Jul 30, 2009

The 2009 Subway Domer All-American Team... Recognize!

It's time for the 3rd Annual Subway Domer All-American Team. I was unsure if I would do this again, but for me to keep any kind of "series" or "annual" going is an accomplishment in itself. So excuse me as I march onwards to victory.

In the last two versions of this list, I haven't really offered any type of commentary. I'll give ya at least a couple lines this year. Also, I have made "Special Teams" its own category, but it will only have a 1st team. Please keep in mind that I am biased and going off of 7 hours sleep in the past 48+ hours.

Let's go...

Offense First Team

  • QB- Colt McCoy, Texas
  • RB- Jonathon Dwyer, Georgia Tech
  • RB- CJ Spiller, Clemson
  • WR- Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State
  • WR- Arrelious Benn, Illinois
  • WR- Golden Tate, Notre Dame
  • TE- Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame
  • OT- Ciron Black, LSU
  • OT- Bryan Bulaga, Iowa
  • OG- Sergio Render, Virginia Tech
  • OG- Thomas Austin, Clemson
  • CT- Kris O'Dowd, U$C
  • FB- Stanley Havili, U$C

Ahhh... the controversy. No Florida players- and in particular... no Tim "I've come to save your crack baby" Tebow. This is my vote. None of my assistants screwed up the vote. I like McCoy. He's more mobile than Bradford, and he has a better arm than Tebow. So- whatever. BTW- He saved someones life too- not just his soul, but the actual life.

Some Irish fans may be asking why I don't have Floyd at WR. I don't know why either (lying). Just giving a nod to the upperclassmen. It took a lot for me not to have both Tate and Floyd on the first team.

Stanley Havili is one of the most underrated players in the NCAA. This guy is a beast, and when you step back and look at the Condom offense- he is what makes it so unique and powerful.

Bryan Bulaga is just another really good Iowa lineman. Corn-fed.

Why Kyle Rudolph and not some Sooner? Because Rudolph is better... trust me.

Defense First Team

  • DE- Carlos Dunlap, Florida
  • DE- Greg Hardy, Mississippi
  • DT- Terrence Cody, Alabama
  • DT- Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma
  • OLB- Mark Herzlich, Boston College
  • OLB- Sean Witherspoon, Missouri
  • ILB- Brandon Spikes, Florida
  • ILB- Greg Jones, Michigan State
  • CB- Trevard Lindley, Kentucky
  • CB- Joe Haden, Florida
  • SS- Eric Berry, Tennessee
  • FS- Taylor Mays, U$C

After getting shut out of the 1st team offense, Florida puts 3 on the 1st team defense- and they could have had more if I wasn't biased. Carlos Dunlap leads it off at DE, but he isn't even listed as the starter! Dunlap is the most athletic DE in college football. He's out to get your niece. Gerald McCoy is another defensive lineman that Irish fans know well. He punched us in the gut, and signed with Oklahoma. He's doing OK.

Mark Herzlich. Say what you want about Bob Davie, but he knows defensive players. He called Herzlich the best linebacker IN THE COUNTRY last year. I realize that won't be playing this year due to his battle with cancer- but I don't give a shit. I'll still take him. He's really, really good. Here's a toast to you Mark, "Kick the fuck out of that cancer!"

Greg Jones is underrated nationally, but I think he will make a huge leap into the spotlight in 2009- I just hope it isn't in South Bend.

When was the last time that there were two badass safeties like Mays and Berry. Oh, right... last year. These two guys are just sick. How did Mays get convinced that another year in college would be good for him? He was a top 5 pick easy. If Berry leaves this year we may see 2 safeties took in the first 5-6 picks.

Offense Second Team

  • QB- Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
  • RB- Jahvid Best, California
  • RB- Joe McKnight, U$C
  • WR- Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
  • WR- Julio Jones, Alabama
  • WR- AJ Green, Georgia
  • TE- Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma
  • OT- Sam Young, Notre Dame
  • OT- Anthony Davis, Rutgers
  • OG- Jeff Byers, U$C
  • OG- Rodney Hudson, Florida State
  • CT- Chris Hall, Texas
  • FB- Quentin Castille, Nebraska

Another list. Another diss for Tebow? I just thought I should at least take the reigning Heisman Trophy winner on the second team.

After careful consideration, I am throwing a pair of PAC-10 backs in this list. Both are dynamic- and both are Rocky-chasing-after-a-chicken-fast. If McKnight got the carries that most featured backs got- he would most certainly be my first-teamer.

Ahh... there you are Mr. Floyd. Right where you should be. Floyd, Jones, and Green represent 3 members of one of the finest WR classes in a long time- if not the best. I believe all 3 were equally great and dominate at times last year as freshman. What will they do to separate themselves in 2009? It's like The Young & The Restless with pigskin and plastic, instead of just plastic.

