Reviewing the Redshirts: Offense

There have been seasons when we’ve had fewer than 10 players featured in our Reviewing the Redshirts off-season series. Today, we will cover 13 players alone just on the offensive side of the ball. There’s a little bit of everything here including, elite recruits, under the radar players, and some with much to prove early in their careers.

Scores listed are in order: 247 Composite, 18S overall grade, and my personal grades from last February.

Tight End

George Takacs 
0.9031
87.3
86

Tommy Tremble
0.8797
86.3
87

I liked Tremble a whole lot coming out of high school because he offered a lot of YAC potential and could be a sneaky good weapon in the passing game. He’s definitely an intriguing H-back type. The problem is he’ll have to be able to block and is he going to be good enough to take snaps away from Brock Wright in this role? Tremble is only 6’3″ 228 and definitely isn’t your typical Notre Dame tight end. If his blocking doesn’t hold up he might be a guy who can flex out pretty much exclusively and hope he’s a mistmatch in the slot.

I’m not sure what to make of Takacs other than he has great size (6’6″ 250 lbs while nursing an injury, impressive) and was very much in the mold of an average tight end recruit against the long line of stellar recruits traditionally signed by the Irish. Adding him and Tremble to the mix with plenty of playing time there for the taking is going to be an interesting story line for spring.

Offensive Line

Jarrett Patterson
0.8912
86.3
86

John Dirksen
0.8776
82.5
82

Luke Jones
0.8776
82.3
81

Cole Mabry
0.8655
83.0
78

We don’t know much about this group other than Patterson was the only one to get on the field this year (2 games) and would seemingly have a huge leg up on his classmates going into 2019. Patterson was also being favored at tackle–and working as a backup at least for a while–which could put a bit of pressure on both Eichenberg and Hainsey this fall.

I thought Mabry was the biggest project of the bunch and he’ll have more work to do to add to his 270-pound frame. I can’t remember the last lineman to truly struggle with getting larger so this isn’t huge issue. But, he’s starting from a position of strength that might be equaled by some of the incoming freshman.

Both Dirksen and Jones should immediately proceed to become the best guards or center possible. I know Dirksen spent time at tackle this past year but I find it hard for him to stay there with the 2019 class coming in now. Bottom line, it’s kind of crazy how low-rated this 2018 class was a year ago. That doesn’t mean no one is going to contribute but it’s going to be really difficult not to get lost in the shuffle for some of these guys.

Wide Receiver

Braden Lenzy
0.9174
93.0
92

Lawrence Keys
0.9026
84.3
87

Micah Jones
0.8902
81.3
79

Joe Wilkins
0.8636
82.3
80

The off-season buzzword is “speed” and you’re going to hear a lot about it. As the president of the Nothing is More Important than Speed Irish Fan Club I’m on board. However, it’s only early January and we’re already way, way too overboard with getting speed on the field being a magical cure-all for the offense. Let’s slow that roll.

All eyes will be on Lenzy, no doubt. He’s both the fastest and most decorated of this bunch coming out of high school. Adding strength surely is the big factor moving forward as his 170 pounds on a 5’11” frame is really skinny even for a receiver. Turning into a starter doesn’t seem like it’s in the cards but if he rises to the 4th receiver in 2019 with 15 to 20 receptions that would be a solid first season.

I’m not sure what to make of Keys as he’s another tiny receiver (5’10” 170 lbs) who I really liked but there’s always the caveat that we have no idea how he’d be integrated into the slot when Chris Finke is the established starter. We’ve had years where the starting slot receiver was pushed to the side and I can’t remember a time when a backup received quality development. Perhaps Keys is someone who challenges as a return man?

I wasn’t very high on Micah Jones and I’m certain the patience for big, lanky receivers will be short this off-season from the fans perspective. Yet, with Boykin leaving for the NFL Draft, the career of Javon McKinley sputtering to a close, and Isaiah Robertson still a complete unknown since moving to receiver, it wouldn’t be shocking if Jones quickly moves up the “W” wideout depth chart.

When we graded Wilkins last year everyone realized he might not last at cornerback. It didn’t take long for him to switch to receiver and there was a moment there during fall camp where it looked like Wilkins might be a factor this past season. He did participate in 2 games which is not nothing. Wilkins also has a body-type at 6’2″ 185 pounds that really separates him from just about every other receiver on the team. If you’re looking for a dark horse impact player for 2019 you could pick worse.

