Jun 30, 2009

Wu Am I? Greasy Choirboy & Tha Foolish Magician

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 15 & 16...

Duval Kamara #18
Wide Receiver
6'5" 220 lbs.
Hoboken, New Jersey
Wu Name: Greasy Choirboy

When it comes to Kamara, things are usually very quiet. He was a highly rated 4 star prospect in high school, yet his commitment to Notre Dame in early June of 2006 went largely uncelebrated. Kamara set freshman receiving records in 2007, but the team had one of the worst seasons in its entire existence and no one outside of the ND fanbase really took notice. As good as Duval was in his freshman year, he did regress quite a bit in 2008. When Kamara arrived to ND in the summer, he weighed more than what the staff wanted and was punished until he dropped the pounds. (He had to wear a lineman's jersey). Duval never regained his freshman form and watched his minutes dwindle as fellow sophomore WR, Golden Tate, became a star and freshman phenom, Michael Floyd, skyrocketed to stardom himself as he crushed the records set by Kamara a year earlier.

Here comes 2009. With Tate and Floyd virtually locked in as the #1 & #2 WR's, Kamara finds himself in a battle with two redshirt freshman ( John Goodman & Deion Walker), a senior (Robby Parris), and yet another bigtime freshman (Shaq Evans) for the "3rd" WR position. Notre Dame has arguably the best and deepest receiving corps in the country, so whoever emerges as the "3rd" WR will definitely have earned the job. My money is on Kamara. He has the experience and the skill set to set himself apart from the rest of the pack. It will ultimately come down to Duval and his ability to go up and get balls in traffic that has me believing in him. He will be pushed- but that push may be to the top of the mountain and not, to the bottom of it.

Kerry Neal #56
Defensive End
6'3" 246 lbs.
Bunn, North Carolina
Wu Name: Tha Foolish Magician

Speaking of quiet. Kerry Neal was the first commitment for the incoming class of 2007. What sometimes happens in recruiting is that even though you may be rated very high (as Neal was) you don't receive a lot of hype or attention. (Bad for business for the recruiting services.) What Neal lacked in flash during the recruiting period, he made up for once he got to South Bend. He played in all 12 games during his freshman year and started 5 of those games at outside linebacker. He was developing into a very nice pass rusher and showed good coverage skills on the outside. In 2008 Neal played almost the entire year with his hand on the ground at defensive end and was pushed around by offensive tackles, much bigger than him. The run support on the outside suffered.

I'm looking for a huge step forward for Neal in 2009. I think he had some injury issues with his shoulder in 2008 and he should be a little more healthy- plus if the Fighting Irish use more of a rotation system in 2009- he should stay fresh. Neal didn't have huge stats his freshman year, so saying his sophomore year was a downturn when he switched positions doesn't make all that much sense to me. I think Kerry has a swagger and a determination that is all his own, and we should expect more from him in 2009, as I believe he will deliver. Tenuta has been known to get the most out of his defensive ends in his scheme, and with new coach Randy Hart along to help- this could be a very big year for Neal.

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