Despite the indefinite suspension of Derrell Hand after his arrest last week, sophomore Chris Stewart will be moving back to the offensive side of the ball according to Charlie Weis on Monday.
I know, this is the Hand and all that. I kind of figured that one was coming. I think that right now, we’re going to let him start off at guard. We don’t need him – at this point today, we don’t need him at nose, but we have a couple players that we’ve discussed Chris with offense and defense and we’ve also talked about the two young linemen, meaning Andrew (Nuss) and Emeka (Nwankwo), who are starting off on defense, where if we got in an emergency the other way, we could flip them back the other way.
There had been some speculation about whether or not Stewart would stay on the defensive side of the ball at nose tackle where he practice this spring, but Weis clarified that at his presser. Stewart’s spring was slowed by injuries and his experiment at nose tackle never got much of a chance because of them.
With Stewart of offense, Notre Dame will be left with Pat Kuntz as the likely starter at NT being backed up by true freshman Ian Williams who reported to Notre Dame in great shape. If the the staff has enough faith in Williams already to allow Stewart to move back to offense before even waiting to see how Williams handles the first couple practices, one would have to think that Williams is a big time talent.
Stewart moving back to offense adds even more depth to a group Weis praised for being the deepest group since he’s been at Notre Dame.
This is the first time since we’ve been here that we think that we can put out two deep on an offensive line and put out good football players. The first year I was here, we might have had about a half dozen, so the drop-off from the first to the second (teams) was huge.
On a side note, other than “this is the Hand and all that” there was no mention made about Derrell Hand’s suspension. According to Michael Rothstein of the Fort Wayne Gazette Journal, though, an arraignment has been set for Hand on August 16.
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