Running Back

Jahmir Smith
0.8721
86.0
85

C’Bo Flemister
0.8456
83.8
81

I was certain at least one of these backs wouldn’t redshirt with the 4-game suspension of Dexter Williams and Jafar Armstrong missing some time last year. Credit to Dexter who really carried the load in a way that seemed unimaginable prior to his senior season and all but forced these freshmen to remain on the sidelines.

Smith and Flemister will be in a tough spot for 2019. I’d imagine all of our grades for incoming freshman Kyren Williams will exceed both of them and Williams will be on campus for spring practice, too. Going on a nice, slow development plan can be dangerous game at a position where impact players don’t typically need much time to see the field. If Williams turns out to be that kind of player–and Armstrong/Jones are locked in as the top guys–these rising redshirt freshmen will need to make a big jump very soon for carries.

Quarterback

Phil Jurkovec
0.9593
93.3
95

Here stands the 24th best recruit of the Brian Kelly era as I try to add perspective that Jurkovec is a potential future star but labeling him a savior is still a bit much. Before we organize a mob with torches to force a quarterback competition this spring let’s realize with Wimbush taking a grad transfer there’s going to be a ton of reps for Jurkovec with only 2 quarterbacks on campus.

Whether it’s actually stated by Kelly (and it likely will not be) that there’s an open competition that label won’t really matter in the application of practice reps. If Jurkovec is performing well he will have plenty of opportunity during the spring to close any gap with Book.

Watching him unseat Book during the off-season is super unlikely so any hope for that shouldn’t turn into frustration for anyone. I remain quite high on Jurkovec eventually becoming a very good starter for the Irish but I don’t envy the coaching staff–who are coming off a bold-ass move in benching Wimbush last year–trying to get a quality look at their young hope with the higher ceiling while knowing Book provides a ton of stability and comfort.

By |2019-01-09T10:34:41+00:00January 9th, 2019|Football|62 Comments

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Russell Knox
Russell Knox

Thanks for the article Eric. I love it.

Clay Cossé fka Mouth
Clay Cossé fka Mouth

I know it’s been said before–perhaps most recently/prominently by Timmy B. after the Cotton Bowl–but getting promising young skill position players involved early has not been a strength for CBK. Maybe it’s because we haven’t gotten guys of the caliber of Justyn Ross (how is that guy a freshman–i think he impresses me more than lawrence), but it took us four years to get any kind of more-than-token production out of Dex. And that seems to be the rule, not the exception. We’ve seen it for years. Give a young guy like one package with just a few routes/responsibilities and see what happens. Why is that so tough?

Also please let it rip to Kmet downfield.

Also how about a few touches to Keys on jet sweeps, shuffle passes, or out of the backfield.

KG
KG

I wonder if that’s one of the differences in the caliber of skill position player we recruit compared to Clemson or Bama. Their high 5-stars are 5-stars because they’re coming in ready to play and thrive from day 1. Our guys are mid-level 4-stars or high 3-stars because they aren’t; either they aren’t strong enough, aren’t explosive enough, or aren’t ready in understanding the system, etc. This isn’t to give BK a pass–he certainly does favor upperclassmen and I have the same frustration. But would he keep a Justyn Ross on the bench if we had one? Or a Jeudy? I don’t know. Either way, it creates a cycle where those types of players don’t come to ND because they don’t see our skill guys making immediate impact on the field…and so we don’t get the kind of guys who would make an immediate freshman impact…and then…

KG
KG

By “recruit” in the first sentence, I mean “sign”–I’m not a recruitnik and I’m not alleging that we don’t even try for the 5-star kids, I don’t know. But we don’t get them like they do, and that’s what I mean.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

We had a similar thought at the similar time. Given the open courting of Amon Ra St. Brown it seemed like Kelly was bending over backwards to promise to get him the ball a ton and insisting they would or Kelly would drive him to the USC campus. So I would imagine if you dropped a super elite player in, they’re probably getting more than the 100ish snaps Kevin Austin got this season.

(Though history is what it is with Kelly and not really relying on fresh WR’s. Perhaps he would be inclined to move with the times to feature a young player more if he got one now).

Clay Cossé fka Mouth
Clay Cossé fka Mouth

Yeah good question–would BK not play a guy like Ross as a frosh? Prolly not. Even a guy as talented as Austin may not have had the football awareness to play more than he did. On the other hand, in Kelly’s program, is the locker room not accustomed to playing older guys who have put their time in and would it tolerate a guy like Ross unseating a Boykin? I think kind of like with Book unseating Wimbush, the results kind of obviate any locker-room objections.