Oh! Jermaine Gresham. Welcome to the party stud.

Sam Young. You made enough lists like this to be on this list. Prove us right.

Yes, Quentin Castille is a fullback- even if he doesn't know it yet. He will provide the Children of the Corn solid play from a position they worship.

Defense Second Team

  • DE- George Selvie, South Florida
  • DE- Jerry Hughes, TCU
  • DT- Vince Oghobasse, Duke
  • DT- Marvin Austin, North Carolina
  • OLB- Sergio Kindle, Texas
  • OLB- Rennie Curran, Georgia
  • ILB- Rolando McClain, Alabama
  • ILB- Sean Lee, Penn State
  • CB- Darrin Walls, Notre Dame
  • CB- Donovan Warren, Michigan
  • SS- Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech
  • FS- Deunta Williams, North Carolina

Selvie and Hughes are constant producers. Take the "South" out of South Florida, and the "Christian" out of TCU (and flip the U & the T)- and these guys would be much, much bigger stars.

Duke? A player from Duke? Oh yeah. What else does Duke have? Teams were able to double and triple team Oghobasse and he still had over 50 tackles and 6 sacks. He will be even better this year as the talent around him has actually improved- albeit slightly.

Sean Lee is either the tackle leader at PSU, or is about to become the leader. Linebacker "U" motherfucker. The guy is unreal. He is delegated to the 2nd team after missing all of last year with a torn ACL... pussy.

By now you have noticed Darrin Walls made the 2nd team. Cornerback is a position this year throughout the NCAA that is lacking stars. Walls will make up for this deficit as will his bitter rival- Donovan Warren. These guys don't have mind-blowing stats, but who in the hell would throw their way?

After an easy choice of safeties for the first team, this was a little difficult. However, Deunta Williams is a solid player that given the right lighting and opportunity, he should be able to shoot himself to the top of the Safety lists- just not ahead of Berry or Mays.

Special Teams

  • K- Kai Forbath, UCLA
  • P- Zoltan Mesko, Michigan
  • KR- Brandon James, Florida
  • PR- Javier Arenas, Alabama
  • GUNNER- Mike "Tha 3rd World Dictator" Anello, Notre Dame

Forbath is strong.
Zoltan is named well.
James is quick.
Arenas is dangerous.
Anello is a Dictator in training. He will stuff your jock down your throat and then he will grab you by the ankles and put them in your ear and then he will....

Wu Am I? Masta Cow & Tha Desperate Vandal

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 25 & 26...

Dan Wenger #51
6'4" 302 lbs.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Wu Name: Masta Cow

The future was so bright for Dan when he committed to Notre Dame in December of 2005. He chose the irish over a host of schools, but most notably; Florida and Oklahoma.Unfortunately, Dans progress was slowed by injury in his freshman year and he had to red-shirt. He did practice about half the year, and was mentioned by the staff as a rising talent that was doing very well on the scout team. In 2007, Wenger started out at right guard and started the last two games of the season at center. 2008 saw Wenger starting at center, but something just wasn't right. He was called the "weak link" on the weakest unit. That's about as bad as on can be described.

It has been rumored that, in 2009, Eric Olsen will slide over to center and Trevor Robinson will move to left guard, while Wenger would be forced to the bench. I have no way to confirm, or deny that that situation will happen. So, why have such an unknown on this list? Because in one way or another, Wenger will impact this team greatly. He is known as a very hard worker. I believe that if he takes his work ethic and applies it to what Verducci is trying to get across- he will be a nice surprise for the offensive line. If he doesn't, Notre Dame may be forced to start a guy at center that is not a "natural" center. This is just as important as the left tackle. Camp starts in a little over a week. The answers should start to surface some short time after that. I hope- and i believe that Wenger can overcome the demons that are haunting him and produce.

Toryan Smith #49
6'1" 244 lbs.
Rome, Georgia
Wu Name: Tha Desperate Vandal

Toryan was a wanted man. He held offers from all over the country, including; Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and others. He chose Notre Dame in December of 2005 after Notre Dame accepted a bid to play in the Fiesta Bowl. Toryan saw a little action in his freshman year, as he was used on the goaline and on special teams. In 2007, Toryan saw his role increase some- but basically he did exactly what he did in 2006. He did not play against Navy in 2007, and after watching his play against the Middies in 2008, I wonder if the game would have ended differently had he played. Smith was very much the same player in all of his first 3 seasons.

2009. Smith has been listed as the starter at Mike in 2009, after Brian Smith was moved outside in the spring. How long will this last? Some believe it is just a matter of time before Te'o comes in as a freshman and starts- whether at OLB or MLB. Where would this leave Toryan? Playing the same role as he has his entire career. Like Wenger, Smith makes a huge impact in a different kind of way. Will he be able to finally become that big, hard hitting LB in the middle- that is entrenched as the starter? Or will he be surpassed? Personally, I think he will see the most playing time against running teams such as Pitt, Navy, and Michigan State. His lack of speed has been his Achilles heel, but some inside the program have hinted that he looks much quicker in 2009. He is desperate in his final year. Desperate and hungry. I like that combination.

