May 26, 2009

Wu Am I? Fearless Overlord & Spunky Misunderstood Genius

Welcome to another edition of Wu Am I? for the 2009 season. Once again- I am trying to identify the 36 players of impact for the 2009 squad. So without any further bullshit, I open chambers 9 & 10...

Jimmy Clausen #7
6'3" 218 lbs.
Westlake Village, California
Wu Name: Fearless Overlord

You all know the recruiting story of Jimmy Clausen, and the story of his now infamous commitment to Notre Dame. Fuck everyone else. Seriously. Jimmy had two of the best statistical years for any freshman and sophomore quarterback in Notre Dame history with two of the youngest teams in Notre Dame history. At times, Clausen has looked like the real deal with a cannon arm, and pinpoint accuracy that rivals any former Irish signal caller. Jimmy's weakness has been his decision making in key situations. Sometimes those poor decisions were due to being gang-raped by opposing defensive lineman, linebackers, defensive backs, mascots, concession workers, etc. Some, were due to a belief that he can make any pass a completed pass. What ever the cause of the error, it generally resulted in an Irish loss. This was a young quarterback.

The excuses are all gone. Jimmy may still have to run for his life this year, but the general consensus is that Notre Dame should have a much improved run game and pass protection due to a very veteran line that still has vast potential. I have always said that I don't like comparing former years and former players to the current year and current players, but the similarities of this 2009 team are frightening close to the 2005 squad. Jimmy will have better overall talent around him catching passes. I honestly think that Jimmy will have a better statistical year than Quinn had in 2005. Can he cut down on the mental errors and prove that he can lead this team? That will be the difference in at least two games in 2009; "Did Clausen lead them to victory?" I believe he can- and will. Fuck U$C.

James Aldridge #34
6'1" 225 lbs.
Crown Point, Indiana
Wu Name: Spunky Misunderstood Genius

James was part of the 2006 recruiting class that boasted 28 players, a number #8 ranking nationally, and the first early enrollees in Notre Dame history with Aldridge, Stewart, and West all enrolling in January. James was a beast during his High School career and earned a Five star rating. However, he suffered a knee injury during his senior year and it never fully recovered until last spring. The expectations for a 5 star are always astronomical, but for a 5 star running back heading to Notre dame early- there were a lot of expectations. By all accounts, Aldridge looks like the player Irish fans were yearning for. He has a tremendous burst through the hole and enough shake and speed to make the long run. After leading the irish in rushing in 2007, he took another backseat to Allen and Hughes in the rotation in 2008.

Now this has me really pumped. Remember RPN? Remember what a Charlie Weis offense looks like with an athletic fullback? Rolling. That's what they were. With Schwapp at fullback, the Irish lost speed and pass catching ability. How many times did we see the ball carrier reach the edge of a stretch play or a sweep before the fullback- and then get crushed? Too many times. Asaph was not suited for the speed of the defenses facing the Irish. By all accounts, James is really embracing this new role to help the team. I fully expect the Fighting Irish offense to a lot more dynamic with an athletic talent at fullback. For another example, look at what those Trojan commie bastards do with Stanley Havili at fullback. It's impressive. Just watch it. Watch how things just come together, and after everyone gives the credit to the new line coach, the other running backs, the passing game- everything else- rewind and look what James Aldridge did in his Senior year. In the end, this is why he came to Notre Dame.

1 comment:

Whiskey said...

Subway you hit the nail on the head with Aldridge. RPN was a serious piece of the Weis puzzle that has never really been replaced. Aldridge definitely has that skill set. I expect big things out of the offense in 2009 and Aldridge will have a large part to play in that from the fullback position. I'm really enjoying this series of posts by the way. Great work.