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Ask Lou

  • bwkar86,

    You must be new here. Jason Sapp and I have a running comedy routine on how many times that question gets asked per week. We have an over/under of about 7 to 10 inquiries per week (at least one a day).

    There is never a "set" answer on how many you take because it's contingent on fifth-year players, transfers, etc. Here are the basics:

    * The NCAA allows 85 scholarship football players: Right now the Irish have 24 freshmen (Aaron Lynch and Co.), 20 sophomores (Tommy Rees' class) and 15 juniors (Manti Te'o's class) for a total of 59.

    * Okay, that leaves you 26 to give. If you want, then you can take the full 25 in this class and still have one left over.

    * However, there are always fifth-year seniors to consider. There are 13 who are eligible for a fifth year, and that doesn't include Dayne Crist, who already transferred to Kansas. If you take all 13 back, then that would put you at 72 (59 + 13 = 72). That means you have 13 scholarships to give — and you already have 17 verbals. You can't do that.

    * Okay, realistically, there are absolutely, positively three fifth-year seniors that you want back for 2012. Center Braxston Cave, defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore and safety/nickel/dog linebacker Jamoris Slaughter. All three are multiple year starters. Add all three and that gives you 62.

    * With 62 in the fold, that means you have 23 to give to recruits this year for the full 85. You're at 17 now, which takes you to 79. That means you have six to give.

    * But wait! What if Tyler Eifert decides to turn pro? If he does, that takes you down to 78, so you have seven more to give.

    * But wait! What if the staff also needs Mike Golic back to help back up at center in 2012 in his fifth year, and Sean Cwynar to give quality, seasoned depth along the defensive line? Well, then that would give you 64, meaning you have 21 to give.

    See what I'm getting at? There are too many variables to give a set number this year — never mind next. That's not even including potential transfers. (By the way, I'm including safety Chris Badger in the sophomore scholarship count. He is returning from a two-year Mormon mission this summer and the word is he still plans to re-enroll at ND after spending the spring of 2010 here.)

    Let's say Eifert stays for his senior year in 2012 and the three fifth-year seniors return to give us that aforementioned total of 62. That means ND has 23 scholarships to give this year. They have 17 verbals. If they can fill the other six with their desired recruits, including an Arik Armstead, then I think they will be satisfied at holding pat with Cave, KLM and Slaughter as the three 5th-year guys. If they fall short in recruiting, then that can open up space for other fifth-year seniors. Or maybe a person or two transfers elsewhere to open up more spots.

    Generally, you can usually count on about 18-22 scholarships being available in every class, more so on the higher end than lower.

    Hope that helps.

  • Lou,

    Did Warinner decide to leave after Martin was given the OC job or before?

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    My luck w/the Irish 20-6...GO IRISH!!!

  • Simm,

    I wish I knew. My first instinct is to say "after" because Brian Kelly on Dec. 28, the day before the Champs Sports Bowl against FSU, affirmed that the staff would stay intact for the 2012 season (other than Molnar).

    At the same time, I'm thinking "before" because we had been hearing plenty of rumors since about Dec. 20 that safeties coach Chuck Martin would be the one promoted to the offensive coordinator slot in place of Molnar. If we heard it, Ed Warinner certainly had to have, too, and maybe by then the wheels were set in motion.

    I have no idea what the dynamics were with that staff behind closed doors, and I have my doubts we will get a straight answer. Was Kelly blindsided by the move of Warinner? Did he facilitate it? Was Warinner ticked off? Does he think OSU simply has a better future ahead of it? Did Hinton collaborate with Warinner about becoming a package deal?

    Lots of theories, but at this point I can't give a clear answer.

  • simm said... (original post)

    Lou,

    Did Warinner decide to leave after Martin was given the OC job or before?

    and lou, any skinny on who bk is looking at for the OL position? if he "promotes" or hands it over to denbrock, i'm going to throw up........

    Run the ball. Stop the run. You win, or lose, up front.

  • Coach Clancy,

    In the same way we had been "hearing" that Martin would be promoted to offensive coordinator, there are "rumblings" now about Mike Denbrock handling the offensive line. At this point I can neither confirm or deny it, but the move would be consistent with what Kelly says is his philosophy to first "promote from within."

    It's the same principle that led Charley Molnar to become the OC after long-time right hand man Jeff Quinn became the head coach at Buffalo (of the MAC, not the NFL), or Martin replacing Molnar.

    It seems pretty unsettled right now because offensive intern Scott Booker has been promoted to a full-time assistant role — but it's still undefined what it will be. Will Kelly move Alford back to running back and have Booker coach wide receivers? Will Booker (whose past experience is with DBs) coach the RBs in place of Hinton? Will Kelly coach the QBs (I have my doubts) or will he bring someone else in to focus on that crucial duty? Will he have Martin do that, too, even though he's worked with DBs the past couple of years?

