Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 15, 2014 Issue

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

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Page 28 of 107

BY ANDREW OWENS W ith a gaping hole among big men on the men's basketball squad, Irish head coach Mike Brey probably wishes Ronnie Stanley's time wasn't consumed by foot- ball. The 6-5, 315-pound junior left tackle averaged 12 points and eight rebounds per game during his senior year at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Ve- gas. Not bad for someone racking up prestigious scholarship offers for foot- ball. At a time when young athletes are increasingly specializing in one sport rather than playing a few, Stanley is an example of someone who has reaped the benefits from participating on multiple teams in high school. Stanley credits his basketball experience for helping him with lateral quickness and getting in front of defenders. "In basketball, playing defense on somebody [is like playing offensive line]," he said. "That definitely translates to playing tackle and having somebody in front of you. Now you get to use your hands more, which is a plus for me be- cause I fouled out of a lot of games." Now Stanley can use his hands all he wants, assuming he's not tugging at an opponent's jersey. It's his footwork, how- ever, that has carried over the most from basketball. "Knowing that footwork was a big key to playing offensive line [was a big reason for playing basketball]," he said. "At this level of football you need good athleticism to play on the edge. Coming in I knew I'd be all right because athleti- cally I knew I was good enough to move with my feet and stay with people." It's even more important that Stanley stays with his defender now that he's moved to the left side of the offensive line to replace Zack Martin, who set a Notre Dame record with 52 consecutive starts before graduating the same month he was selected in the NFL Draft's first round. "It was hard at the beginning getting all the right footwork and seeing all the right targets, but now that I've gotten used to it I don't see much of a problem," FINDING HIS FOOTING Ronnie Stanley has switched sides on the offensive line, but his basketball roots help him stay grounded

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