Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2017 Issue

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

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Page 28 of 63 MAY 2017 29 The rushing averages of Notre Dame (163.3 to rank 80th) and Mem- phis (159.3 to rank 84th) weren't much different, but it's not always apples to apples in terms of strengths. Here were three other main themes from the spring: MATCHUP PROBLEMS Never has there been a taller/big- ger receiving corps at Notre Dame. By the end of spring, a first group often coming out included 6-5, 204-pound junior Equanimeous St. Brown; 6-4, 225-pound junior Miles Boykin; and 6-4, 224-pound sopho- more Chase Claypool — with 6-5½, 256-pound senior tight end Durham Smythe and 6-4¾, 245-pound junior tight end Alizé Mack also regularly lining up on the outside. Although there were only seven scholarship wideouts this spring, the use of multiple tight ends in the alignments — plus running backs slotted out at receiver — provided an ample amount of targets. Smaller receivers such as C.J. Sanders and Chris Finke also could be used on jet sweeps with their elusiveness. The listed depth chart is a "guess- timate" of the receiving positions because it would be wrong in this scheme to be pigeonholed as W, X and Z (slot). All have to be prepared to line up wherever, RUN-PASS OPTIONS The last two seasons, DeShone Kizer totaled 525 and 472 rushing yards for the Irish while tallying 18 touchdowns. Expect junior Brandon Wimbush to at least match the rush- ing yards with less designed running plays, but more improvisation off the run-pass option. "Do we want him to carry the ball 20 times? No," Kelly said. "I don't think we'll have a situation where we're calling quarterback power or singular runs. He's going to have op- tions, hand it off, throw the ball out on the perimeter. "You'll see more of that than you will prescribed quarterback runs." FILLING OUT THE LINE Similar to the strong 2015 offen- sive line when sophomores Quenton Nelson and Alex Bars battled for the one vacated spot (left guard), sopho- mores Tommy Kraemer and Liam Eichenberg are vying for the fifth spot, this time at right tackle. In limited media viewings, Krae- mer worked with the No. 1 unit every day, but playing in space versus pass pressure is a prime concern, espe- cially for a younger player. It was ex- posed some during the spring game. Junior Alex Bars started at right tackle last year before shifting inside to right guard this spring to make room for the two promising sopho- mores. The option to shift Bars back out to tackle and maybe Kraemer to guard might remain. "It takes a little time because they're both kind of big guys, par- ticularly Tommy," Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand said of the two sophomore tackles. "His body is a little out of whack, getting his body tied together to get on there, that's a process. He's steadily improving, but sometimes looks out of position. "Right now, he will be [at right tackle]. He's also played a lot of right guard, which wouldn't be a big ad- justment for him." ✦ OFFENSE Quarterback No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 7 Brandon Wimbush 6-2 226 Jr./3 12 Ian Book 6-0 205 So./4 4 M. VanGorder 6-1 217 Sr./2 Walk-on: Nolan Henry (17) Running Back No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 33 Josh Adams 6-2 220 Jr./2 34 Tony Jones Jr. 5-11 224 So./4 2 Dexter Williams 5-11 202 Jr./2 38 Deon McIntosh 5-11 190 So./4 15 C.J. Holmes 6-0 206 Fr./4 Walk-on: Brett Segobiano (40) Notes: Early enrollee Holmes suffered a right shoulder separation March 24 that required sur- gery. He had surgery on the same shoulder as a sophomore at Hamden (Conn.) Cheshire Acad- emy … McIntosh, who was recruited as a running back but worked at receiver, returned to the back- field after Holmes' injury. Wide Receiver No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 83 Chase Claypool 6-4 224 So./3 88 Javon McKinley 6-2 220 So./3 Wide Receiver No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 6 E. St. Brown 6-5 204 Jr./2 10 Chris Finke 5-9½ 177 Jr./3 29 Kevin Stepherson 6-0 180 So./3 Wide Receiver No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 81 Miles Boykin 6-4 225 Jr./3 3 C.J. Sanders 5-8 185 Jr./2 Walk-ons: Mick Assaf (24), Brian Ball (43), Keenan Centlivre (87), Grant Hammann (35), Arion Shinaver (85) and Austin Webster (26) Notes: A hamstring issue slowed Stepherson some, but he mostly took reps with the third unit despite finishing as the third-leading pass catcher last year … Labeled mainly as slot players, both Sanders and Finke were often aligned on the outside to better utilize their speed, while the physical Claypool often provided a strong blocking presence from the inside position. Tight End No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 80 Durham Smythe 6-5½ 256 5th-Sr./1 or 86 Alizé Mack 6-5 245 Jr./3 82 Nic Weishar 6-5 242 Sr./2 13 Tyler Luatua 6-3 260 Sr./1 89 Brock Wright 6-4½ 252 Fr./4 Note: The return of Mack — whom Kelly said was often "uncoverable" this spring — enhanced an already solid corps that is expected to be utilized much more. Part of it is the coordina- tor/play caller, Chip Long, also is the tight ends coach. Left Tackle No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 68 Mike McGlinchey 6-8 312 5th-Sr./1 72 Robert Hainsey 6-5 292 Fr./4 Left Guard No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 56 Quenton Nelson 6-5 329 Sr./2 70 Hunter Bivin 6-6 318 5th-Sr./1 69 Aaron Banks 6-6 310 Fr./4 Center No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 53 Sam Mustipher 6-2½ 305 Sr./2 66 Tristen Hoge 6-4½ 303 Jr./3 50 Parker Boudreaux 6-4 288 So./3 Right Guard No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 71 Alex Bars 6-6 320 Sr./2 57 Trevor Ruhland 6-4 303 Jr./3 Right Tackle No. Player Ht. Wt. Cl./Elig. 78 Tommy Kraemer 6-6 313 So./4 74 Liam Eichenberg 6-6 294 So./4 67 Jimmy Byrne 6-4 294 Sr./2 Walk-ons: Sam Bush (63) at left tackle and Lo- gan Plantz (62) at right guard Notes: Ruhland was sidelined the final week with an injury, but rode the stationary bike in practice … Bivin was considered the top backup at left tackle and left guard, and also played right guard in place of Ruhland. BGI 2017 Spring Scholarship Depth Chart Updated heights and weights are from the Notre Dame media relations office. The number next to the class year represents years of eligibility remaining.

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