    Kelly might be scoping the lay of the coaching land and see, in NFL terms, who might be the best overall pick for the overall good of the program. As Jim Croce once sang of Leroy Brown, this is (for now) a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces gone.

    If Kelly is looking more for a QB coach, then I could see Denbrock taking the line (he coached tight ends and tackles for Willingham at ND from 2002-04, while John McDonell had the centers and guards.) Denbrock also coached the entire line for Willingham at Washington from 2005-08.

  • Lou - would you be happy if ND announced that they were hiring Tim Ruddy as the OL coach?

    * Sole Member of Loner Monkey Gang * 11-Time Winner of POTW Award * Does Not Give A Sh*t

  • tks for you opinion and time lou, but i make no apologies for my disdain about denbrock. i follow (and have) the Ol more than any other position group. and IMO, he and mcdonell dumbed down more talent within that position than anyone i can remember. yep, andy heck would be a great hire, but he's not in bk's closet. hell, grunhard would have been a great hire, but neither have the "spread" pedigree and neither are the "yes men" types that bk requires for "chemistry" within the staff. i don't give a **** if denbrock can recruit, he can't coach Olinemen......rant

    Run the ball. Stop the run. You win, or lose, up front.

  • If the rumblings about Martin getting the OC position were going around since December 20th, then Warriner has known for a while he wasn't getting promoted. Bottom line, his not getting the OC position is probably the major factor in him leaving.

  • Tshea,

    That was my initial thought, too.

    If that is true, then the communication between Brian Kelly and his staff must have been amiss if he declared in the Dec. 28 press conference, one day before the bowl game, that his staff (other than Molnar) will return intact in 2012. It doesn't seem to add up, unless I'm just blindly missing something (known to happen with alarming frequency).

  • IFR,

    Well, I know you are a big Miami Dolphins fan, and Ruddy was indeed named one of the 40 all-time greatest Dolphins when he played there for a decade (1994-2003) as a center. He had a 1,490 SAT score (1,600 scale), aced mechanical engineering, graduated Summa Cum Laude from ND ... but I don't think his current line of work would be in line with what Brian Kelly seeks.

    The 38-year-old Ruddy has been a Director of Vista International Technologies, Inc. in Englewood, Colorado since October 2007. For the past 15 years Mr. Ruddy has been active in the financial services industry, evaluating promising technologies and companies with regard to their formation, funding and development. He is currently serving as Vice President-Investments at 1st Financial Services, a financial advisory firm, and as an angel investor in the venture capital industry for the past 10 years, working with companies in the medical devices field as well as emerging energy-related technologies.

    In addition, he is a co-founder, and serves as an officer of Ambien Dynamics, a medical device company specializing in pulsed electromagnetic field therapies, a position he has held since 2002.

    I'm not sure, but I believe in his spare time he also is looking at ways of reconfiguring the atom.

  • Lou Somogyi said... (original post)

    Coach Clancy,

    In the same way we had been "hearing" that Martin would be promoted to offensive coordinator, there are "rumblings" now about Mike Denbrock handling the offensive line. At this point I can neither confirm or deny it, but the move would be consistent with what Kelly says is his philosophy to first "promote from within."

    It's the same principle that led Charley Molnar to become the OC after long-time right hand man Jeff Quinn became the head coach at Buffalo (of the MAC, not the NFL), or Martin replacing Molnar.

    It seems pretty unsettled right now because offensive intern Scott Booker has been promoted to a full-time assistant role — but it's still undefined what it will be. Will Kelly move Alford back to running back and have Booker coach wide receivers? Will Booker (whose past experience is with DBs) coach the RBs in place of Hinton? Will Kelly coach the QBs (I have my doubts) or will he bring someone else in to focus on that crucial duty? Will he have Martin do that, too, even though he's worked with DBs the past couple of years?

    Kelly might be scoping the lay of the coaching land and see, in NFL terms, who might be the best overall pick for the overall good of the program. As Jim Croce once sang of Leroy Brown, this is (for now) a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces gone.

    If Kelly is looking more for a QB coach, then I could see Denbrock taking the line (he coached tight ends and tackles for Willingham at ND from 2002-04, while John McDonell had the centers and guards.) Denbrock also coached the entire line for Willingham at Washington from 2005-08.

    My biggest concern in recruiting (now that defense has been emphasized and correctly so) is the offensive skill positions. In particular, do the Irish have even one QB on their radar screen?

