Spring Risers on Offense

On Monday I posted about some defensive players who were on the rise so far this spring.  Today we’ll take a look at some players who are making some noise on offense.Paul Duncan - Notre Dame OT

  • Paul Duncan (LT ) – Duncan was one of the more maligned offensive linemen for the Irish over the past few years, but so far this spring he’s been a pleasant surprise.  After not playing at all in 2008 due to injury, Duncan has returned for a 5th year and looks like he is now taking the lead in the battle for the starting LT position .  Both Charlie Weis and Frank Verducci have had plenty of good things to say about Duncan already this spring.
  • Robby Parris (WR) – It seemed like Parris would get lost in the shuffle at wide receiver before the spring with some of the young talent the Irish have at the position this year, but recently Weis singled Parris out when he addressed the media.  In 2007 Parris showed that he had some talent, but got passed by Michael Floyd last year and was not heard from much as the 5th receiver.  Notre Dame has had some injury issues at wide receiver this spring and Parris has made the most of his extra reps.
  • Bobby Burger (FB) – Burger’s name was a surprise to most people on the Notre Dame spring depth chart, but Weis recently said that he would not be hesitant to play the walkon fullback in a game.  Considering the lack of depth and experience at fullback for Notre Dame in 2009, this is very encouraging news.
  • Mike Ragone (TE) – Early on in camp Ragone was a bit hesitant coming off another knee injury according to Weis.  Recently though, Ragone has started to come on and push starting tight end Kyle Rudolph.  When healthy, Ragone has more speed than Rudolph and could be a very nice weapon for the Irish offense.
  • Andrew Nuss (OG) – Weis said recently that Nuss would be the 6th offensive lineman if the season started today because of some injury issues facing Notre Dame.  This season we should finally start to see the effects of improved depth along the offensive line and the rise of Nuss is evidence of that.

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  1. Frank: I think the passing game has the potential to be good, with the excellent corp of receivers we’ve brought in over the past few years. Jimmy Clausen will be serviceable enough.

  2. I am pumped. With an improved O-line (hopefully), every other position will not only light fireworks, they are going to develop into stars. That’d be nice if people are smacking each other around in practice as well…only can lead to more competition, which will only push each other more. I feel real good about the upcoming season.

  3. Kyle, you feel the passing game will be OK? Does that mean you are finally coming around re: Clausen???

  4. @ JC
    i think i need glasses because it sounds like you actually have some belief in this team after all.
    its gonna be a good year JC.
    you just gotta believe

  5. Agreed. If it’s going to come together on offense, this should be the year.

    I feel like the passing game will be okay. If we can come out and run with some consistency, I’ll be thrilled. Excited to see more of Jonas Gray on the field.

  6. The skilled positions should represent X-mas for Clausen this year, especially with a very talented 2-back set being advocated. I now believe we will play our best talent on the field this year. There’s really no reason not to see fireworks every game with this kind of offensive talent and depth. It will be exciting to see where the highly talented freshman class with fit in.

  7. I don’t feel too worried about it. As Jake touched on, we actually have some depth at receiver. So long as none of the injuries are serious, it’s probably not the worst thing, and indicative of harder hitting practices.

    I’m not worried about Tate, either. He misses spring every year for baseball, and it hasn’t seem to have effected him much.

  8. Given that ND has been relatively free from the injury bug (compared to, say, Georgia), that could be a sign of harder hitting practices. This has been the first year in a long time that ND could hit without living or dying over losing the first stringer (Qb excepted, of course). If say Brian Smith went down for a week or two, we do have young quality backing him up. Assuming the starting three LBs were Brian, Toryan, and Manti, there are a couple of players who could come in and take over without a huge dropoff in ability (leadership notwithstanding).

  9. The question might be, which receivers aren’t banged up. Floyd and Walker have both been banged up. Tate has missed time for baseball. Kamara has missed some time with minor injuries too.

    None of them are serious injuries, but its caused them to miss quite a bit of playing time cumulatively.

  10. It’ll be nice to see Ragone in the mix too. It’s been a long time coming.

    Who are the injured receivers?

  11. I agree Jake. For the first time in a while we are deep and talent at several positions. What’s a little worrisome is that we’re still going to be heavily relying on sophomores, but at least we’ll have juniors and seniors to lean on for a change.

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