Jul 25, 2009

Mr. Roboto Went Down

The Notre Dame Legends team beat the Japan National team 19-3 on Saturday.

Just one question... are the interlocking ND's back?


Jul 24, 2009

Wu Am I? Thick Killah & Homicidal Terra-hawk

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 23 & 24...

Eric Olsen #55
Offensive Guard
6'5" 303 lbs.
Brooklyn, New York
Wu Name: Thick Killah

Although Eric was considered a 4 star prospect and the #2 ranked player in the state of New York, he didn't receive a whole lot of attention from the fanbase or the media when he chose Notre Dame over schools like Miami Fl., North Carolina, and Boston College. He stayed quiet during his freshman year while playing a little over 20 minutes (probably should have red-shirted), and became the fulltime starter at guard for the Irish during the middle of the 2007 season. In the spring of 2008, he opened the eyes of a conservative Irish fanbase, as he became very aggressive in practice. He was involved in more than a few fights, and was videotaped while yelling, "Fuck you defense! Fuck you!" I fell in love instantly.

2009 should be a much better year for Eric than in 2008- if he can stay healthy. One of the worst moments of the 2008 season was when Boston College defensive tackle and future first round pick by the Green Bay Packers, BJ Raji, basically threw Olsen back 5 yards into the ballcarrier (James Aldridge) and knocked said ballcarrier on his ass. Ouch! It should be noted that 1. Olsen was on two wounded legs, and 2. Raji was an animal and future NFL first rounder. I would bet against anyone who thinks that Olsen hasn't replayed that play in his mind a hundred times while chewing on glass as he works out. I think that play, and the help of the new offensive line coach, will turn Olsen into the animal that he really is in his heart. BTW- There are a few rumors going around about Olsen moving over to center to replace Wenger, and Trevor Robinson starting at what is currently Olsen's left guard spot. I'm not sure what will happen, but you can be sure that Olsen will be right in the middle of it... swinging.

Robert Blanton #12
6'1" 185 lbs.
Matthews, North Carolina
Wu Name: Homicidal Terra-hawk

Robert Blanton is a special kid- and he will let you and anyone else within shouting distance know about it. When Blanton committed to Notre Dame in June of 2007, he passed up on a host of defensive powerhouses such as Georgia and Virginia Tech, to name just a few. You have to give this kid credit (and the whole incoming class of 2008 for that matter) for sticking to his commitment, even after the dismal 2007 season. Irish fans were treated to a very confident athlete that saw action very early in his career. The most memorable Blanton moment from 2008 was probably his INT return for TD against Purdue to spark what looked to be a somewhat flat Irish team. Personally, I liked the U$C pick. It gave me some hope in what turned out to be another ass-whooping in the Colosseum.

The loss of Darrin Walls last year really opened the door for Blanton to kick down and destroy. He showed up and played better than Lambert and at times better than McNeil. Don't think that Blanton is sweating his playing time with the return of Walls. He's probably telling anyone that will listen that he is going to run this shit. And perhaps he will. Notre Dame will be more talented and deeper in the secondary than at any point this decade, and Blanton could end up being the best overall corner on the roster. No matter how the playing time splits up between Walls, McNeil, Blanton , and even Gary Gray, I fully expect RJ to have a major impact and make some very big plays. I'm thinking pick 6 against Tommy Trojan. FU$C.

Head West Young Man

According to the South Bend Tribune, sophomore walk-on quarterback, Nate Montana, will leave Notre Dame. He intends to enroll at Pasadena City College (JUCO) to help get himself some valuable game experience. He plans to re-enroll at Notre Dame in the spring of 2010.

Nate was listed as the 3rd quarterback coming into the spring, but Evan Sharpley exercised his fifth year option to return to the Irish football team in 2009. This most assuredly dropped Nate to the 4th string.

While in high school, Nate concentrated on basketball, and when he did play football, the team ran a "Wing T" option offense. This did not help Nate get the reps he needed to compete at the Div. 1 level... yet.

I wish Nate good luck in Cali (stay the hell away from the Poodle), and I hope he does return to ND in the spring.

Please keep in mind that Nate is doing this to try and better himself athletically and that this is not personal or academic in ant way. I personally think that Montana should be praised for his humility and for his determination to become a better QB- "BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!"

Jul 21, 2009

Wu Am I? Tha 3rd World Dictator & Tha Womanly Panther

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 21 & 22...

