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As I go over this class from top to bottom and look at the recruits rankings at each position it stands out to me that we don't really have any true Defensive Tackles in this class, which is imperative since we only have Nix and Tuitt for 1 more year. If we want to continue to have the success we have had defensively this year we need to make sure we are able to replenish our defensive line with top prospects. As a result of this WE NEED VANDERDOES! It would also be nice if we could land Fitts or Hollins as well. We need more defensive studs!!
When I go recruit by recruit, I am not as impressed with this class as I once was. As it currently stands, I don't think it is a top 2-3 class. Top 5 maybe.
I sure hope the staff can close on a few of these guys on the 25th!
3 time POTW;
We need Vanderdoes and one more of Hollins/Prevot. You can mix and match alot of these guys in with what we have already. Vanderdoes and Fitts would be ridiculous too, but youre right the key is Vanderdoes.
2011 B&G Poster of the Year, 2012 B&G Poster of the Year,
2013 B&G Poster of the Year, 2014 Preseason B&G Poster of the Year
I wouldn't be so sure about Tuitt leaving early. If you read the article about how he got started in football, it clearly states his mother intended to raise a college graduate, not an NFL player. She may pull something similar to Nix's mom and make him come back for his degree before he goes to the NFL. This is my official "you heard it here first" prediction, we get Tuitt back for his senior year.
I agree that Tuitt leaving after his junior year isn't a sure thing, but I second IrishWon's comment about the need to sign Vanderdoes to potentially stay at an elite level.
The top SEC powers generally sign 4-to-6 defensive linemen every year. You have zero margin for error when you sign two per year (Sheldon Day and Jarron Jones last season) and Rochell and Matuska this year. You just never know what can happen with injuries or if a player just doesn't pan out. It's nice to be able to sign five offensive linemen — but O-linemen virtually never can play D-line when needed, whereas d-linemen can always flip to the o-line when necessary.
You look at those great ND 1988-89 lines, the late Mirko Jurkovic and Tim Ryan played on defense as freshmen but became guards, left tackles Andy Heck and Mike Brennan were tight ends, center Mike Heldt was considered a nose guard ... even now many scouts last year indicated Jarron Jones might be a better OT.
Who knows. But DL needs to start restocking that cupboard with the likes of Nix and Tuitt — players who are extremely hard to find. If a Vanderdoes chooses Alabama over ND, it would be another indication of how difficult it is to "keep up" with what has become the gold standard in college football.
It's possible, but Tuitt himself tweeted that he has one more year. Things could change, and I certainly hope so, but he will be a guaranteed 1st rounder, where I do not think Nix is this year.
I am extremely concerned with the DL recruiting the past two cycles. As Lou noted, we need 4-6 every class. We are likely to have four in the last two classes combined. That is terrible, and will likely cost ND elite status come 2014-2015. I don't understand why the staff basically ignored DL this year. I thought Day and Jones last year was okay, because we just landed Williams/Tuitt/Lynch in 2011 and would certainly restock in 2013. Well 2013 has come and nearly gone with another subpar DL haul. I don't see Vanderdoes as a must-get; I see Vanderdoes as ND's only chance at being an elite team in the next few years.
Tuitt might have to come back for his senior year. I was not impressed with his play the second half of the season. He showed no explosiveness off the ball.
This might be because we lack the depth at the position required to regularly rotate during the games. This is why it is so crucial to get more of these players. And if Kelly were able to win any "academic exemptions" during his negotiations you can rest assured that they will be used on the DL...starting with AQM.
Sorry but I saw this and had to chime in..
Where are Oregons or T A&M elite d-lineman
For that matter where are Flordias or LSUs
Alabama may have all its eggs in one basket
That does not guarantee victorys
They had a veteran o-line
A solid secondary to help with run support but a dedication to a great Dline does not give you automatic entry to the top of the heap year in and year out
You can argue that without a solid Dline ND won't return to glory but without Johnny Manzel AM wouldn't have beat.. You guesses it
I have no problem with how the coaches are recruit g because while a great line is nice
I would scarifice that for high quality talent in the secondary and athletes on Offense.