Irishchamp23
Irishchamp23

Let’s assume Kelly does favor upperclassmen. What’s his reason for doing so? Is it just simply less mistakes? Is it somehow harder for Kelly than Dabo to envision a limited roles to use their talent? Is it the size of the playbook (one of the coaches on the ESPN film station of our game against Clemson mentioned our playbook is on the bigger end and noting that Clemson’s D playbook was too so the matchup was pretty multiple)?

In other words, it’s hard to imagine that Kelly would prefer the better player sit just to play an upperclassmen so there must be some reason that Kelly would be more likely to see the upperclassman as the better player. What is it?

KG
KG

I think that’s the question. It seems illogical to assume he just prefers upperclassmen over more talented underclassmen, though plenty of people assume so because hey fire Kelly. Hence my supposition that perhaps the reason we don’t play our frosh as often is that they aren’t like a Justyn Ross.

eyerish9299
eyerish9299

But they don’t have to be like Ross to get SOME PT. Even if they aren’t ready, there have been plenty of opportunities to get guys like Lenzy, and Keys a few snaps. How much do they need to understand if you tell them to run a go route, or a corner, or a double move? It can’t just be that they aren’t ready to play. If you can run a route and catch, you can be used in some aspect.

KG
KG

that would probably be an easier decision if we habitually blew out opponents. We had some wins by comfortable margins this year but even then we rarely seem to have enough of a lead to get backups any decent chance running the real offense, as opposed to killing clock. I feel like you think you and I are arguing–I’m not. Could they get a few snaps? Probably. Why don’t they? Ask Kelly, and you’ll get a nothing answer like “traits.” I don’t know. The question has come up as part of a larger comparison the last few days with teams like Clemson, who has freshman that clearly no one would keep off the field. In that context, we don’t have those players. The ones we do have, I guess we could give them a few snaps, but it also doesn’t feel like they’re doing anything great in practice that forces the coaches to put them in.

eyerish9299
eyerish9299

My senior year of FB I had just been moved from FB to Oline and on the first series of our first scrimmage our 2 year returning starter goes down. Coach asked me what plays I knew. At that point it was 2 plays. Guess what we ran the entire scrimmage?

Clay Cossé fka Mouth
Clay Cossé fka Mouth

I wouldn’t think it’s just “Kelly’s stubborn” or “Kelly’s too small timey/D2-ey.” Leaving aside an absolute freak of football like Justyn Ross, I wonder if the issue isn’t prioritizing playmaking over system knowledge, at least to an extent. I’m not saying you throw Dexter Williams out there as starter first day of his freshmen year. Of course the first time we ran a passing play, he’d have gotten the QB killed with his blocking or run some silly three stooges route. But maybe get him ready to run a small number of plays so you can force the ball to him to see what happens. Adams was so good as a freshmen, maybe this was a bad example. Though if they had given Dex more carries in 2017, maybe Adams doesn’t physically fall apart down the stretch. It would seem like we could have forced Austin the ball a little more. Lenzy, maybe he was just too small and weak.

KG
KG

The only answer I can come up with is perhaps his experience in DII, where you don’t get super stars and have to develop over the course of a career, conditioned him to assume freshmen couldn’t play. But I find that hard to believe, given that he should be able to see what other programs do. So I don’t know.

Clearwall
Clearwall

It’s probably much easier to get UC early playing time and more often when you’re winning games 77-10 and 56-20 than when you’re squeaking out 3-pt wins against Pitt and Ball freaking State. If this university would ever get out of the 1920’s mode of “we have to be upstanding good sports and never embarrass an opponent” and actually stomp on the throat and grind the carcass into the turf like just about every other major program does, we could get these guys some low-impact playing time for an entire 4th quarter.

kiwifan
kiwifan

Maybe the upperclassmen have just been better? I doubt he would have sat Ross, Jeudy, or Lawrence
If he got one. Saban sat Tua til the last half of last year’s NC game his frosh year, but then again he had Jalen Hurts, who was SEC player of the year.

Sigh. Nice position to be in, either way

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

To be fair, Dex didn’t get carries early but that seemed more off-field baggage and the fact Josh Adams as a true freshman was the #1 guy. So we can’t point to that as “Kelly won’t play young skill guys” when he actually did play the young skill guy in Adams who was more reliable and got solid results.

I do totally agree overall with the general theory/consensus that they do need to open up the offense more for first and second year skill players to contribute more. But it’s also an equation that’s going to require the player be physically and mentally ready to go. Probably a world of difference that we’re not acknowledging from ND players like a 170 pound Lenzy and the Clemson 5* kids….