Mike Anello #37
5'10" 170 lbs.
Orland Park, Illinois
Wu Name: Tha 3rd World Dictator

There was no recruitment of Mike Anello- at least not at the hands of the Notre Dame football staff. No. Not Mike Anello. Not the greatest gunner in all of college football. No the little engine that could, did not have coaches from around the country drooling at the prospect of having Mike on their team. It's funny- I'd bet that just about every program wishes that they had him now. As a former walk-on, Mike has to earn his scholarship every day. And , for the past few years he has done that.

Anello now enters his 5th year at Notre dame. He was invited to play his final year of eligibility, and was able to tell his parents that they don't need to pay tuition- again. His name has been turned into Irish legend as every Saturday we all get to watch Mike streak down the sideline and make the plays and tackles that no one else gets out of the gunner position on both the kickoff and punt teams. If the Irish are going to continue to improve in 2009 and make a BCS bowl, the special teams play will need to continue to improve. The Notre Dame kickoff unit was perhaps the best kickoff unit in the country (stats that I know exist will back this up). Who do we owe a lot of this success to? The motherfucking dictator- that's who.

Jordan Cowart #60
Long Snapper
6'2" 225 lbs.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Wu Name: Tha Womanly Panther

Jordan is the first freshman to appear in the Wu Am I series- and for good reason. He has the best chance of ALL of the incoming freshman, to start and play in every game in 2009. That's an impact player. Here's a few blurbs from "The Subway Domer Recruiting Spectacular" published earlier this year by yours truly with some help from The Brawling Hibernian:

Subway Domer: People were generally confused when Cowart committed to the Irish. Why? Weis is taking drastic measures to improve the special teams play at Notre Dame, and this is a key element to solid play. Remember some of the snaps and holds that Walker had to deal with this year? JJ Jansen was Notre Dame's LS for a few years and we rarely had an issue. This is a solid pick-up at a position of need, and in all likelihood, Cowart should start this year. If Notre Dame had a guy like Cowart last year, Braxton Cave would not have burned a year of eligibility. That's important.

Brawling Hibernian: I can already hear the wailing over this one. “Why give someone who’s just a long-snapper a scholarship?” Just a long-snapper? JUST a long-snapper?! Do you people know how hard it is to be a long-snapper? First of all, you spend more time bent over than Liberace’s pool boy on Quaaludes. Then, should you screw up, your team ends up more fucked than, well, Liberace’s pool boy on Quaaludes. In other words, unless you like getting the business end of a creepy, dead pianist, you better entrust long-snapping to a professional. Welcome aboard, Jordan!

The Fighting Irish HAVE to play better on ALL special teams, and I think Jordan will make a huge impact on the team- and he may do it without his name ever being called.

Jul 16, 2009

All A Boyd!

There wasn't much suspense to this recruitment. Spencer Boyd, a 5'10" 175 lbs. cornerback from Cape Coral Florida, is Irish. While Boyd was planning on a press conference to announce his college of choice- some people were too eager to stand pat. His father was the first to come out and say that ND was the school that Spencer was committed to, and then his high school coach told Cape-Coral-Daily-Breeze.com that he spoke with Boyd and Spencer said he was Irish.

So I'm pretty confident that I can write about his commitment 12 hours before he does so verbally/publicly.

Boyd is the 13th verbal commitment for the Fighting Irish's incoming class of 2010. He is the second cornerback to have committed in this class after friend, Lo Wood, gave ND his pledge three weeks ago. In a class that has room for 3 corners, this commitment starts to really put some pressure on two other Irish prospects in Joshua Shaw and Cody Riggs. Both Shaw and Riggs hold some top-notch offers and both are scheduled to officially visit ND in the fall. (With Shaw's size, he could be used as a safety as well).

Notre Dame is locking down some serious depth at cornerback. This is refreshing considering the lack of depth that ND had for about 4 years. Depth allows for competition, which allows for the best player playing, which allows for development and possibly an extra year of eligibility for those on the bottom end of the chart, which allows for depth. It's an awesome circle, that allows programs to become very good for longer periods of time. WOO-HOO!

Welcome to ND Spencer!!!

ESPN evaluation of Spencer Boyd:

