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Darius Fleming couldn’t have been more primed for Notre Dame’s pro day last week in South Bend, Ind. After he had cramped up and run unimpressive times in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine last month in Indianapolis, it was his last chance
Blair Kiel, the former Notre Dame quarterback and punter who played for Tampa Bay, Indianapolis and Green Bay in the NFL, died Sunday. He was 50.
What should Fighting Irish fans be expecting from their beloved football team this fall? The answer is many things, but in this slideshow, I will be outlining 10 reasonable goals for Notre Dame in 2012...
Malik Zaire verbally committed to the 2013 Notre Dame recruiting classthe Irish for their scholarship offer.Zaire
Brian Kelly and the coaching staff at Notre Dame may need to do some shuffling in the secondary once the season begins. As Fighting Irish fans know all too well, the position battle for the wide or field cornerback is still very much up in the air...
There are a ton of on-the-field rivalries in college football. There are even more off-the-field on the trail. Some are old, and some are just heating up, but rivalries are one of the reasons why the sport is so competitive...
3 star is not a dirty word! Reply
Each recruiting class has a mix of 3, 4 and 5 star players! For every Jimmy Clausen there is a Ryan Perrilloux. Would you rather of had Mitch Mustain or Colt McCoy as your QB?
I think Kelly and staff are doing a great job of filling in their class early so they well be able to go after the late deciding 5 stars in the class.
Plus the rankings are not final yet! Some of these guys could jump up the rankings, are they suddenly better players?
Boise St had done a hell of a lot better the last 10 years with 3 stars than ND has.
Golson is a 3 star QB, why? Because he's 6'0 175, not 6'3" 215, is he really that much less of a player? Especially since soooo many on the board want him as the staerter.
You could get a bunch of 5 stars at a bunch of a position there not going to all pan out, just like 3 stars.
Lets finish the class before we all bitch.
You're not allowed to compare ND to Boise State since they apparently don't play anybody even after stomping every BCS team they played.
It's only a dirty word if the staff can't develop these kids into big time, high level, D1 college football players. Then it becomes an issue.I don't know who is to blame for the 2011 QB situation, but, that problem doesn't help the arguement. Develop the 3 stars because the elite programs are developing the 4 and 5 stars.
We are finally getting some quality depth on this team - hopefully the CB situation takes care of itself - Kelly seems quite pleased with what he has been seeing on the field this spring - hope springs eternal! GO IRISH.
osh Augusta is another three star on rivals that I hope comes to Notre Dame. I just checked out his tape and he looks athletic for a big man( 6'5" 275 lbs) DE!! he also looks like a BADDA$$ on his rivals profile!
Look At Michigan already have 14 4 stars. and we settle for 3's
Well it'll be that much more fun when our 3 star's open up a can of whoop arse on the skunks.
it wasn't too long ago, people here were screaming for RB's and we got them.we will get the DB's soon also.
I'm not saying recruit only 3 stars! I'm saying all classes from USC. Michigan down to Houston have a mix of 5, 4, and 3 star guys, plus a bunch of guys like the o-line commits are the first guys out of the 4 star rankings, those will change a bunch of times. I expect several of our commits to jump up the rankings. Plus with the players ND is committed already they can go after the late deciding 4-5 star guys.
Gunner Redshirt or Play?
Suppose in a hypothetical sense that Gunner is really good and plays in 2013. Not unrealistic given his pedigree. Would you rather he redshirted this season or would you rather he plays and takes some lumps so he is ready for a title in 2013? I worry this season may be a complete waste at the quarterback position and we will end up with more controversy next season. The last thing I want to see is 2012 as a mediocre quarterback and then see more mediocrity with a freshman in 2013. Can we avoid two seasons of mediocrity by playing a hypothetically ready Gunner?
Zaire All About Ws
More than anything, Malik Zaire wants to win and the 2013 Notre Dame quarterback commit from Trotwood, Ohio possesses the maturity to put any personal ambitions to the side in order to accomplish that goal.
As a sophomore in 2010, Zaire was convinced he had put in enough work during the offseason to wrestle the starting job away from a returning senior who had led at Archbishop Alter High School to its second straight state title without losing a game.