    TG1977

  • Not necessarily Lou. Let's say Kelly KNEW (which we know to be true) that Molnar was taking the UMASS job, as of the Dec. 28th presser. It's possible that he had not yet decided who (or is it whom? my English minor has gone to waste) was going to be the OC replacement. In the interim, Warriner and Hinton start getting feelers from The Pope of OSU. It's plausible that these decisions were both being contemplated simultaneously. If Warriner decided he wasn't going to get the OC job from Kelly, he could have told Urban The Liar he'd take the job, but keep it hush hush till after the bowl game. meanwhile Kelly gives the presser, unaware that Warriner & Hinton are leaning towards leaving. So, Kelly thinks he's gonna have the staff intact (with the obvious exception of Molnar), until Hinton & Warriner drop the hammer. Not wanting to look like he was unprepared, he names Martin OC ASAP which he may or may not have been planning on doing anyway. Confused? You won't be after this episode of...Ask Lou!

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    Gringo Mafia: Black Ops & 'Family Recruitment' Official thorn in JSapp's side POTW 3/25/12

  • Sounds like Ruddy has tons of free time to coach the O-line.

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    Gringo Mafia: Black Ops & 'Family Recruitment' Official thorn in JSapp's side POTW 3/25/12

  • LIShamrock,

    Definitely plausible and understandable, but it still speaks to not having proper communication, being on the same page, all for one, no clandestine dealings, or whatever you want to call it, between the head coach and his assistants. I'm sure that happens all the time, just like in any other enterprise.

    It just doesn't look good when you say one thing and shortly thereafter another thing happens. MSU's Mark Dantonio was asked after the New Year's win over Georgia whether he will have all his assistants back this season and he had a more conservative, "You certainly can never say never. Right now my sense of it is we'll be together as a staff."

  • Agreed. And WOW am I impressed that you were able to decipher my inane ramblings. I lost myself halfway through that post, but I felt like I was on a roll so I kept going.

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  • Lou, what is the current status of the coaching staff. Coach Kelly wanted to have a full staff to hit the recruiting trail. Has that been accomplished?

  • NDCarson2011,

    Officially, ND is considered 21-13 against the SEC, but it should really say 18-12. That's because a 3-1 record against current SEC East member South Carolina came from 1976-84, when South Carolina was still an Independent and not in the SEC.

    Among the 12 current SEC teams, the four ND has never played are Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky and Mississippi State.

    * The SEC program it has played the most is LSU, and it has a 5-5 record against the Tigers. A thrilling 3-0 victory versus SEC champ LSU in 1970 at ND marked the first time the Irish played an SEC team. What is amazing about that 3-0 finish is the two QBs were Joe Theismann and Bert Jones, both of whom would become Pro Bowl quarterbacks. That was an era when defenses were still king.
    I imagine the Jim Crow South prevented any such games previously. Even in 1971, when ND had the return match in LSU — a 28-8 rout by LSU — in stories I've done with black ND players from that era such as Tom Gatewood and Clarence Ellis, they said it was the worst experience of their college careers with the overt racism down there that made them fear for their safety.

    * LSU, incidentally, is the most recent SEC opponent it has played, too, a 41-14 loss in the 2007 Sugar Bowl. ND also lost 27-9 to LSU in the 1997 Independence Bowl after winning at Death Valley in November, 24-6. That is the lone game in ND history where the Irish neither had a turnover nor a penalty.

    * Notre Dame is 4-4 against Tennessee, and the Vols are the most recent SEC team to play ND home and home, a 2004 Irish win down there and a 41-21 ND victory up here in 2005.

    * ND is 5-1 against Alabama, which ranks up there with an 8-1 ledger against Oklahoma and 8-2 against Texas as maybe the most impressive. What really sticks in the craw of many 'Bama fans is the Irish were an amazing 4-0 against Paul "Bear" Bryant, winning the 1973 Sugar Bowl for the national title (the greatest ND game I've ever seen), 13-11 in the 1975 Orange Bowl, 21-18 at home in 1976 and 7-0 in 'Bama in 1980. The streak finally ended under Ray Perkins in 1986 (28-10), but next year at ND the Irish won 37-6 versus Bill Curry's team.

    * It has faced Georgia once and Florida once, both in the Sugar Bowl. Georgia clinched the national title in the 1981 Sugar Bowl with a 17-10 victory over a 9-1-1 ND team, and then in the 1992 Sugar Bowl the 9-3 Irish upset No. 3 and 10-1 Florida, 39-28.