A natural athlete with good speed and ball skills, Boyd could likely get recruited on either side of the ball at the next level. Lean, rangy frame and will need to add size. Has longer arms for pressing and he utilizes them well extending to make plays in deep coverage as a defensive back. Knows how to position himself properly between the ball and the receiver. Shows good recovery quickness and burst. Soundly anticipates the throw and reads the quarterback. Breaks on the pass in front of him with good closing speed and direct angles to the ball. Good acceleration and makeup speed. Will stick you as a tackler and drive his hips through. Really has good form, particularly as an openfield tackler. Aggressive and has experience making reads down in the box. However, pedal is very high hindering transitional quickness and we did not see good cover corner technique on film. Can struggle getting off the stalk block when filling on run support and does not bring much explosiveness to the point of attack. Good ball-hawker and strong solo tackler who make a reliable last line of defense but he could struggle playing down in the box if employed at strong. Needs to work on filling out his narrow base and improving upper-body strength. Quick, smooth, fluid and fast with the ball in hands as a running back and return specialist adding to his upside. As a running back, he is very slippery to wrap up when he picks and slides his way through traffic showing very good vision, balance, hips and elusiveness. Gears down very little cutting laterally. Flashes a good downhill burst as well and his ability generate speed and momentum quickly through the hole allows him to break his fair share of initial contact. Does lack great in-line power at this time though and we question his in-line durability if asked to carry the load. Boyd projects more as a great change-of-pace, multi-purpose back in the spread with his great receiving skills, perimeter speed and ability run the zone effectively. A very good prospect who will add coveted versatility to the future roster he lands on.

Video of Boyd:

View The State of Recruiting 2009 in a larger map

There Can Be Only One...Once Again

Oh my God, I can't wait for this 2009 College Football season to start. So with that in mind, I am posting this about a month earlier than last year. It's time for the, "Subway Domer 'There Can Be Only One' College Football Pick-Em Contest." This is the third year for this contest and it should be bigger than last year- and better.

The basic outline for the contest is the same as last year, but I have made a few small changes as well.

  • I will provide the games to pick every week. The list will include at least every top 10 team and Notre Dame. I may also put in other games as I see fit, but generally the list will contain around 14-16 games.
  • The scoring is a little bit goofy and fucked-up, but so am I. Correct picks are worth 2 points. A correct pick between two top ten teams is worth 4 points. If you pick the underdog to win in any game and the underdog wins, it is worth an additional 4 points on top of the 2 or 4 points you were already rewarded.
  • If you fail to submit picks for a cumulative total of 2 weeks, you will be considered a rouge player and kicked out of the contest.
  • You will be assigned a handle of a small school (1-AA or lower) as your username. Please include this name in your weekly e-mail of picks. If you are a veteran you should already have this name. If you don't remember it, let me know and I will assign you one.
  • Registration is free. E-Mail me at subwaydomer26@gmail.com as your registration and include either your school from last year or a request of a school name (I'll try to accommodate).
  • The picks must be e-mailed no later than one hour before the first kickoff of the games scheduled, so this may be as early as a Wednesday or Thursday night.
  • In the past, I had a separate web page for this contest. No more. All updates and scoring and whatever else coincides with this contest will be posted on Subway Domer. Also, once you are registered, you will be in an e-mail group and you will receive e-mail updates as well.
  • The winner (announced after the conference title games) will have his/her choice of 2 t-shirts from a large selection. The shirt selections will be posted in a day or so. Here is a link to the choices from last year. OC Domer won the Bowl Pick-Em two years in a row, and asked me to put a donation at the Grotto in lieu of a shirt each time. So you have that option as well.
  • I am also working on a few vendors to donate some items for weekly prizes. I should have things finalized before the season starts. If you are interested in donating something from yourself, or from your place of employment please contact me.

That's pretty much it. If you have questions, please ask them and i will answer them as best as I can. Register soon! Good Luck & GO IRISH!!!

Jul 13, 2009

Wu Am I? Tha Bitter Bandit & Sabre-Toothed Portillo

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 19 & 20...

Michael Floyd #3
Wide Reciever
6' 3" 215 lbs.
St. Paul, Minnesota
Wu Name: Tha Bitter Bandit

I remember the recruitment of Mike Floyd well. Just about every program in the country was after Floyd, and there is no question that he was one of the top WR's coming out of high school that year. Every week there would be a different rumor about Floyd- whether it be one that stated he was an Ohio State lean, or that he was a Notre Dame lean. The news kept rolling in- as did the losses for the 2007 Irish team. That's what make Floyd's commitment after the U$C game such a shock to most recruiting insiders. I was there. I witnessed the thrashing of the Irish team by the Dirty Sanchez and his steroid crew. We looked awful... we looked beyond repair. Somehow, Floyd was mature enough to see past the growing pains and decided ND was the place for him. Fast forward to 2008: Micheal Floyd becomes a beast. Consider this, Floyd was out for the last three games of the year Navy (knee injury on first drive), Syracuse, and U$C, and he had minimal playing time against San Diego State. Those were 2 losses and 2 close wins. Without Floyd, even as good as Tate was, the offense looked a lot like the 2007 version. Floyd's name somehow gets lost in the mix with Julio Jones ( AL.) and AJ Green (GA.), but he is as good as both of those players- if not better.

Floyd should be able to increase on his record-breaking freshman year that saw him total 48 receptions for 719 yards and 7 TD's. With Golden Tate lining up on the other side, Notre Dame creates an enormous mismatch for opposing defenders. Floyd has gotten a little bigger than what he was during his freshman year, and with his ability to jump up and grab the ball at the highest point- Floyd should not be denied 13-15 TD's this year. As long as Michael stays healthy this year, I see no real reason that he shouldn't be in the All-American discussion.