Zaire wasn’t quite ready to snatch the job, but he wasn’t being naïve about his prospects either.
“I think it’s a testament to Malik that it was so close in terms of deciding who the starter when he was a sophomore,” Archbishop Alter head coach Ed Domsitz said.
Zaire still had a little to learn about running Archbishop Alter’s offense, which incorporates some shotgun-spread principals, but relies mostly on a wishbone attack, but he thought he was ready.
“It was a thing that was a little bit difficult for him,” Domsitz said.
But Zaire didn’t allow his disappointment to affect him – or more importantly his team. He continued to remain engaged and was mixed in in spots on the field, a situation that helped the Knights to an 11-3 record in 2010.
And in 2011, it would be Zaire’s turn.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder’s skill set allowed Domsitz the option of running option or opening things up a bit in the spread.
“Malik thrives in both, so he can play either offense,” the coach said. “As much as any quarterback I’ve ever had, Malik can function well in an option offense or a spread offense.
“If you gave Malik the choice, he’s no different than any other quarterback, he likes to throw the ball, but he also knows we’re about winning first.”
And being about winning first would mean Zaire wouldn’t get as many opportunities as some of his peers to showcase his ability to throw the ball for college recruiters on Friday nights.
“We’re looking at a kid who threw for 700 yards last year for us, but I’ve said he could have thrown for 2,500, 3,000 yards for us,” said Domsitz. “But what we needed him to do to win football games was to keep our offense on the field.”
The Knights went on to a perfect regular season before a tough loss in the state playoffs and despite not being showcased in Archbishop Alter’s offense the way college coaches may have preferred, Zaire ended up with plenty of options, including Notre Dame, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Ohio State and Alabama.
“When you watch Malik’s highlights, you see some things that jump right off the film,” Domsitz said. “He went to a number of different camps and coaches saw him in person. He can do some things that all athletes can’t do.”
Notre Dame was among Zaire’s finalists from the time he landed the offer in February, but before making his pledge to the Irish, he needed to be assured he’d have the opportunity to fight for a job, just as he had during his high school career.
“That’s all we ask of the colleges for any of our kids, a level playing field in terms of competing for a job,” Domsitz said.
“If Malik has that then it’s up to him. It’s up to him to prove to the Notre Dame staff that he’s the number one quarterback. He’s played enough football and he’s played enough quarterback, he knows the rules of the game. I think it’s pretty clear that he’s got a tough challenge in front him, but he’s not shying away from that challenge.”
But Zaire still has one year left of high school football before getting to South Bend. Domsitz isn’t sure if the Knights will open things up offensively to take advantage of some of Zaire’s physical tools as a passer. The coach is sure that he’ll do what he thinks is best for the team.
“The number one concern for us is winning football games and we’ll do whatever it takes to try to achieve that,” the coach said.
And that’s fine with Zaire.
Robinson Blazing Own Trail
Corey Robinson has the kind of potential college coaches drool over, according to San Antonio Christian wide receiver coach Brandon Parrott.
“It’s unlimited,” Parrott said of the San Antonio wide receiver who committed to the Irish last month.
“I would say that my biggest job as a coach has been to get Corey to see how good he can be. It’s not that he wouldn’t work for it, he just didn’t know how good he could be.”
The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Robinson didn’t play football growing up.
“He’s only played a couple years,” said Parrott. “He’s only played two full seasons. He had one season where we had to shut him down for about seven weeks, so he’s really only got two and a half years of experience.”
Robinson finished his junior season with 42 receptions for 660 yards and 10 touchdowns for a team that returned a 1,000-yard rusher.
“This last year, you could see the light bulb go on and that look of, ‘Wow, I could actually be really good at this,’” Parrott said. “That confidence has helped him along and has pushed him along and generated some of this quick development in his game. I doubt that his growth is finished and I know he’s just going to continue developing as a player.
“It seems like right now, every time he steps on the field, he’s better than the last time I saw him step out there.”
Notre Dame was the first school to offer Robinson, who also picked up offers from Iowa, North Carolina, Kansas, Wake Forest and Navy.
