5WF: Redshirt Rule, Roberston Leaves, Cal, Freshmen Numbers & More

The latest edition of Five Wide Fullbacks arrives discussing the new redshirt rules, Demetris Robertson, ESPN’s take on the most underrated players, new digits for freshmen, and updates from the World Cup.

1 The NCAA continues its modern changes by creating a new redshirt rule whereby players are allowed action in any 4 games during the season without losing eligibility. What’s the best part to the change?

This should be a cool new rule that will give more freshmen the opportunity to play. That side of it is obvious.  My favorite part is going to be the freshmen who don’t get to play. For the players who aren’t legitimately injured it’s going to be so awkward. I’d imagine we’ll begin to see an increase in fake injuries, more or less, to protect the reputation of young players.

Take Darnell Ewell, for example. If he was let’s say 20% better last year does he get thrown on the field for 20 snaps spread across 4 games? Or do we hear about a mysterious injury that prevents playing time? Or, what about the players who get 10 snaps in a couple games and the coaching staff is like, “Yeah, we can’t keep doing this.” That player sits out the second half of the season, doesn’t get any playing time during a couple blowouts, and we now have a data point that they’re a little further behind than we thought.

I also think there will be players who think this is going to bring more legit playing time, only to see them thrown on special teams late in the season because why not?

These are the moments from the new rule I look forward to dissecting.

2 Less than a week ago former Notre Dame recruiting target Demetris Robertson–he of 18-wheeler visit fame–announced he was leaving Cal after just 2 seasons. On a scale of 1 to 10 how shocking is this?

Full disclosure, I loved Robertson’s recruitment so much and it’s the last one I really followed intensely because it was just so weird. THIS article from about 27 months ago captured most of the magic a few weeks before he would choose California via a hand-made Berkeley Bear drawing that was upside down on the easel.

Anyway, having him transfer could be seen from a million miles away. I can’t even blame him at this point. He was injured for most of last year and even into this past spring with the coach who recruited him gone and the quarterback situation not that great. He kind of picked Cal (so it seemed) out of nowhere after them being out of the picture for most of his recruitment. These things are very, very predictable even when we keep being told, “This kid is different!”

I believe Robertson was supposed to major in engineering, so we were told numerous times a couple years ago. By the looks of it he was an American Studies major at Cal. So, another data point to pay attention to what a recruit does and not what they say.

3 ESPN recently wrote an article on the most underrated players on each of the Top 25 pre-season teams. For the Irish that player was center Sam Mustipher. Do you agree?

Mustipher is a solid choice. He checks the boxes as someone who has enough experience and resume so far in his career and you know he’s going to play as many minutes as possible. I might argue his ceiling isn’t terribly high and so by late January it could be a little bit of a head scratching pick. But as I’ve said in the past, the center position is always so hard to get a read on. He could be 3rd-team All-American or he could be entirely mediocre.

I’d throw Alize Mack, Chase Claypool, and Shaun Crawford in the mix because they’ve flashed some really high-level football and could grow into stars in a way I’m not sure a center can reach in college. Each had enough of an inconsistent 2017 to warrant flying under the radar heading into 2018.

4 The full freshmen numbers for Notre Dame players have made the rounds across the web. Which are your most favorite and least favorite?

We have an excellent crop of freshmen numbers, maybe the best I can remember.

DEPTH CHART WITH JERSEY NUMBERS

The only ones I’m not a big fan of are most of the players in the teens. Moala (#13), Boykin (#16), Wilkins (#18), Brown (#12), Justin Ademilola (#19), and Keys (#13) I’m not feeling those. Even though Jurkovec wore #15 in high school I’ve never liked that number for a quarterback and it makes me think of Tebow.

Here are the best numbers:

Allen #7
Simon #33
Bracy #10
Lenzy #25
Tremble #24
Austin #4
Flemister #20

Great job, guys.

5 We’re 40 games into the World Cup so far, who has been the most exciting team, the most disappointing team, and the biggest story line as we slowly move towards the knockout rounds?

I’m not sure if they are the most exciting team overall so far but Argentina is must-watch drama right now. They’ve kind of overthrown their manager and are operating in a player-led coaching mutiny. They were thisssss close to being knocked out but survived with a 2-1 win over Nigeria yesterday to advance. Maradona was there going crazy, flipping the bird, and apparently collapsed afterward. This has the feel of a World Cup win or they’re losing 8-0 in the next round.

