Notre Dame returned to the practice field on Saturday for the 15th practice of fall camp 2014 and for the first time since news broke of the ongoing academic investigation at Notre Dame. The Irish were inside Notre Dame Stadium again on Saturday as they continue to get used to their new playing surface and start to prepare to potentially be without four players pending the results of the investigation.
Practice video below along with some notes and observations based on various reports.
- The first team offensive line was made up of Steve Elmer at right tackle and Matt Hegarty at left guard. The other spots remained consistent with Nick Martin at center, Ronnie Stanley at left tackle, and Christian Lombard at right guard. Brian Kelly hasn’t announced a starting lineup along the OL yet but considering Kelly said he wanted to have the OL identified last week, Saturday’s rotation could be a pretty clear indication.
- As expected, Isaac Rochell stepped in for Ishaq Williams, Cole Luke for Keivarae Russell, and Will Fuller for Davaris Daniels as the three wait in limbo during the investigation. Of note, freshman Grant Blankenship was getting reps with the 2nd team behind Rochell.
- Notre Dame worked a lot on goal line situations because the defense needed the work, Kelly joked that he wanted to trot out a 5-wide set just to annoy the media. Obviously Kelly still has his sense of humor in light of the situation.
- Linebacker Doug Randolph, tight ends Tyler Luatua and Durham Smythe, wide receiver Justin Brent, and Jacob Matuska did not participate in practice on Saturday.
- Reports are that Greg Bryant was running with the first team offense, Tarean Folston with the second team, and Cam McDaniel with the third team. Probably too early to read too much into this, but there are sure to be some happy to see Bryant and Folston 1-2 right now.
- Mike Denbrock was on the field for all of practice on Saturday. Kelly didn’t field any questions about Denbrock on Saturday as the media was a bit preoccupied with some other topics.
- CJ Prosise and Amir Carlisle appear to be neck and neck at the slot position according to multiple reports. Carlisle had a nice catch near the sideline from Golson in the practice video below. Will Fuller had a nice sideline catch too.
- James Onwualu made a nice play by the goal line but he still looks more like a safety than a linebacker at this point on film.