Which of course is the cyclical argument back to needing to recruit more explosive and better athletes which probably has varying degrees of realism for actually being able to change/improve results there given the usual geographic/academic fits for school and elite athlete alike.

Clay Cossé fka Mouth
Clay Cossé fka Mouth

all good points

Clay Cossé fka Mouth
Clay Cossé fka Mouth

but on the other hand see murtaugh’s numbers. young skill player production has been like non-existent.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

Yeah, it’s not a pretty picture. I do think there could be some explainers, in Ross’s case he caught 46 passes of Clemson’s total 502 attempts this season. That’s 9.1%. Stepherson in 2016 catching 25 passes of 387 total team passing attempts at 6.4% isn’t totally out of the ball-park. But it sure is more jarring to see 46 receptions for one guy and 25 for another. (Granted though, Stepherson is the best case by far and the norm is to use a lot less).

Kelly certainly could play young players more, there’s no doubt about that. But he also needs to find a way to attract freshmen capable of contributing too.

kiwifan
kiwifan

Interesting point, but stepherson was no Ross.

Irishchamp23
Irishchamp23

“The off-season buzzword is “speed” and you’re going to hear a lot about it. As the president of the Nothing is More Important than Speed Irish Fan Club I’m on board. However, it’s only early January and we’re already way, way too overboard with getting speed on the field being a magical cure-all for the offense. Let’s slow that roll.”

I agree with this. One thing people over look is that it is not JUST speed. Those Clemson receives weren’t JUST fast. They were good receivers (route running, catching) and they were big too. So the conclusion is while speed may be necessary it is not sufficient – it’s not the only thing you need in a WR. So there may be good reason why faster receives for us don’t get on the field – though of course we need to hope our best receivers turn out to be the fastest guys – like Austin now with Boykin gone.

QB
Jurkovec still obviously has a shot to be a good player. But looking back through the past 10 years of top QB rankings I barely recognized most of the names. The point? It seems like QB is one of those positions that is hard to project. Some are all-world like Lawrence. But there just aren’t that many QBs who are first round pick, win you games, carry your team type guys out there. And when they do happen they aren’t always highly recruited to begin with. If you look at the last few years of 1st rounders: http://www.nfl.com/draft/history/fulldraft?type=position the only top recruits are Rosen, Watson, and Winston. And the other guys around them in the recruiting class don’t necessarily turn in to solid starters, they often turn into nothing. It’s just a tough position to play at a really high level. This link goes back further than I had check to 2002 I believe: https://247sports.com/Season/2020-Football/AllTimeRecruitRankings/?InstitutionGroup=HighSchool&PositionGroup=QB But check out the top 100 QBs.

Which is to say we should appreciate what Book can do in being really efficient accurate type passer. If we can give him some better weapons and the offense could become more explosive (Austin could be the key to the season in that way), then we could go from a really good offense to an elite one (I’m not saying it WILL happen because I don’t think there are a lot of weapons to pick from that could increase the explosiveness of the offense).

Clearwall
Clearwall

I think this is why Kevin Austin isn’t more of a threat and why he wasnt utilized. Same thing with GAIII back in the day. Guys were/are blazing fast runners but they’re not the greatest football players with that speed.

eyerish9299
eyerish9299

I think the 247 link hurts your argument. The top 10 in the 247 recruiting won a SHIT ton of football games in college and others like Clausen could have won more with better support. We’re talking about college. I’m not worried about how they project or perform in the NFL. A REALLY good college QB doesn’t need to be a 1st round pick. AJ Mccarron won a lot of games, put up good college numbers and was only the 7th ranked PRO passer in that class.

Irishchamp23
Irishchamp23

Haha but that’s the top 10 in the past like 20 years. That’s why I said look at the top 100 in the past 20 years. So sure when the QB is the #1 overall recruit and is a .9988 or better then it works out frequently. But if it’s less than .9999 then it’s a crapshoot. Actually after double-checking, EVEN THEN in the top 10 ever it’s only 60/40 or 50/50.

“We’re talking about college. I’m not worried about how they project or perform in the NFL.”

It’s true a good college QB may not be good in the NFL. So the first round pick measure is not perfect but it is often indicative of a QB that can carry a team. So it’s true that a lot of solid QBs are not initially highly recruited but the point is that there are not a lot of studs that carry teams even among the highly recruited. McCarron was not the guy who carried those teams.

