Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 25, 2017

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

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8 SEPT. 25, 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED UNDER THE DOME Ryan Humphrey was one of two coaches, along with Ryan Ayers, added to Mike Brey's staff in the summer of 2016. Humphrey trans- ferred to Notre Dame from Oklahoma for his final two seasons of eligibility after sitting out the 1999-2000 campaign. He made quite the impact in two seasons, averaging 16.6 points and 10.0 rebounds while blocking 166 shots (which ranks third in school history). He was a first-round selection in the 2002 NBA Draft and played several professional seasons in the NBA and overseas. BGI: What was the biggest thing you learned in year one as a coach at Notre Dame? Humphrey: "I'd say that it's certainly a differ- ence from playing at Notre Dame to being on this different side as a coach. It's about learn- ing what Coach Brey's expectation is and how he likes to do different things. Just learning the Notre Dame way as far as being a coach. "Coach Brey has done an excellent job build- ing the culture and having the guys be leaders. Coach loves high-IQ and very skilled guys. It's an adjustment, but I'm having a ball because we're all family, and everyone gets along. Coach Brey is a great coach to work for." BGI: How do you think your professional ca- reer helped you prepare to be a coach? Humphrey: "It 's taught me that there are different ways to do different things. As long as you have the same end goal, there's different ways to do things. "From there, it 's allowed me to adjust on the fly." BGI: You have different types of big men on the roster — how does this impact the way you try to teach your guys? Humphrey: "What I try to do is break it up. You make a great point that everyone has a different skill set. I try to make sure that each guy works on his game. I don't try to make it a cookie cutter way where everyone is going to do the same thing. "We're going to start off in the post, and then some guys can gravitate and migrate around the perimeter. For the most part, I try to teach the proper footwork and from there work on shots they'll actually shoot in the game." BGI: What's it like being able to teach some- one like Bonzie Colson, who is unique in his own ways? Humphrey: "Bonzie is special. He's just a basketball player. That's the best way I can de- scribe him. He finds a way. That's the attribute some call the 'it' factor. "Bonzie has that 'it' factor. It doesn't matter who is on the other side of him because he'll find a way. He gets after it, plays hard and makes things happen." BGI: What type of big man do you search for in recruiting? Humphrey: "With how our team is made up, we love to have high-IQ , high-skilled guys. "We look for guys that can dribble, pass and shoot. … It's tough [for opponents] when you have five guys on the floor that can do all those things." — Corey Bodden Five Questions With … MEN'S BASKETBALL ASSISTANT COACH RYAN HUMPHREY DB Houston Griffith Should Be A Priority By Corey Bodden After not landing a single commitment at cornerback in the 2017 class — de- spite having two four-star prospects verbally pledged at one point — that posi- tion became the most discussed area of need heading into the current cycle. The Irish can't afford to strike out again in 2018. Depth concerns would be- come a major issue for position coach Todd Lyght's group with just five scholar- ship players on the current roster. That makes a player like Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy defensive back Houston Griffith, who visited for the Georgia game Sept. 9, a top prior- ity for the staff to land. Rivals rates Griffith as a four-star talent, and the No. 6 safety and No. 47 overall player nationally. The Irish also hosted Detroit Cass Tech corner- back Kalon Gervin and Anaheim (Calif.) Servite safety Julius Irvin for the game against the Bull- dogs, and both would also be great additions to the Notre Dame class. Gervin, in particular, will be back in South Bend Oct. 21 when the Irish take on USC. However, the 6-1, 192-pound Griffith has the versatility to play both corner- back and safety, which makes him the most important option out of that trio. He would provide the Irish a potential instant impact defensive back and fill a need regardless of which position he plays. Landing A Big-Play WR Like Chase Cota Is Vital By Bryan Driskell There is no doubt that Notre Dame needs to keep adding to its secondary in the 2018 haul. Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter safety Derrik Allen is a great start, but the Irish must add more cornerbacks and at least one more safety to the class. However, they have more defensive backs coming in for official visits down the road, so there will be plenty of chances to continue adding to the secondary class. A big-play wide receiver, however, is still a huge need in the 2018 class. If the Irish are going to finish off their receiving corps with a big-time talent, they must land Medford (Ore.) South Medford's Chase Cota. The Oregon native is an elite athlete and ranks as one of the best receivers in an incredibly deep receiver class. He checked in at 6-3½ and 195 pounds at the Nike Football The Opening Regional in Los Angeles this spring, and at that event he posted an impressive 4.53 in the 40- yard dash, a 4.13 in the pro shuttle and a 36.5 inch vertical leap. Cota is a dynamic playmaker that would give the Irish a truly special three- man receiving class, along with current Notre Dame commits Kevin Austin of Coconut Creek (Fla.) North Broward and Micah Jones of Gurnee (Ill.) Warren Township. Point ✦ Counterpoint: WHAT VISITOR FOR THE GEORGIA GAME DO THE IRISH MOST NEED TO ADD TO THEIR 2018 CLASS? HOUSTON GRIFFITH CHASE COTA Humphrey joined Notre Dame's staff last sum- mer after spending the previous two seasons serving as the director of player development at Northwestern. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME MEDIA RELATIONS

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