Uruguay, Croatia, Mexico, England, and Belgium have been the most dominant teams so far which is exciting, although it’s not really adjusted for competition. All 5 of those teams could drop out of the tournament in the next round and no one would be surprised.

Poland was without a doubt the most disappointing team, zero points through 2 games and already knocked out. Their stock was a little bit too high in some corners but they’ve played so poorly.

I feel like Germany is the biggest story line. The defending champs were super close to being on the brink of disaster prior to a wonder-goal by Toni Kroos. It’s so hard to repeat and they still have work to do against South Korea coming up.

By the way, in my preview we had a discussion about draws. Only 8 of the 40 matches (20%) have been draws with our first scoreless draw coming yesterday in the France-Denmark match.

By |2018-06-27T08:17:26+00:00June 27th, 2018|18S Reads|32 Comments

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hooks orpik
hooks orpik

I don’t think I could call Mack underrated since he was on the Mackey watchlist last year.

To me, for people that don’t really follow ND closely, the to two players they’ll know at the end of this year that they probably didn’t know at the beginning will be Kmet and D. Hayes (hopefully anyways). But that might be more whose under the radar and likely to have solid seasons than being “underrated”.

Irishchamp23
Irishchamp23

I’m curious how the new redshirt rule will affect transfers. Before if you played a little and burned a year then decided to transfer because you weren’t ascending to the top of the depth chart you woundt really lose a year sitting out. Now a lot of times you’ll lose an entire year because that prior playing may have fallen under the four game rule and you didn’t burn a year. Or even if you did burn a year you lose the ability to play in those extra four games.

Maybe it has no effect whatsoever.

Or as someone elsewhere thought it perhaps it will make for more transfers because you could see earlier who are those freshmen who are ahead of you by the end of the season when you’d normally have to wait until the year after. Some will see they are way behind and decide to leave sooner.

Publius2010
Publius2010

Are we still over the scholarship limit, or has that worked itself out?

MikeyB
MikeyB

I can’t wait for the teams that throw their True Freshman QB into the 4th quarter of a blowout, where that Freshman then puts up insane numbers for a quarter. Fans are going to absolutely lose it when their above average starting QB can only throw for 4 TDs against Tennessee Tech State College through 3 quarters while their Freshman puts up 3 TDs in one quarter.

Of course, the level-headed fans of Our Lady’s University won’t start calling for Jurkovich to be the starter of 2-0 Notre Dame when he wrecks Ball State in the 4th quarter of game we’re already winning by 4 scores. No way.

Publius2010
Publius2010

Jimbo Fisher is eventually going to get fired over this

Russell Knox
Russell Knox

No way ND fans would do that.😂

Orlok
Orlok

My sleeper pick (well, actually, Pete Sampson’s) is Claypool. I (Pete) think(s) he goes to the NFL after this year.

MikeyB
MikeyB

I swear he (or one of the II guys) said the same thing about Corey Robinson before his Junior year.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

I remember seeing a mock draft with Corey Robinson in the first round.

Orlok
Orlok

Yes. Pete also guessed 10 wins in 2016. I love the guy and he has some great insights, but college football is hard to predict.

Clearwall
Clearwall

I said the same thing on TOS about Jurk wearing 15. It’s just not a “QB number” in my mind. I want to see him don an 8, 7, 2, 1…needs a single digit.

dannan14
dannan14

In the NFL, Marino, Tittle, Starr, Montana, P. Manning, and Unitas all wore numbers in the teens. Not sure why some folks think that it’s weird.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

First I’m hearing that. No one tell Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Terry Bradshaw you need a single digit as a QB to be successful.

dannan14
dannan14

Depth chart still shows 89 guys.

Russell Knox
Russell Knox

Robertson was supposed to be my Savannah boy representing at ND. What a screwy recruitment that kid had.

Don’t forget the “No interviews. Please respect my decision” kid. His recruitment was pretty ridiculous, and what a cop out to throw that line out there after backing out of his commitment.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

“No interviews!!!!” is a recruiting staple these days. Then they typically end up having a story with new quotes come out a day or two later.

Russell Knox
Russell Knox

👍

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

I think 18 works for a tall, skinny CB that might end up playing wideout. Otherwise agree with your assessment for the teen numbers.

Seems like Austin should be a 1 or a 3. Lenzy as a 25 is perfect.