Hafis Williams #79
Defensive Tackle
6'2" 306 lbs.
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Wu Name: Sabre-Toothed Portillo

The commitment of Hafis Williams went widely uncelebrated. We had very little video to see of Hafis and he was pretty quiet throughout the entire recruiting process. He had a couple of really good offers in Notre Dame, Penn State, and Maryland. He was a Weis guy. A hard working Jersey kid that Notre Dame craved at a position that was in need of talent and size. Hafis committed to Notre Dame in early May of his junior year. He redshirted his freshman year and became a key figure on the scout team that raised more than enough eyebrows.

Entering his sophomore year, Hafis was slated as a key member of the rotation along the defensive line in the spring, and impressed coaches and media alike with his hard-nosed play. The Fighting Irish need big, able bodies along its defensive front, and Hafis is primed to get the job done. He will still enter the 2009 season as a virtual unknown nationally, but I truly feel that he will make his name early in the season. Notre Dame needs its young defensive lineman to perform this year to help a very talented linebacker corps and an insanely talented secondary.I look for Williams to get the job done and start to really make a name for himself.

Settin This Stage On Fire

I saw this on Sergio Brown's Facebook page. I'm fucking JACKED!!!

Jul 12, 2009

Moore Than Meets The Eye

The Fighting Irish gained their 12th commitment for the incoming class of 2010 Saturday, when Kendall Moore announced his intentions of attending Notre Dame. The inside linebacker is the first linebacker to commit in this class and held offers from numerous schools of which North Carolina State and Florida State were the other top contenders.

ESPN has this evaluation of Moore:

Moore has good size and can flat out run, close and hit. His tools may project best in the short-area and he could get recruited to play either middle or strong side 'backer. Has coveted versatility. Has adequate height with great thickness and bulk. Compact frame may have limited physical upside but already has the bulk and strength to make the jump to the next level. Does have longer arms for his height but we have yet to see him consistently uses them to shed. Flashes a good burst of speed for his size filling downhill. Mirrors well between the tackles with above average feet and smart reads. Shows good power and explosiveness at the point of attack but is most productive beating blockers to the hole. Good initial quicks coupled with his great size and relentless style makes him a disruptive blitzer. Makes a lot of plays inside out on the football. Takes very sharp, direct angles to the ball carrier when pursuing off-tackle. Demonstrates very good acceleration for his size chasing plays down to the sideline. Shows some wasted motion at times changing direction on his pursuit but masks it well with great recovery quickness and explosiveness in the short-area. Closes very hard in space generating very good velocity which leads to some impressive hits. Will surprise you with his fluidity, athleticism and awareness skills in coverage. Reads the quarterback well and sees underneath routes develop. Soundly anticipates the pass and breaks quickly on the throw. Plays fast between the white lines but we do question his sideline-to sideline range if employed on the outside; has better short-area speed and burst. Can overrun the play at times and struggle to recover sharply. Does not consistently wrap cleanly as a tackler. Needs to work on playing more under control and breaking down in space. Has some hip stiffness which could get exposed if employed on the outside. To play on the inside and remain productive we would like to see him improve his leverage and hand technique; can open up his whole body to the cutoff block. Overall, Moore has a good combination of size and range and the physical tools for a program to develop into a productive linebacker. Will most likely start off his career on the inside.

Some camp highlights from Rivals:

AMP: Kendall Moore camp highlights @ Rivals Video

Welcome to ND Kendall!!!

As you may have noticed, I've changed the way I am doing these "commitment profiles" lately. I am very excited about the individual commitments, but I have really become more interested on how the class is developing as a whole and how the roster breaks down. That is why with every one of these commitments , I include the eligibility chart and the State of Recruiting Map.

So Kendall's commitment is very interesting. Three years ago, a 4 star linebacker giving his pledge to Notre Dame would have fans going apeshit. Things are a little different now- expectations for incoming freshman are becoming diminished- depth is increasing not just in numbers alone, but in quality as well.

Take the Mike backer position for example, which Moore is likely to play in South Bend. In 2010, Notre Dame will have Carlo Calabrese and Anthony McDonald on the depth chart, as well as possibly Te'o (he might be preaching in Guam by then), or even Brian Smith could be back at Mike during his senior year. The quality of the depth at all the linebacker positions has gone up dramatically in the last 3 years. This is good- very good. This allows for players to develop and improve with time and true competition at practice. Tenuta is licking his chops as wee speak. His mouth is foaming, as he thinks of his linebackers hitting others in practice.