    Here's the breakdown:
    5-1 versus Alabama
    1-0 vs. Florida
    0-1 vs. Georgia
    5-5 vs. LSU
    1-1 vs, Ole Miss (the 1977 national champs had their lone last season down there, 20-13)
    4-4 vs. Tennessee
    2-0 vs. Vanderbilt (1995-96)

    That's 18-12 overall, but if people want to include South Carolina when it wasn't in the SEC, then it's 21-13.

  • IAM4nd,

    Well, the plan was to have everything in place by Jan. 4 ... but if you want to make God laugh, tell him about your "plans." It sounded like Kelly planned to have everyone back on Dec. 28, but that changed a few days later when Tim Hinton (RBs) and Ed Warinner (offensive line) departed for Ohio State.

    The defensive plan appears to be in place with Mike Elston (line), Bob Diaco (coordinator/linebackers) and Kerry Cooks (secondary).

    The offense has Chuck Martin (coordinator), Tony Alford (receivers) and Mike Denbrock (tight ends), and the wild card is two-year Irish intern Scott Booker, who coached DBs at Kent State (his alma mater) and Kentucky but helped more on offense while at ND the first two years with Kelly.

    So you have seven assistants in place and need two more. That should probably occur sometime this month, but who it will be and when it will be officially announced is a bit of a mystery right now.

    Do you have Booker coach receivers and move Alford back to running backs? Does Martin coach the QBs as well? Will Denbrock take over the offensive line? It's hard to say at this juncture where the pieces will all fit. This is usually what happens this time of year. College coaching positions are in a state of flux and the hiring process starts all over.

  • Lou Somogyi said... (original post)

    NDCarson2011,

    Officially, ND is considered 21-13 against the SEC, but it should really say 18-12. That's because a 3-1 record against current SEC East member South Carolina came from 1976-84, when South Carolina was still an Independent and not in the SEC.

    Among the 12 current SEC teams, the four ND has never played are Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky and Mississippi State.

    * The SEC program it has played the most is LSU, and it has a 5-5 record against the Tigers. A thrilling 3-0 victory versus SEC champ LSU in 1970 at ND marked the first time the Irish played an SEC team. What is amazing about that 3-0 finish is the two QBs were Joe Theismann and Bert Jones, both of whom would become Pro Bowl quarterbacks. That was an era when defenses were still king.
    I imagine the Jim Crow South prevented any such games previously. Even in 1971, when ND had the return match in LSU — a 28-8 rout by LSU — in stories I've done with black ND players from that era such as Tom Gatewood and Clarence Ellis, they said it was the worst experience of their college careers with the overt racism down there that made them fear for their safety.

    * LSU, incidentally, is the most recent SEC opponent it has played, too, a 41-14 loss in the 2007 Sugar Bowl. ND also lost 27-9 to LSU in the 1997 Independence Bowl after winning at Death Valley in November, 24-6. That is the lone game in ND history where the Irish neither had a turnover nor a penalty.

    * Notre Dame is 4-4 against Tennessee, and the Vols are the most recent SEC team to play ND home and home, a 2004 Irish win down there and a 41-21 ND victory up here in 2005.

    * ND is 5-1 against Alabama, which ranks up there with an 8-1 ledger against Oklahoma and 8-2 against Texas as maybe the most impressive. What really sticks in the craw of many 'Bama fans is the Irish were an amazing 4-0 against Paul "Bear" Bryant, winning the 1973 Sugar Bowl for the national title (the greatest ND game I've ever seen), 13-11 in the 1975 Orange Bowl, 21-18 at home in 1976 and 7-0 in 'Bama in 1980. The streak finally ended under Ray Perkins in 1986 (28-10), but next year at ND the Irish won 37-6 versus Bill Curry's team.

    * It has faced Georgia once and Florida once, both in the Sugar Bowl. Georgia clinched the national title in the 1981 Sugar Bowl with a 17-10 victory over a 9-1-1 ND team, and then in the 1992 Sugar Bowl the 9-3 Irish upset No. 3 and 10-1 Florida, 39-28.

    Here's the breakdown:
    5-1 versus Alabama
    1-0 vs. Florida
    0-1 vs. Georgia
    5-5 vs. LSU
    1-1 vs, Ole Miss (the 1977 national champs had their lone last season down there, 20-13)
    4-4 vs. Tennessee
    2-0 vs. Vanderbilt (1995-96)

    That's 18-12 overall, but if people want to include South Carolina when it wasn't in the SEC, then it's 21-13.

    Lou! Wow that was incredibly incitful. I live in bama, but nearly went to UND for grad school( wife didn't want to move:().I have witnessed the racism and it is disgusting. Now I have Firepower! Go Irish.

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    POTW 2/7-13/2011

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    POTW 2/7-13/2011

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