In football there are many ways to skin a cat people.. Oregon does it fast, Alabama slow but methodical.
I know this staff has a plan to be ground and pound but also be able to spread out a defense.
I've said this before
Stop trying to play Alabama and LSU and Flordia the way THEY are built to play.
Play them like your built and planned to play and more offended then not you have a better chance at winning.
Now I'm shutting it down. See y'all in the spring!!
Two time Poster of The Week, 2011 and 2013.
Bro if you don't have big defensive lineman to stop Alabama's big offensive lineman, you lose plain and simple. We had some pretty big ones and they still weren't good enough. We got zero pass rush and they ran for nearly 300 yards on us, most of it untouched until our linebackers.
This post was edited by sullik2 15 months ago
It is hard to understand how someone wouldn't grasp that. When any OL is able to push through the DL, they are able to block the LB'ers--whose job it is to make tackles. If the LB's are stuck getting blocked, then your secondary is making tackles....8 yards down field! Does this sound familiar? It should because this was essentially what we saw under both Willingham and especially Weis. In the BCS bowls with Weis, especially against LSU, our DL looked like D2 players against NFL players. Both of LSU's lines pushed right through ours to accomplish whatever goal they sought. Alabama had very similar success last week against us. You just cannot underestimate the effect of having a strong DL at the point of attack, and we benefitted from it ALL year, except in one game. Maybe next year we will do it again, get lucky and face someone like Kansas St in the NCG where we would have won this battle. Who knows???
Any chance on signing the Dlineman that was committed to Wisconsin but recommitted after their meathead coach left?
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I mean to say that you do not always have to play Alabama football.
"It's a trap"
Oregon plays its type of football
Irish should play their own to
That was my only point
Agree completely with IrishWon and Lou S. + 1 fellas.
I hear ya. My point is that you need a good DL. Not to play Alabama, but to be a dominant defense. Even Oregon this year was much better on defense because their DL was the best it had ever been. Remember Arik Armstead? Yeah, they got him. We need top DL to keep our defense strong up front, to allow LB's to make plays, and keep pressure off secondary.
The question I have is:
What position do these teams cut back on?
We know they have great CBs(LSU, FLorida and Bama ALWAYS do) and load up there. They cant take big numbers everywhere, so if they are 4-6 DLine, where are they usually "light"?
Defensive linemen can always play offensive line, but offensive line virtually can never play defensive line. When he was at Miami, Jimmy Johnson had the following recruiting philosophy that Vinny Cerrato took note of and followed at ND:
1) Recruit as many running backs and option QBs as possible, and they can fill out all the skill positions: Tom Carter never player DB but was an all-state QB. Jeff Burris was a USA Today second-team AA at running back. Both became first-round DBs. Clint Johnson was an option QB who became a big-play receiver and kickoff return man. Todd Lyght was recruited to succeed Tim Brown at flanker. He too became a 1st-round corner. Stan Smagala and D'Juan Francisco were high school running backs who hadn't played DB. Pat Terrell was a receiver who became a second-round safety.
2) Linebackers/tight ends can become guard or left tackles or defensive tackles (Tim Ryan, Andy Heck, Jim Flanigan, Mike Brennan, Tom Rehder, Luke Petitgout).
3) Bigger outside/inside linebackers grown into fast defensive ends and defensive tackles: Bryant Young, Flanigan, Chris Zorich, Troy Ridgley, Oliver Gibson ...
4) Defensive linemen become offensive linemen, a la Mirko Jurkovic (God rest his soul), Mike Heldt. Holtz always told the o-linemen "the offensive line is the last stop until the bus stop."
Cerrato said that with few exceptions, Aaron Taylor among them, he did not like recruiting offensive linemen because most of the time in high school they were more so fat, could just get by on size in high school and did not have great feet if they weren't good enough to also play defense at the high school level. J Johnson had similar sentiments.
Just expressing a recruiting philosophy there. It comes down to d-linemen being able to shift to offense, but not the reverse.
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