First Depth Chart Released

The first depth chart of the season was released by Notre Dame Monday and there are a few surprises in the two deep heading into this weekend’s season opener versus Purdue.

Braxston Cave (#52) is listed as the starting center for the Irish heading into the 2010 after battling it out with Dan Wenger for the position throughout spring and fall camps. (Photo - Icon SMI)

Here are a few thoughts on the first two deep of the season.


  • Tommy Rees won the backup quarterback spot over Nate Montana.  This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.  It just makes sense to have Rees as the backup if he is capable since he has more upside than Montana and has more of a chance of starting down the road.
  • Braxston Cave won the starting center position over 5th year senior Dan Wenger.  Cave has become a bit of a fan favorite ever since he was recruited and held his own against Omar Hunter in the Under Armour Game.  I said last week that if Cave is named the starter it backs up my notion that Notre Dame will run the ball more this year than Kelly typically does.  We’ll see if I’m right in a few days.
  • Taylor Dever beat out Andrew Nuss at right tackle.  Nuss had spent a lot of time running with the 1’s in camp, but Dever was listed as the starter.
  • Chris Stewart held off Chris Watt at left guard.  Kelly had said that Watt was pushing Stewart for the starting role, but the 5th year senior held on to his spot.  This shouldn’t be a surprise either.  Stewart is the leader of the offensive line.
  • TJ Jones is the only freshman listed as a starter after beating out Duval Kamara for the third receiver spot.  I still think we’ll see plenty of Kamara – especially in the red zone, but after the Blue Gold game performance by Jones this shouldn’t surprise anyone either.
  • Robby Toma will back up Theo Riddick in the slot with John Goodman backing up Michael Floyd.  Neither Shaquelle Evans or Deion Walker is in the twp deep at wide receiver at this point and rumors are Evans is considering a transfer.
  • Cierre Wood held on to the backup running back spot with Jonas Gray and Robert Hughes both outside the two deep to start the season.


  • Carlo Calabrese is listed as the starting ILB opposite Manti Te’o.  Anthony McDonald has been banged up throughout camp and is listed as the backup to Calabrese.  In more of a surprise move, freshman Danny Spond is listed as the backup behind Te’o at the other ILB spot.
  • At OLB, the biggest surprise is the omission of Steve Filer in the 2-deep.  Freshman Prince Shembo is listed as the backup to Darius Fleming to start the season.  This is a bit curious since Filer was seen running with the first team as recently as a few weeks ago.
  • Also at OLB, Kerry Neal held off Brian Smith for the other starting OLB spot.
  • Gary Gray and Darrin Walls held on to the starting corner spots with Robert Blanton listed as Gray’s backup.
  • Not surprisingly, Jamoris Slaughter and Harrison Smith held on to the starting spots with McCarthy backing up Smith and Zeke Motta backing up Slaughter.
Notre Dame Hosting Ohio State Transfer Isaiah Pryor Again

Special Teams

  • Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick are listed as the top kick returners with Wood listed as the top return man.  Armando Allen is also listed as the 3rd returner – the only position on the depth chart with three players listed.
  • Armando Allen is the top returner with John Goodman listed as his backup.
  • David Ruffer is listed as the kickoff man while Nick Tausch is listed as the place kicker.


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  1. Kevin Joyce 9 years ago

    BK has a tough job at ND. Lots of talent but no chemistry or cohesiveness.In my opinion this is status quo since Holtz left.

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  2. Notre Damon 9 years ago

    WTF! Why isnt Steve Filer on this 2 deep. He’s a freakish athelete that would reek havoc for other schools. Imagine him at Mich, Ohio St, Neb etc… Why cant BK develop this guy into a starter. This reminds me of Carlos Pierre Antoine. It’s BK system, He and his coaches should take full responsibility in making sure this guy learns this system and get him in there. I wouldnt be surprised if he’s next to transfer nor would I blame him. They put a freshman in there unbelievable. I like and trust BK but this smells like s–t.

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  3. Shazamrock 9 years ago

    Anybody hear or know anything about some secrete offensive weapon Named Bennett Jackson? He’s a freshmen from Jersey that is said to be “Rocket Ishmal” fast, or even faster. They say that when he runs full speed his legs are a whrilling blur like you see in those roadrunner cartoons, and he leaves a trail of scorched earth in his wake.
    I was wondering if he was going to redshirt or if we might actually catch a glimps of the “Jet”?

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  4. kennypowers_urout 9 years ago

    don’t konw about ya’ll, but i’m worried saturday. think our defense can hold up?

