The 36 Chambers have been opened and now we need only wait 2 weeks before they are unleashed on the enemy. I wanted to take a moment and give you an overview of the 36 Chambers and break it down a little bit. For reference purposes, here is the link to the list of 36 in 18 separate posts.
I will be referring back a few times to the 2008 list. I have to admit that I never finished the series in 2008. I only managed about 22 chambers. At any rate, I still have that list in my notes.
Before I get into the overview, let me take this moment to explain what this list is once again. I do not believe in depth charts as most see them. There is a wider number of players that impact a team, than what the starting 11 on each side of the ball offer. So for me to sit here and just list of the 22 gameday starters, would isolate quite a few players that will decide victories and losses for the Irish. This list is a tally of those 36 players that I believe will make the most impact on the season as whole. Why 36? It fits with the Wu-Tang theme that I love so much. It would have been A LOT easier to stop at around 30, because the last 6 players (not the last 6 I posted, but the last 6 on my personal list) were toss ups with other players. I 'll talk more about this in a moment.
Here are not just the list of players for 2009, but also for what was the 36 Chambers of 2008:
- 3 FRESHMAN: Michael Floyd, Brandon Newman, Ethan Johnson
- 13 SOPHOMORES: Jimmy Clausen, Robert Hughes, Armando Allen, Duval Kamara, Mike Ragone, Golden Tate, Brandon Walker, Ian Williams, Kerry Neal, Brian Smith, Harrison Smith, Gary Gray, Emeka Nwankwo
- 11 JUNIORS: James Aldridge, Chris Stewart, Sam Young, Eric Olsen, Dan Wenger, Will Yeatman, Eric Maust, Toryan Smith, Darrin Walls, Raeshon McNeil, Morrice Richardson
- 6 SENIORS: David Grimes, Asaph Schwaap, Paul Duncan, Pat Kuntz, David Bruton, Kyle McCarthy
- 3 5th YEARS: Justin Brown, Mo Crum, Terrail Lambert
As you can see, some of the players were dead on, some were reaches, and some were pure misses. I'd say only 24 of those players really made a noticeable impact for the team on the field. I underestimated a few of the freshman (namely Kyle Rudolph), overvalued a few of the upperclassmen ( Schwaap, Richardson), and had a few that either were not on the team or did not play due to injury (Walls, Yeatman, Ragone, etc.).
So that was what the list looked like for 2008. Let's move on to the present.
- 2 FRESHMAN: Jordan Cowart, Manti Te'o
- 10 SOPHOMORES: Trevor Robinson, Kyle Rudolph, Michael Floyd, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Hafis Williams, Brandon Newman, Darius Flemming, Robert Blanton, John Goodman, Ethan Johnson
- 11 JUNIORS: Jimmy Clausen, Mike Ragone, Robert Hughes, Armando Allen, Golden Tate, Duval Kamara, Brandon Walker, Ian Williams, Kerry Neal, Brian Smith, Harrison Smith
- 9 SENIORS: Dan Wenger, Chris Stewart, Eric Olsen, Sam Young, James Aldridge, Toryan Smith, Darrin Walls, Raeshon McNeil, Sergio Brown
- 4 5th YEARS: Mike Anello, Scott Smith, Kyle McCarthy, Paul Duncan
Even with only two weeks away from the opening kickoff, I am already doubting a few of the players on this list. A couple of things do jump out at me though when I compare both of the years.
Obviously, the huge jump in shear numbers by the 2008 Fr. class to the 2009 class is one of those things. It went from 3 to 10. 4 of those players are unproven, however, with Goodman, KLM, Newman, and Hafis using a redshirt in 2008. This class could be vital to the production we see on the defensive line.
The 2009 Juniors saw almost no movement. They had 13 in the 2008 So. class and saw that number drop to 11. The two that dropped were Gary Gray who missed the spring, but could still prove to be important in the dime, and Emeka Nwankwo- who continues to have me puzzled. Nwankwo has all of the athletic tools and hardcore demeanor to be used either inside or out on the defensive line, but he just hasn't put it all together for one reason or another.
The 2009 senior class had only a 2 player swing in the negative as well, but it involved more players in the process. Yes, i took the punter, Eric Maust out, because I want to see him at all in 2009. Just a wish. Added were my boy Sergio Brown, who should be an even bigger force in 2009 on his way to a top 5 pick in the NFL draft, and Mo Richardson is out as I feel he will never make much of an impact past the Michigan game.
The 5th year class is what it usually is. An unproven linebacker, a special teamer, an offensive lineman, and a safety. Mike Anello makes this class special with him being a former walk-on, now a special team demi-god with the ability to take over 3rd world countries in Africa and Central America.
As always, I am a little cautious about the freshman. I will only give 2 the distinction of Clan members right now with Te'o a certainty, and Cowart almost as such. There could be a few surprises (or maybe they won't be surprises as some people will put the frosh in the mix right away), but I am comfortable with these two.
There are some that are MIA from the Clan. These guys were close, but for one reason or another- they didn't make the cut. This isn't to say that they won't prove me wrong- but we will have to wait for The Subway Domer to eat crow. They are:
- Gary Gray
- Steve Filer
- Shaq Evans
- Deion Walker
- Tyler Stockton
Thanks again for following the Wu Am I series. Remember, that come tomorrow begins what is essentially a bye week for the Irish. It's almost here. And to celebrate, how about one last (might be a lie) Wu video for all those motherfucking haters. Word.