Kallen Wade Ready to Keep Working

Notre Dame, IN (UHND.com) – While some Notre Dame players were looking forward to the Easter break and taking some time away from football after the 9th practice of the spring, sophomore to be defensive end Kallen Wade was not one of them. The Cincinnati native, who was compared to Jason Taylor before ever reporting to campus last year, is eager to keep working.

“I’m not ready for a break, I can keep going,” Wade told the media Wednesday when asked if he was looking forward to a break in the action for the Easter break. “I feel I have a lot more room to grow so no time to wait, better get started.”

Wade, currently listed at 6’5”, 240 lbs on the official roster, was depth chart engineered to outside linebacker by most pundits as soon as it was announced that Notre Dame would be switching to a 3-4 defense, but he’s been working with the defensive ends so far this spring and figures to stay there.

When asked Monday why Wade is listed as a defensive end while fellow sophomore John Ryan, who is similar in size, has been listed as an outside linebacker, head coach Charlie Weis responded, “You look at potential body type – how big you think somebody is going to end up being. I think Kallen Wade, when all it’s said and done, is going to be a very, very big man. Remember now, this is his second semester. He came in here at 208 and he’s at 245. And he still looks thin.”

Weis would add, “Their body types go through a transition of growing and I think that’s what Kallen’s gong through right now.”

Playing at defensive end as opposed to the outside linebacker position, a position that tends to be a bit more glamorous in a 3-4, is just fine with Wade. “I like being in a 3-point stance. I feel more comfortable coming down from a 3 point than a 2 point,” Wade commented about staying at defensive end.

Despite the change in alignment from a 4-3 to the 3-4, however, playing the defensive end position has not changed all for Wade. The sophomore to be described Notre Dame’s new defense as, “Pretty much just a formation. We’re still playing it similar to how we played it before so its really not that big of an adjustment.”

What has changed for Wade, however, is Wade’s understanding of the defense and his ability pick up Corwin Brown’s simple approach. “It’s simpler. They’ve broken down the defense into easier more comprehendible formats,” Wade said of Brown’s new defensive that has been getting installed this spring.

So far, things have been going well for Wade this spring. “I think we’re doing really well. Everyone is pretty much taking a liking to the new defense. It seems to be clicking and everybody seems to be understanding how everything’s going,”

Corwin Brown’s new defense has Wade, along with the rest of the defense, excited. “We all like it because it’s a little bit easier to understand and we’re really getting after the football this time.”

Wade is a player who really has some good pass rush ability, but he’s been undersized since he arrived at Notre Dame and even at 245 lbs as Weis mentioned, he is still undersized for the position. Weis’s comments about Wade having the room to grow a lot bigger, however, are very encouraging.

The fact that Wade has added 33 pounds to his frame in just under nine months is an indication that he will continue to grow as Weis suggested and will fill into the size of a defensive end.

Wade’s comments on Wednesday also show that he has the right attitude towards improving. While some players were looking forward to the break, Wade was looking forward to getting back to work and continuing to grow into his position. It will be interesting to see what another couple months in the weight room will be able to do for Wade.

For now though, Wade has plenty of work ahead of him – something he clearly seems to be looking forward to.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button