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  5. stan 9 years ago

    hey let shaq go to usc,they need him more than we do,,wow so glad we are not on PRObation like the trojans,,lane kiffen is taking anybody now,ive heard players are transferring right and left,let the mighty trojans lose and watch drop off like fleas,,goooooo irish whoop purdue,,,,

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  6. IrishChan 9 years ago


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  7. Chris 9 years ago

    I expect a stout run defense and pass rush but questionable secondary….they need to kick it up a notch! C-Dog – Reggie Ho, God rest his soul. He was a good man!

    Also – bank it – a win on the road, first road game at night at MSU – the first monkey to come off the back of the program. MSU is stout this year and the Irish are gonna be spoilers and will likely be underdogs on the spread. Love to see 5-0 vs Pitt. BK knows Pitts tendencies and knows how to bottle up the run game – Irish must stay at home and stuff the run game. Strap in boys – its gonna be a hell of a ride this year! GO IRISH!!

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  8. spiceyirish 9 years ago

    We all hoped and dreamed that Shaq Evans was going to be a monster player for ND. It is awful that his career in South Bend come to a close so quickly. All we can do is speculate about why Evans left. It seems like most of us believed he left because of poor attitute to go along with decreased playing time. Again it is all speculation, he could have a family situation that none of us know about.

    Now I’m going to drop the Shaq Evans issue and talk about Saturday. Saturday is eagerly approaching. All of us are excited. There is tons of potential, but still lingering questions, especially for the defense. We all know the Purdue game won’t answer the questions, but hopefully we can see improvement in the defense and have confidence that ND will progressively get better as the year goes along.

    If the defense is giving up less than 20 points a game, I will be satisfied. I also think that is a realistic expectation too. They just have to do it.

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  9. Evan 9 years ago

    The only guy to blame is Shaq, he did not cut it under 2 different coaches….. that right there tells you all you need to know.

    Go Irish!

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  10. Aaron 9 years ago

    Anyone know what is up with Mike Ragone? GO IRISH

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  11. C-Dog 9 years ago

    Kelly is developing character. Team character. There are going to be a few that aren’t getting that right now, especially at the age these kids are at. I hope Shaq does well and in fact if he goes to UCLA, I hope he lights up USC big time. But Kelly is running a team, and the team concept must be preserved. I do think Shaq is making a mistake. The Notre Dame education is real. Just ask the Honorable Allen Page, Dr. Ken McAffee, or Dr. Reggie Ho.

    But I did see a pattern in Kelly’s moves. I suspect he does want the upper classmen to get a message that he wants their leadership. Those that step up to the challenge will be back at starting positions. Most of the surprise moves seem to be done to send a message to the team. Kelly must really think he has something if he’s doing stuff like this. These are Holtz type of moves. HMMMMMM!!

    I still see ND at 45 and Purdue at 17. Kind of hope Michigan wins a sloppy sqeaker over UConn. I think Teo disrupts that offense and the 3-4 should setup to give Michigan problems sustaining drives. Look for Crist to light Michigan up. Not to overlook Purdue, but they should suck.

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  12. DeltaIrish 9 years ago

    To me, Shaq’s transfer kinda signifies the much needed different attitude brought by BK. As he said earlier, when he got here too many kids were thinking more about their future pro careers than the honor of playing for ND. Take Shaq as an example. He was a recruitig coup for CW, a top prospect with huge potential. I have no doubt Shaq was impressed by CW’s fingers full of rings and thoughts of playing in a program modeled after an NFL team. With its predominantly business like, positional centric practices. In comes BK and its no longer about blowin sunshine up an individual players butt pad. Its about the team and whoever best helps the team gets the playing time. Shaq didnt want to buy into that. And unlike CW that had the NFL mentality of negotiating with players, BK basically says if you dont wanna be here, be part of this, work to wear the jearsey, then this isnt the best place for you.

    What a difference a coach makes, huh? Shaq will undoubtedly be a great player with awesome individual stats wherever he ends up (rumor is UCLA)but I’d rather have a bunch of no name RKGs that pull together for the greater glory of the team anyday.

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  13. Dan Kowkabany 9 years ago

    The Irish won’t have a problem with transfers after the season starts as Coach Kelly substitutes players frequently. Coach Weis used the same players almost the whole game as Shaq Evans mentioned that he didn’t get any playing time after the Washington game. a good example was Clausen who played every game while Crist did not get the necessary experence for future years,

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    1. irishspartan 9 years ago

      The Crist never playing had more to do with the fact that ND couldn’t ever get or hold a lead last year….except at Washington State, where he did get playing time (and we all know how that ended)

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