Another key point is that since there are so few highly recruited studs that carry teams we shouldn’t be so quick to move on from a really solid QB in Book.

Nevertheless, why has Clemson been so good? They have had two QBs that can carry teams (Watson, and Lawrence). And those don’t grow on trees – no matter how highly recruited.

KG
KG

On the other hand: Josh Allen. NFL scouts will often ignore college production because ooh sexy arm or whatever. I’m not trying to invalidate your point, I generally agree. But who the NFL likes is not a perfect measure by any means.

Orlok
Orlok

I think we’re seeing a shift to high rankings being more predictive. Check out this:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.footballstudyhall.com/platform/amp/2018/11/9/18078930/why-the-sad-history-of-blue-chip-qb-rankings-is-changing-tua-tagovailoa-spread-offense

So basically, I would claim the recent trend is a bit different and we shouldn’t consider data from ten years ago or even more than five years ago.

To the top 100 point: at the most important position in the game, do we really think performance is negatively correlated with ranking? If not – and I would say not – then we want someone higher ranked.

I’m all for better weapons but even with our above average WRs we’d have at least six more touchdowns if book were better at the deep ball. Book is a great QB but you can see he’s not a Tua, Murray, or Lawrence.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

Not sure why this got downvoted: it makes sense that rankings are getting more predictive. There are more national events with more opportunity for the top guys to directly go against each other in front of professional evaluators who get more experience with each year. It makes me nervous for our guys who tumble down rankings (Derrick Allen, Ajavon, Jurkovec to a lesser degree) – but also can be cause for excitement for guys who quickly climb up when they get more national opportunities (Kyle Hamilton).

If that got downvoted because he said that Book is not Tua, Murray, or Lawrence, well… I mean, he’s not in that tier of quarterback, or the next tier really. That’s not really even debatable, so I don’t know what to say about that.

tlndma
tlndma

I thought I’ve read that one of the Pro Football draft sites had Lawrence #1 future NFL prospect and Book #11 in all of CFB . So maybe in the next tier anyways?

eyerish9299
eyerish9299

To me, Lawrence was obviously in his own tier this year. Greatest freshman season ever. Then you have Tua, Herbert and Haskins, then all the rest in a third tier.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

Right. I would consider Book right now somewhere in the 8-20 range of college QBs (I’d say maybe closer to 15 than 8, but somewhere in there), and his ceiling is probably just missing the top 5. That is, if he stayed through 2020, I would not expect him to be one of the 5 best QBs that year, but he could be close. That’s not a QB you discard lightly, unless you have a Lawrence type.

KG
KG

Mrs. Book downvoted it because her son should win the Heisman, of course.

eyerish9299
eyerish9299

Don’t undersell Clemson. They have had ELITE defenses for 3 years, plenty of productive skill players and yes, elite QBs. Do you think Clemson could have beaten Bama this year with Book at QB? I sure do. In college (and the NFL for that matter) you’re not going to regularly win the big games when your asking your QB to carry your team. The QB needs weapons, and typically you need some semblance of a D. Very few teams can have studs at QB and at the skill positions. You need an extreme at one or the other, or an extremely well rounded team.
Your’re saying that they don’t make You’re saying that there are so few highly ranked QBs and because of that we shouldn’t move on from Book, but right behind Book is…… an extremely highly ranked QB.

MrTgon
MrTgon

It definitely takes well-rounded teams to win. But I think your question about whether Clemson could win with Book is a bit misleading. Clemson wouldn’t be the same team with Book. Said another way, Clemson has the players it has in part BECAUSE they don’t have Book as their starter.

And I like Book a lot, so this is not a knock on him, but would Clemson have the elite skill position weapons it’s amassed over the years if their QB recruiting/starters went Rees/Golson, Kizer/Zaire, Wimbush/Book instead of Watson, Bryant/Lawrence? That’s TWO QB’s in the top 20 overall of their respective recruiting classes according to ESPN 300 since 2014 (and Lawrence was the 2nd overall).

In that same time, ND hasn’t landed a single body in that top 20, let alone two QBs. Also in that time, Clemson has signed at least one and most years 2 recruits in the top 20 and in like 2 or 3 of those years they nabbed the 21st recruit too.

