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Part of Notre Dame's pitch for senior DL Sheldon Day to return was to help improve his explosiveness.

"They also likely included stats and big plays that come with that ability, something Day’s still working to achieve," writes Keith Arnold. Many have been connecting potential with Day since his freshman season, but we think he is who he is. That isn't a negative, but don't expect Day to transform into a force along the defensive line.
Source: NBC Sports
Jul 7 - 10:40 AM

Notre Dame senior C Nick Martin is a "rock-solid, reliable player," writes NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein.

You would expect nothing less of the brother of Dallas Cowboys guard Zack Martin. "Solid technician with a good feel for the interior line position," Zierlein wrote. "Has played guard and tackle and, despite being a little undersized at guard, more than held his own against bigger talent. Has the quickness to get to difficult cross-face blocks as a center and plays with excellent hand placement and arm extension. He doesn't generate very much push in the running game and has to play with consistent footwork and technique."
Source: NFL.com
Jun 30 - 12:05 AM

Per Sports on Earth's Matt Brown, Notre Dame redshirt junior DB KeiVarae Russell "was projected to be one of the top cornerbacks in the country last year, and now he'll try to reclaim the hype as he rejoins the team in the second year under aggressive defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder."

The scribe grades Russell as the No. 9 CB in the country. "Russell returns to campus after an academic violation cost him a season -- just like Everett Golson," Brown wrote. "VanGorder should be much more successful in creating pressure this year with a healthier, deeper defense, and Russell's quickness and physicality should allow him to thrive, even after a year away." The 5-foot-11, 190-pound defensive back, who has 26 career starts, has 109 career tackles and three interceptions. Don't be surprised if he flies up boards now that he's resurfaced on the college football landscape.
Jun 29 - 11:23 PM

Notre Dame redshirt sophomore RB Greg Bryant has been suspended for four games for a violation of team rules, according to Tom Loy.

You guessed it, the suspension is for a "violation of team rules." Bryant rushed for 289 yards and three touchdowns last season. Notre Dame has one of the top ball carriers in the country in Tarean Folston, but Braynt was the backup option. The Fighting Irish open with Texas, then play Virginia, Georgia Tech and UMass.
Source: 247 Sports
Jun 29 - 10:03 AM

Notre Dame junior S Max Redfield "has a chance to become a steady performer and possibly a star," posits Sports on Earth's Matt Brown.

"[Redfield is] on the verge of stardom for a team on the rise entering 2015," Brown wrote. "Last year, he finished second on the team with 68 tackles, but he was inconsistent in coverage and even got benched for a couple games in the middle of the season." The analyst ranks Redfield as the No. 20 safety in the nation. A five-star recruit in the class of 2013, Redfield had 14 tackles in the bowl game against LSU, hopefully portending a big upcoming season.
Jun 28 - 10:11 PM

Notre Dame redshirt junior T Ronnie Stanley "doesn't always bring his feet up under him as a run blocker, which causes him to fall off of some blocks," notes NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein.

"Stanley has the frame NFL offensive line coaches are looking for," Zierlein wrote. "With his durable, thickly built lower body, he can drop anchor and handle up against power rushers. Few tackles are as quick off the snap and into their opponents as Stanley." Zierlein ranks Stanley as the No. 2 offensive lineman in the nation, behind Laremy Tunsil (we have Stanley No. 1). "His ability to roll his hips and generate leverage is critical in the run game," Zierlein wrote. "Stanley has only given up one sack over his last two seasons as a starter thanks in part to a well-timed punch."
Source: NFL.com
Jun 28 - 6:31 PM

Notre Dame junior LB Jaylon Smith reminds NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah of Patrick Willis.

"Just in terms of sheer explosiveness," Jeremiah told Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman, citing Smith's obvious speed in the school's game against FSU. We have talked up Smith and offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley on every possible occasion. Notre Dame has a very talented roster heading into the season.
Source: Fox Sports
Jun 25 - 11:04 AM

Notre Dame junior LB Jaylon Smith "is a rangy, explosive linebacker with instincts in coverage, making him a valuable, versatile weapon for defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder," observes Sports on Earth's Matt Brown.

