Practices Notes: 8/9 – Clausen Throws

jimmy-clausen-3.jpgHere are a few observations based on the videos from and Irish Illustrated – as always, take them with a grain of salt…

  • Quarterbacks were actually throwingtoday. Jones and Sharpley threw back and forth while Clausen threw with Ron Powlus – read into that what you want.
  • Sharpley and Jones looked to be throwing it harder than Clausen who appeared to be lofting it a bit and concentrating more on mechanics. Regardless, the important thing here is that Clausen was throwing despite rumors this summer that he wouldn’t be able to right away.
  • Today’s practice was forced inside the Loftus Center because of overnight and early morning rains soaking Cartier Field.
  • Today’s practice was also the last practice of the year which the Irish are not permitted to wear full pads – they were in helmets and shoulder pads.
  • DJ Hord looks quicker and quicker every time I watch him run through these drills – he looks very smooth in his motion and glides through a lot of these drills.
  • Armando Allen is another guy who just looks fluid in these drills – it looks effortless when he’s running.
  • James Aldridge’s cuts look better and better each day as his confidence in his knee continues to grow. Travis Thomas has looked very sharp and has all the confidence of a starting running back, but Aldridge is going to make it tough not to play him.
  • Duval Kamara is just physically impressive. I know its been said many times already, but the kid just doesn’t look like a freshman. If he can pick up the offense quick enough I don’t think there’s anyway he’ll be kept off the field.
  • Speaking of Kamara, he gets compared to Maurice Stovall a lot because of their physical similarities, but I think Kamara just might be quicker than Stovall.
  • Mike Ragone looks very similar to Jeff Samardzija in his #83 jersey so far – he’s got a ways to go in terms of adding weight to play tight end on an every down basis, but he’s another guy whose athleticism is going to be hard to keep on the sidelines.
  • Jones has a bit of a funky throwing motion, but he certainly looks the part – he might be the most physically put together candidate for the position.
  • Clausen easily has the quickest release of the quarterbacks and in terms of throwing mechanics, he throws the nicest ball.
  • Brian Smith has been practicing with the outside linebackers, but just by looking at his frame I would guess he will eventually move inside. He’s listed at 230, which could be a bit generous, but it looks like he could easily bulk up and move inside.
  • Kerry Neal looked quicker today than he did yesterday.
  • Across the board, the linebackers this year look MUCH bigger than last year’s group. The young guys like Neal, Brian Smith, and Morrice Richardson all have good size and some of the upper classmen like Kevan Washington and Scott Smith look considerably bigger. After seeing Notre Dame linebackers get steamrolled last year, having added bulk at the position is certainly a welcomed sign.
  • Robert Hughes is another freshman who is just impressive physically – he’s easily the biggest half back already. Haywood has be seen in the All Access videos giving Hughes some one on one instruction a couple of times already which suggests to me that the staff has plans to use him early on.
  • David Bruton looked a lot bigger in spring than he did at the end of last season and he looks even bigger now. Bruton could have a very, very nice season this year and will end up being an upgrade over N’Dukwe – especially with the new defense.

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One Comment

  1. Bruton is going to have a smashing season. He was always down the field first on special teams, and he was always fired up to make a hit. He will make Nduke and Zibby look like sacks of potatoes.

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