I’m not saying ND has dropped the ball recruiting – I think the comments on this site show that it’s more complicated than just “get more 5* kids!” But elite recruits seem to beget elite recruits , and maybe more specifically (and more to the point) elite QB recruits/players really seem to beget more elite skill position players.

eyerish9299
eyerish9299

I agree with what you’re saying in reference to recruiting, but unless I’m misunderstanding IrishChamp23’s arguement, he isn’t saying that those QBs helped recruit better players, he is saying that they are so good because those 2 QBs were able to carry the team. THAT is what I’m disagreeing with. Clemson was loaded this year and probably could have won or come close without the greatest freshman qb ever. Winning the big games ALWAYS helps recruiting.

MrTgon
MrTgon

Ahhh gotcha. I hadn’t bothered to trace your comment back to IrishChamp’s, so that’s my mistake there.

Clearwall
Clearwall

I dont want Jurk to unseat Book, I want Book to improve to a level where he’s a legit threat. He was really effective this year and definitely drove our bus well, but we need someone to take that next step. I think he can do it because if his great mobility and decision-making. Just need to figure out how to hit more deep balls with regularity. I dont need him to be Trevor Lawrence, but getting close to Deshone Kizer would be nice

KG
KG

Jurk scares me. I have nothing to base that feeling on but the preseason assessments that he has a weird throwing motion and the natural pessimism of a life-long ND fan. It’s unfair and irrational, but I’m already assuming he’s a bust and hoping the next kid down the line (not the one this year, the one who is next year) will come in and win the job.

tlndma
tlndma

It’s going to come down to Jurkovec improving his accuracy. The guys at II have said, he’s has some pluses but, he has nowhere close to Book’s accuracy. Until he does, it’s Book’s job.

eyerish9299
eyerish9299

That seems silly to me. I want the best qb to be on the field. I wouldn’t care if Jurk to beat out Book because it would mean that Jurk could do basically everything Book can do and more!

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

Yeah, I agree. I’d say there’s a chance Jurkovec could be the Trevor Lawrence to Book’s Kelly Bryant, based on arm strength and the vertical passing game. Even though my concerns might be over-blown about Book throwing down field (would make good off-season article fodder, cough cough) but that physically could be where playing Jurkovec is advantageous.

As mentioned though, Book is so efficient and so accurate and so automatic on short/intermediate passes that it will be tough for him to lose his job. But ideally I want to see Book progress, read defenses better (especially picking up on DL/LB dropping into coverage), make more throws. I don’t see Book as totally cemented in the job, though obviously he’s deserved QB1 through off-season and for opening day.

eyerish9299
eyerish9299

I think the problem (and this is just my opinion) is that the better Ds can limit and take advantage of Book no matter how efficient or automatic he was, particularly if the run game is going. Even if we give up some accuracy and efficiency but gain the threat to regularly stretch the field, I think that is a HUGE advantage.

spider-man
spider-man

I hope that spring practice consists of loading the box with defenders so that Book repeatedly has to practice throwing deep passes. He needs to address this hole in his game or he’s going to see a lot of teams stuffing the run game and daring him to throw it deep.

hooks orpik
hooks orpik

I buy that as well. Also, not sure if rib related or not but after his return the last 3 games Book played he was a 56% passer, 4 TD, 3 INT. So with that lasting recency effect in mind I have to remember to remind myself how flawless he was vs Stanford and some of his earlier games to be a 68% passer on the year

ND-Atl

Eric-
Is there any talk of any of the surplus offensive linemen being Tilly Jelleried into the defensive interior?

juicebox
juicebox

It is pretty rare to move from OL to DL. Generally one starts at DL, then moves to OL if they aren’t athletic enough. OL is the last stop before the bus stop.

Tillery started at DL, rather than got moved there because OL wasn’t working out for him. His DL tape in HS was phenomenal, it was clear from the beginning he could be an excellent DL.

Brendan R

Not Eric, but no, I don’t think so. Tillery is an unusual athlete who had advanced DL technique as a HS prospect – like juicebox says, he was recruited for the DL. I don’t think any of the OL from last year profile as potential DL.

Hell, they’re moving the other way anyway – DT Darnell Ewell moved to OG last year. Doesn’t seem like the staff is concerned about shoring up depth on the defensive interior, and I don’t think they have to be. I would expect even incoming freshman Jacob Lacey to be ahead of anyone they might move over, and he’s probably a fringe rotation player at best in 2019.

nd09hls12
nd09hls12

Kinda seems that from a roster management perspective it would probably be a good thing if one of those RBs left during the spring, no? Particularly if it was a result of Kyren Williams passing them on the depth chart.

Realistically, given the roster numbers situation, probably will be wanting (from a football perspective only) one of those WRs to depart as well.