Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Practice: First Report

While many of you, my loyal readers, have watched the too-brief spring praactice video on, here's what little I could garner from my first taste of Notre Dame football in far too long:

David Bruton is an All-American. I know, it's a bit premature to say such things after watching a couple of agility drills on a grainy practice video. But between the coaches talking about him, what I saw from him last season, the reports on his offseason conditioning, and my own two eyes, there is much to get excited about. Remember, even a 3-9 season produced the man-beast that is Trevor Laws. All signs point to Bruton having the biggest breakout season next year. His fluidity and speed in the agility drills was impressive.

Darrin Walls is fast. Okay, so we already knew that, but it's another thing entirely to see him smoking the other talented and speedy players in the defensive secondary drills. Gary Gray looks to be a close second in terms of pure speed. Both were also very fluid in their footwork.

James Aldridge looks like the James Aldridge we all expected him to be. He is ripped, and actually looks to have picked up some speed in the offseason. On the drills, he looked to have similar acceleration (not speed - acceleration...) as Armando Allen.

Jimmy Clausen is starting to look like a QB. Last year, Clausen had great mechanics, but always looked like the scrawny kid trying to play with his big brothers on the field. Now, he looks to be stronger and (hopefully) more durable.

All of the linemen have bulked up. Last year, when I watched the O-line practices, Sam Young and Chris Stewart stood out like sore thumbs because of their sheer size. I had to look at numbers to place everyone on the line in this video. And that's impressive for the other guys on the line, considering that Sam put on nearly 40 pounds.
Consider these differences in weights since last year's Blue-Gold game:

Name2007 Blue Gold Weight2008 Pre-Spring WeightGain
Dan Wenger282 lbs.300 lbs.+ 18 lbs.
Thoma Bemenderfer285 lbs.300 lbs.+ 15 lbs.
Paul Duncan291 lbs.308 lbs.+ 17 lbs.
Sam Young315 lbs.330 lbs.+ 15 lbs.

Only Eric Olsen and Mike Turkovich had minimal weight gains (3 and 2 pounds, respectively).

The wide receivers have good hands. That's about all I could get from the drill they were running in the video. Hopefully there is something more substantial to look at in the future.

That's all for Practice 1.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd guess that Olson and Turk's minimal weight gains were by design. Given that they're the two probable starting guards. Probably a good indication that the coaching staff is planning on doing a lot of guard pulling this upcoming season.