More Practice Observations from Yesterday


  • Clausen’s passes are looking SHARP. It’s pretty clear that a full off-season in the weight room without any limitations is paying off for him.
  • The running back competition is going to rage on into the fall. All three Irish backs had their moments yesterday, but in my opinion, Robert Hughes still looks the best out there. Aldridge had a couple nice runs between the tackles as well. Allen still looks like he’s getting tripped up by some tackles he needs to break, but it also appears as though he is getting closer to running through some of the weaker tackles.
  • Starting offensive line was Paul Duncan (LT), Eric Olsen (LG), Dan Wenger (C), Chris Stewart (RG), Sam Young (RT).
  • Olsen and Stewart were getting after it pretty hard and we should be able to run well behind either of them this year.  Both still need work on their pass protection, but their run blocking is looking good.
  • Olsen was involved in the skirmish and while it might not seem like much, Olsen hustled down the field to tackle Brian Smith after he recovered a James Aldridge fumble.  Some might say that Olsen has been playing, dare I say, “nasty.”
  • Grimes beat Darrin Walls a couple times for scores in the redzone drills and was the most impressive looking wide receiver for the Irish yesterday.
  • Armando Allen tried to run over Maurice Crum at one point – not a good idea.


  • Starting defense was: Ian Williams (NT), Emeka Nwankwo (DE), Morrice Richardson (DE), Kerry Neal (OLB), Brian Smith (OLB), Maurice Crum (ILB), Toryan Smith (ILB), Darrin Walls (CB), David Bruton (FS), Kyle McCarthy (SS), and Terrail Lambert (CB).
  • Nwankwo looks really well put together for a sophomore.  I was surprised at how big he looked lining up next to the other defensive linemen.  Trevor Laws told us a couple weeks ago that Nwankwo would step up along the defensive line this spring and it looks like he was dead on.
  • Neal was playing strong side OLB and was playing up close to the line in some 4-3 type looks.
  • Darrin Walls decleated James Aldridge on a short pass out of the backfield at one point.  The ball popped loose from the hit.  Very encouraging to see from Walls who has had problems being physical over the last two seasons.
  • Gary Gray has excellent coverage on a corner route to Grimes in the endzone.

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  1. The team has done an nice job with winter conditioning. Now if they can just continue that intensity through the summer, we should have a very promising year.

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