“I think they absolutely stole him,” said Parrott, who added his amazement about how the recruiting game has sped up so much that a prospect with six offers before his senior season is labeled “under the radar.”
All parties are proud of the decision Robinson made to continue his growth at Notre Dame.
“It’s a perfect fit,” Parrott said. “The combination of academics and athletics is what made the opportunity stand apart.”
Robinson prides himself on being a true student-athlete and believes he’ll fit in well with his future teammates.
“The thing that sealed the deal was how much he bonded with those incoming recruits,” said Parrott.
He’s also convinced he’ll fit in well with the Irish offense, which is similar to San Antonio Christian’s.
“We’re a spread attack and we throw the ball around the field,” said Parrott. “Some of the things that he’s done and been successful doing with us are the same things he can do at that level. With his height and his size, you can just create matchup problems with small defensive backs and with what Coach (Brian) Kelly and the other coaches have said, that’s what they see in him and that’s what they want to take advantage of.”
And Robinson’s frame isn’t the only thing impressive about him as a receiver.
“He has incredible hands,” his wideout coach said. “He’s got phenomenal hands. He attacks the ball in the air. He doesn’t wait for balls to come to him and when you’re that big and you’re that long and you’re attacking the ball in the air, smaller defensive backs just don’t get a shot to make a play on the ball.”
Robinson gets his size from his father, David Robinson, who admits it isn’t always easy being the son of an NBA Hall of Famer.
“You couldn’t handle it any better than the way that Corey handles it,” said Parrott. “He’s his own person, he’s confident. He’s got incredible character and integrity. He doesn’t feel those pressures. He’s his own individual person and that’s why I’m so happy that football is doing it for him because it’s his own sport.”
Couldn't agree more EGND...PLAY, it will payoff in the end
Niemiec Grateful, Hopeful
Grant Niemiec knows what he has to do to take the next step in the eyes of the Notre Dame coaching staff. He’s going to get the opportunity to do it.
And he’s confident in his ability to do it.
The 6-foot, 225-pound fullback from St. Mary’s Prep in Orchard Lake, Mich., recently grabbed his first offer and is seeing things pick up as the 2013 prospect heads into his senior season.
“Everything is going great,” Niemiec said. “I got offered by Eastern Michigan last week and things have really started heating up after that first offer.”
That first offer was a big one for Niemiec, who is also receiving interest from Syracuse, Michigan and Notre Dame.
“It felt good,” he said. “It’s just good to know that I have at least four more years of playing football and that really excites me. I just love playing football and to be able to play it at the next level is just a dream of mine.
“Of course I’m still staying focused on high school because that’s not over yet, but just to have that takes a lot of pressure off.”
Niemiec recently made stops in South Bend and Ann Arbor to see a couple spring practices. He was impressed with his trip to Notre Dame.
“It was really good,” he said. “It was different than any other trip I’ve been on. Just to get that feel, that Notre Dame feel on campus is different than anything else. Getting a tour around on a golf cart was really cool, it was probably my favorite part and then just watching practice in the morning was unbelievable.
“We watched practice and the coaches went to evaluate the film and they gave us a tour of the campus.”
Niemiec also had the chance to visit with Irish head coach Brian Kelly and Notre Dame assistant Chuck Martin.
“They said it was nice to have me there and they talked about my upcoming senior year and my film,” he said. “Then we talked a little bit about Notre Dame and their philosophy there and how they run practice and the whole week leading up to game day.”
The coaches were candid with Niemiec.
“They would like to see me play linebacker because I play fullback/running back and they want to see me switch over,” he said. “I’m switching over this year.
“They want to see my film there because they told me, ‘You play fullback and we can’t recruit you because we don’t use fullbacks.’ They just use their tight ends if they’re going to go to two-back.”
Niemiec is excited about getting the chance to play both ways as a senior.
“I’ve been playing football since I could walk,” he said. “It’s going to be an easy transition. I can play any position on the field.”
He knows what he’s looking for in a college.
“The most important thing is obviously the school,” he said. “That’s why we’re going to college, for academics and that’s what’s going to take you far in life. Then obviously where you feel comfortable, coaching and the environment of the school are very important to me.”
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