Notes From Saturday’s Open Practice

Practice on Saturday was open to the media and after reading every report and watching all of the video I could find, here are some notes.

  • The defensive line seems to be a bit more animated in practice so far over past years.  This is likely because of a combination of the young DL growing up and the additions of Randy Hart and Bryant Young.
  • First team defense was: DE – Ehtan Johnson/Kapron Lewis-Moore; DT – Ian Williams/Haffis Williams; LB – Toryan Smith, Brian Smith, Scott Smtih; CB – Raeshon McNeil/Robert Blanton; S – Harrison Smith/Kyle McCarthy.
  • First team offense was: LT – Paul Duncan; LG – Eric Olsen; C – Dan Wenger; RG – Chris Stewart; RT – Sam Young; TE  Kyle Rudolph; RB – Armando Allen; FB – Steve Paskorz; WR – Robby Parris/Deion Walker (Tate was with the baseball team and Kamara and Floyd were nursing minor injuries).
  • The defense appeared to be much farther ahead than the offense.  This was in due to some injuries for the offense (Kamara and Floyd), Tate’s absence, and some limitations (OL are not allowed to cut defenders in practice).  Remember, with a new OL coach, it makes sense that the OL would be behind the DL at this point.
  • Ethan Johnson got the better of Sam Young in the Irish Eyes drill a couple of times.
  • Emeka Nwankwo looked pretty good during the Irish Eyes drill. He’s going to be a pretty big defnsive end if that’s where he ends up staying.  He did well shedding blocks during the drill though and could have a future at defensive tackle.
  • Armando Allen looks to be running a bit more aggressively and less tenatively than last year.  There weren’t a whole lot of holes for him to run through, but he ran fast and tough when he had daylight.
  • Some players that drew Weis’s praise – Kapron Lewis-Moore, Hafis Williams, Toryan Smith, Harrison Smith, and Darrin Walls.
  • It appears as though Paul Duncan is distancing himself from the other LT candidates.
  • Hafis Williams running with the first team defense at DT would allow Tenuta and Brown to play Ethan Johnson at DE to give Notre Dame more size on the DL.
  • Weis said he was impressed with James Aldridge at fullback so far, but there wasn’t any video of Aldridge at FB on to really see how he was playing.

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  1. According to today’s practice video on, Jamoris Slaughter is impressing in spring practices. That just makes the secondary that much better. Also says that H. Smith’s transition to the secondary has been a very smooth one. Another thing mentioned is that D. Walls has been better than expected according to the coaching staff.

  2. Hafis Williams and Brian Smith looked really good in the videos that I saw. The defense looked really good, but I’m sure that is partly due to not having all starters and partly due to, like Frank said, the OL not being able to cut block the DL.

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