen – Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston looked absolutely terrific. Bryant is just a smooth runner who gets to the edge easily and hits top speed quickly.