So back to Moore... more of the same- really. This is a quality defensive player that should have Irish fans going apeshit over, because he helps seal the future of this program. Every recruiting class has its role and this 2010 class is certainly defining itself as the recruiting cycle continues. It is becoming the "Depth and Develop" class. Now if we could only add a few more offensive lineman- but that is for another time...

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Jul 10, 2009

A Reesonable Commitment

Just the other day, Notre Dame received its 11th verbal commitment for the incoming class of 2010. Illinois quarterback, Tommy Rees, impressed the Irish staff enough at a camp that he earned an offer- and he repayed that offer with a commitment.

Here is an evaluation from ESPN:

The first thing that jumps out about Rees is his release. In fact, we are surprised he has not received more attention due to his delivery alone at this stage. He is a prospect that coaches may look at and see an intriguing prospect three years down the road with upside and late bloomer potential. He has adequate-to-good size and the frame to continue to add bulk and strength. Plays in a version of the shotgun spread, but strictly as a passer with limited run snaps. He has quick feet and set up balance in the pocket. Stands tall and does an excellent job of keeping his eyes downfield and working through progressions. Feels the rush, will side step and buy himself a second chance to get the ball off and shows very good toughness in the face of pressure. Release mechanics are smooth and compact. Ball pops out and there is little wasted motion. He can beat the rush with his delivery and while he does not have an elite arm, his release can compensate somewhat. Arm strength is efficient and allows for him to make most, if not all the necessary throws when his feet are set. Rees' overall accuracy is also an impressive trait. Throws a soft, catchable pass that rarely strays to far from the strike zone. Does a nice job of leading receivers to the open spot and shows the touch to drop the ball in over the top of coverage on downfield corner and fade routes. He is an adequate athlete for the position. Rees is extremely efficient in his methods and while he may not be in the elite category in terms of overall physical tools, he has a high ceiling for development and productivity and is the type of player we could see being a different player down the road than he is now. Good, under the radar prospect.

Fair enough. Notre Dame got its desired "2nd" quarterback for this class and it was the one that they wanted by proof of him being the only QB they offered after Hendrix committed. He wants competition to prove himself, and so does Hendrix. This could be a good fit for the both of them.

The last time Notre Dame took 2 QB's was in the infamous 2006 class when they signed both Demetrius Jones and Zack Frazer. Neither prospect worked out, as Frazer gracefully transferred to UConn after sliding to 4th on the depth chart during the Spring of 2007- and Jones acted like a bitch and ended up at Cincinnati where he now finds himself as an outside linebacker.

Only time will tell if Rees and Hendrix will be able to coincide in 2010 and beyond with Clausen in his last year of eligibility, and Jimmy's heir apparent, Dayne Crist having 3 years left. I have a gut feeling that the Irish staff and Coach Weis learned from the aforementioned mistake, and are doing their best to help both young recruits their future role as competitors.

Welcome to ND Tommy!!!

This commitment also sparked some big discussion across the message boards- What's up with the 3 star players? Yes, Notre Dame is taking quite a bit of their share of 3 star prospects early in this class. The breakdown of "stars" is as follows:


  • 7-- 3 stars
  • 3-- 4 stars
  • 1-- 5 star


  • 5-- 3 stars
  • 5-- 4 stars
  • 1-- 5 star

There is a two player difference as far as the tally is concerned in the numbers of stars. Lombard, Smith, and Jackson are all rated as 4 star players on Scout as opposed to their 3 star ranking on Rivals. Hendrix is listed as a 4 star prospect on Rivals as opposed to the 3 star ranking he received on Scout. There could be another difference on Saturday as North Carolina linebacker, Kendall Moore, is expected to commit to Notre Dame. Moore is a Rivals 4 star and a Scout 3 star. So the tally could be 1-4-7 for Rivals and 1-5-6 for Scout.

Get all that?

Look, forget the star rankings for a moment and look at who has been offered and by whom else- as well as the future depth chart and what role these players will play not just in their freshman seasons, but throughout their career. A 3 star player can develop , just as a 5 star player can become a bust. These are guys that Weis has offered and offered before their senior year, so I think that should be a good omen for all to relate to. Also, some of these 3 stars could very well earn an extra star by having outstanding senior seasons.

And while I'm feeling optimistic, there are a large number of prospects that ND is still recruiting that are rated very highly, and the Irish are in very good shape with those players as well. Throw names like; Anthony Barr, Justin McCay, Cameron Roberson, Sean Parker, and a few others into the commitment list and you have a top 10 class. Signing top 10 classes on a consistent basis, allows you to compete for championships. There is a long time between now and signing day- so just relax there Bianca Bitchalot.

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Jul 6, 2009

The Two Ute's- Well, One Utupo Is Irish

Notre Dame just picked up it's 10th commit for 2010, 3 star defensive end Justin Utupo. I know next to nothing about Justin, but I do know that he is the 3rd defensive end in this class and that should seal the fate of Chance Carter going elsewhere.

