Blue and Gold Illustrated

December 2023

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM DECEMBER 2023 5 FAN FORUM RECRUIT, DEVELOP AND PLAY THEM Sam Hartman is a very good quar- terback. The Irish were blessed to have him. However, the Irish could still be 7-3 had Steve Angeli been their starter for the 2023 season. The Irish would then have a seasoned starter to begin the 2024 season. And more than likely a very good quarterback. If Marcus Freeman brings in another transfer QB for 2024, it will probably be "goodbye" for Angeli and perhaps even another one of the recruits that are on the team. Forget the transfer portal for your quarterback. Recruit, develop and play them. If they are not good enough, to be a starter, then why recruit them in the first place? It would be great to have a No. 1 QB for at least two, if not three, years. Let us hope that the Irish get back to being an elite program. GO IRISH! Ron Rabensteine Colfax, Ind. NO LONGER A BELIEVER Our new coach has made too many errors in critical games to keep ND faithfuls still believing in him. Jim DeGerome Boynton Beach, Fla. TO BE FRANK The sophomore Penn halfback who — in his first varsity appearance! — scored on the opening kickoff at Franklin Field in Philadelphia was Frank Riepl — NOT "Riepe." Parenthetically, Frank was "ad- vised" he would be taking the kickoff just seconds before actual game time!! Kevin J. Collins Venice, Fla. During Notre Dame's 45-7 victory over Wake Forest Nov. 18, the team's young pass catchers excelled. That led Fighting Irish fans to dream about what the future holds for that group. Here's a snippet from the conversation that took place on our message board at IrishLutheran: ND got 22 receptions and 301 yards and 4 TDs from three true freshmen and three sophomores without a lot of experience. [Freshmen wide receivers Jaden] Greathouse, [Rico] Flores Jr., [Jordan] Faison looked great, [sophomore wide receiver Tobias] Merriweather and [sophomore tight end Eli] Raridon looked pretty good as well. If [junior tight end Mitchell] Evans and [senior wide receiver Jayden] Thomas come back healthy, with another year from [senior wide receiver Chris] Tyree, and then add five-star freshman [wide receiver] Cam Williams, ND's pass-catching future looks bright. Add in a pass or two to [freshman running back Jeremiyah] Love and [sophomore running back Jadarian] Price, and we are rolling. Don't forget [freshman wide receiver Braylon] James, who some believe has the most star potential in this year's WR group. IANDFAN: Raridon looked really good! Domerdad: Who knows about Williams and James, but other than them you basically would have five slot receivers and a respectable but not elite TE group. The odds of WR help from the portal are probably pretty slim. Hate to be a downer but it's hard to imagine any WR group that could rescue a [offensive coordinator Gerad] Parker-led offense. Irishcef3: Also, we have not seen [freshman wide receiver] KK Smith play yet since he redshirted. ND still needs another true X who is experienced via the portal. When healthy, the freshman core of Greathouse, Flores and Faison is going to be fantastic. Add Cam Williams to those three and ND has something. To be fair, injuries just killed Jayden Thomas' season, so I still like his potential. Merriweather is still the X-factor, and if he becomes a consistent playmaker as an X it changes ND's offense. Kcndmis97: We need a true boundary WR from the portal. Also, I'm think- ing Jayden Thomas might be best served to gain another 10 pounds and be an H-back. His best position is the slot but that's where Flores and Greathouse need to be. JT has been known to be a good blocker and can do damage in the middle of the field. We are loaded at TE, so why not a Davis Sherwood role? army72: Really like your perspective. As for the boundary WR, I hope [junior Deion] Colzie is coming back. There is a ton of potential but it matures in '25 in my mind. '24 may be another year where our top receiver will be from the TE room. But there is hope. Tobias needs to add strength and he does concern me with the number of passes he catches with his body. Tyree should come back just for the speed but we have a lot of slot receivers if he doesn't. Right now, I don't see a No. 1 WR until Cam or the kid from NC shows up but we have more speed coming if we can hang onto James. KK Smith is a wild card until we see him, and Faison is my [Julian] Edelman (New England Patriots) comp. Slevmania: They need to learn how to get separation against elite teams. Big offseason for those young men and our coaching staff on that side of the ball. Gotta figure out how to do it against secondaries with a pulse. Steeplechaser2: I'm feeling really good about the future at WR, but it does concern me that we've had to look to PWOs to fill the job. Transfer portal for WR 1????? FROM THE WEBSITE .com .com Sophomore quarterback Steve Angeli has per- formed well enough this season — completing 19 of 24 passes for 272 yards with 4 touchdowns — to be considered for the starting job in 2024. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Letters Blue & Gold Illustrated P.O. Box 2331, Durham NC 27702 or e-mail to: JOIN THE CONVERSATION AT BLUEANDGOLD.COM! GET YOUR FIRST MONTH FOR JUST $1 Offer for new members only; renews at $9.99/ month. Annual option available for $109.99/yr.

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