Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 26, 2016

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

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Page 6 of 55 SEPT. 26, 2016 7 UNDER THE DOME water. Eventually, Crawford had to re‑ place Coleman while Love slid into Crawford's nickel spot. With Crawford out, Coleman is going to be the starting left corner, and the opposition has seen what Notre Dame's game tape against Texas revealed, although he made sig‑ nificant strides versus Nevada. "They're going to keep going at Nick Coleman," Kelly said. "We're quite aware of that situation, but I think Nick has showed himself that he's up to the task, and he's going to continue to work to get better at it. "When you lose a player like Craw‑ ford, the guy that comes in, they're go‑ ing to pick on him. But I like the fact that Nick has made the kind of cor‑ rections necessary to go out there and compete for the football. "Nick played a much better game versus Nevada. He used his technique, he was much more disciplined, and he made some really good plays on the ball. The one that he stumbled on he was in position. He's got the athletic ability to do it. I think he gained some confidence, and he's going to need to continue to do that." Luke is the rock of the secondary, and he will likely be playing in the NFL next year. At safety, Studstill gave Red‑ field a serious challenge for the starting spot this spring before getting slowed by a hamstring problem in August. Tranquill has had success in the past, but staying healthy is key. "We still have to tackle a little bit bet‑ ter," Kelly said of the safeties after the second game. "We were much better playing the ball in the air — that's an‑ other facet of good safety play." Amid all the concerns in the second‑ ary, Notre Dame went with a more ba‑ sic defensive package against the Wolf Pack. Protecting the green secondary is essential — as it was during the 12‑0 regular season in 2012 — with the Irish preparing to face stronger offenses later this year. "This is still about stopping the run on early downs," Kelly said. "It's go‑ ing to still come back to basic tenets of defense: tackling, being really solid against the run and keeping the ball in front of you and playing the ball in the air. "If we get those four things down and we make good progress on it, that's what we're really looking to do." ✦ Holy Cross Village is a continuing care retirement community, sponsored by the Brothers of Holy Cross, with a tradition of caring, compassion and trust. Holy Cross Village welcomes people of all faiths. 54515 State Rd., 933 North, Notre Dame, IN 46556 ... AND ENJOY THE GAME OF LIFE AT HOLY CROSS VILLAGE I magine making new friends and developing new talents, where everything you need to enjoy the game of life is right outside your front door. Nestled among three institutions of higher learning, Holy Cross Village at Notre Dame is a senior living community unlike anything else around. Our warm and inviting community offers: Independent Living Homes and Apartments Assisted Living Apartments Skilled Nursing Memory Care Rehabilitation Services Call (574) 251-2235 today for more information and to schedule a tour. LIMITED DEPTH There is a reason why Notre Dame signed seven defensive backs this past February. It was to compensate for the shortages and at‑ trition on the back end in the three seasons from 2013‑15. • The lone safety recruit from 2013, Max Redfield, has been removed from the pro‑ gram. So were the two corner recruits, Devin Butler (suspended) and Rashad Kinlaw, who transferred to ASA College in Brooklyn after he also was suspended for disciplinary rea‑ sons in the spring of 2014. • Notre Dame signed only one safety (Drue Tranquill) and one corner (Nick Watkins) in 2014. • In 2015, one safety recruit, Mykelti Wil‑ liams, was dismissed from the program this spring and is now at Iowa Western Commu‑ nity College. Another safety, 5‑8¼ Nicco Fer‑ titta, is considered a special teams demon first. The Irish did sign a trio of corners in Shaun Crawford (injured), Nick Coleman and Ashton White. This past cycle Notre Dame signed four safeties — Jalen Elliot, D.J. Morgan, Spencer Perry and Devin Studstill — and three corners — Julian Love, Troy Pride and Donte Vaughn. — Lou Somogyi

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