VanGorder runs an aggressive scheme, making Smith a tailor-made fit. Brown ranks him as the fifth-best LB in the land. "Smith didn't get enough credit for a standout sophomore season thanks to the chaos around him on a lackluster Notre Dame defense," Brown wrote. "That will change this year. Notre Dame is loaded with experienced talent, and Smith may be the best player on a playoff contender." The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Smith was a Bednarik Award Semifinalist in 2014. He led the Irish with 112 tackles and chipped in 9 TFL, 3.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble.
Jun 21 - 3:58 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter writes that Notre Dame senior C Nick Martin "brings versatility along with the family toughness, as he moves between center and guard without an issue."

Martin, Zack's brother, played at guard last season but has shifted inside to center. Of course, seamless position changes run in the family. "Teams envying the Cowboys' prodigious but athletic front line should consider picking up this Golden Domer," Reuter wrote. Martin and Ronnie Stanley help give Notre Dame one of the most imposing offensive lines in the country.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 18 - 10:00 PM

Notre Dame senior DL Sheldon Day "might have limited suitors in the NFL," notes NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter, "but he could be an excellent pass rusher in a one-gap scheme."

"Increasing his production while adding weight during his senior year (without losing the explosiveness) could lead more teams to warm up to his potential," Reuter wrote. Day, a smart player with a motor, had only 7.5 tackles for loss and one sack in 2014 while suffering from a knee injury. The 6-foot-2, 285-pounder will have to be much better this year.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 18 - 5:36 PM

Notre Dame redshirt junior T Ronnie Stanley "likely [would have] been a top-20 pick" had he entered May's draft, writes Sports on Earth's Matt Brown.

True story. In fact, we had him rated as the top offensive lineman in the 2015 class (right up until he decided he didn't want to be a part of it). Stanley hasn't missed a start over the past two years, spending one year at RT before shifting to LT. Long term, he projects as a top-flight NFL left tackle. "With prototypical size, Stanley moves well, staying balanced with enough lateral quickness to keep faster pass rushers in front of him," Brown wrote. "He allowed just one sack last year, and he's also physical in the run game. The Irish are loaded with talent entering the 2015 season, and Stanley is the best player on the roster." The analyst ranks him as the top OL in college football.
Jun 15 - 9:28 PM

NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah called Notre Dame junior LB Jaylon Smith's game against Stanford "a teaching tape."

We remember the contest and the linebacker showed high level skill in every phase of linebacker play. Smith is obviously athletic and can chase ball carriers from sideline to sideline and has great closing speed when moving forward. Many linebackers, even the best ones, struggle when facing lead blockers against the run. Smith even shows quality skill here, which is high praise against a running attack like Stanford.
Jun 15 - 11:10 AM

Sports on Earth's Matt Brown writes that Notre Dame junior WR William Fuller is "a terrific big-play threat with explosiveness after the catch."

"Last year, he emerged as the Fighting Irish's top target," Brown wrote. "While the offense will change with the more run-oriented Malik Zaire at quarterback, Zaire has a big arm and should mesh well with Fuller." Fuller, who hauled in 76 passes for 1,094 yards and 15 touchdowns last year, is the No. 10 receiver in the land, according to Brown. He received 26.6 percent of the school's targets in 2014.
Jun 14 - 10:01 PM

NFL Media ranks Notre Dame junior WR Corey Robinson No. 3 on its list of "College football's smartest players."

"An Academic All-American, Robinson -- the son of Basketball Hall of Fame inductee David Robinson -- is only a junior this fall and has already earned the school's Rockne Student-Athlete Award. He carries a 3.83 GPA and has been on the school's dean's list every semester he's been there," wrote College Football 24/7 writer Chase Goodbread. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Robinson hauled in 40 catches for 539 yards and five touchdowns in 2014. Robinson was second on Notre Dame in receptions and TD grabs and should be one of Malik Zaire's favorite targets this season.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 12 - 3:01 PM

Notre Dame redshirt freshman defensive end Jhonny Williams will transfer.

The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder told the coaching staff he plans to transfer. He thanked people on Facebook for their support, but we aren't yet sure why he's leaving or where he intends to transfer. Williams didn't play last year.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 11 - 9:15 PM


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