Here is the ESPN evaluation:

Utopo is an active defender. He plays a little out of position in high school as a defensive tackle, but we feel he will make the move to defensive end in college. He has solid size though he looks as if he may not be as big as listed. He has a good get-off and plays with a good motor. He can be a physical kid at the point of attack. Displays the ability to come off the ball with good pad level and shoot his hands and be able to take on a block and even at times knock the blocker back. He will use his hands to shed and make a play on the ball. Does a good job of being able to get to the shoulder of the blocker and get in the gap. Does a good job of being able to stay square and keep himself in a position to make a play. He displays good speed and short-area change-of direction skills. He will leave his feet at times, but for the most part is a physical wrap-up tackler. As a pass rusher he can create some push and work off the block. Utopo combines some ability with effort and can be productive. Defensive end will likely be his better fit in college, but depending on how he physically develops he could be a swing guy as he shows he can play inside also.

Welcome to ND Justin!!!

Everything I know about Utupo I learned from Youtube:

View The State of Recruiting 2009 in a larger map

Wu Am I? Tha Human Planet & Masta Destroyer

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 17 & 18...

Chris Stewart #59
Offensive Guard
6'5" 337 lbs.
Spring, Texas
Wu Name: Tha Human Planet

Chris was the biggest recruit to ever commit to Notre Dame... literally. At 6'5" and over 360 pounds- Stewart became the largest man ever enrolled at the university and showed up as an early admit in January of 2006. He needs no other Wu Name than the one he received when he arrived- Human Planet. He didn't make that big of a splash right away though. He redshirted his freshman year, and in the spring of the 2007 season, he was moved to nose tackle to see if he could anchor the line in Notre Dame's new 3-4 defense. The experiment didn't work, and it may have set Chris back in his development as an offensive lineman. He played as an extra offensive tackle in the jumbo formation in 2007 and at times he played like his physical presence would suggest. He also looked like he took a play or two off- not good for a struggling line. In 2008 Chris became the starter at right guard and formed a gigantic duo with him and big Sam Young on the right side. Old habits from the previous year set in, and Chris took a few plays off from time to time. When this happened, he was replaced by freshman sensation Trevor Robinson. Trevor would come in kick some ass- and then Stewart would come back out and just destroy people.

A strong enough pattern is there to suggest that Chris will become the starter in 2009, but will be replaced from time to time because he will either take a play off, or nurse an injury (he was hurt quite a bit in 2008)- then he will re-enter the game and kill people. Call me crazy, but I think Stewart will reinvent himself in 2009 as a consistent destroyer of those who would dare line themselves up against a planet. I think Verducci will be able to light a fire so big and so bright under his ass, that if he passed gas- half of the stadium would be vaporized. Chris has very quick feet for a man of his size and he is also very athletic. The NFL loves lineman like Chris- if he can just stay consistent. I've seen more obscure and less physically gifted players go very high on draft day and I will dare to say that I think Stewart could make himself a first round draft pick in either 2010 or 2011, should he exercise his 5th year option. Are you sensing that I think Stewart could dominate in 2009? Good- because I'm not sure if I was that clear.

Kyle McCarthy #28
6'1" 209 lbs.
Youngstown, Ohio
Wu Name: Masta Destroyer

Kyle was relatively small potatoes coming out of Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio. He was rated as a 3 star athlete by Rivals.com and a 2 star cornerback by Scout.com. He played both quarterback and defensive back while in high school and held offers from Ohio State and Navy among others. Add an extra star or two next to his name and he is eerily similar to the former star he replaced- Tommy Zbikowski. McCarthy's rise to Irish starter was quite a different path than Tommy Z's however. It was more gradual. Kyle redshirted his freshman year and than was a special teams standout his sophomore season in 2006. In 2007 he saw his playing time double as he continued to kick ass on special teams as well as spell relief in the secondary. He saw the first start of his career in 2007 against Navy (we shouldn't hold it against him). Than after a heated battle in the spring and summer- Kyle took over as the starter at the safety spot vacated by Zbikowski. All he did, was lead the Fighting Irish in tackles with 110.

McCarthy is back for his 5th year in a Fighting Irish uniform and he looks to help lead Notre Dame back to a BCS game- and perhaps more. Although he has many some similar qualities that Zbikowski had while at ND, Kyle does not have the flash in respect to the returns and ball-hawking ability, but he has become a better tackler than his predecessor. When McCarthy locks in on a ball carrier- that ball carrier goes down. Mr. Dependable is what Kyle really has become for this Irish defense. Maybe as much as anything- that's what this insanely talented secondary needed. Someone they could depend on if they break too soon, or slip. Kyle McCarthy: your State Farm Insurance Agent. Look for more of the same in 2009.

Jul 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

Have a safe and happy July 4th weekend!