***My editor is off tonight...so forgive the grammar errors!***
With any great journey in life, planning is the first, and most key
ingredient to success.
One of my favorite things to tell a client, is how a plan is so
right, so AIR TIGHT that we don't need much to happen to
achieve our goals!
We don't need to make up for lost time...or the loss of something here,
or something not performing there..it's just...ready!
This was the feeling I had watching practice and scrimmage
at Notre Dame this week!...It's just ready!
There is a "quiet confidence" in almost every aspect of the
team...a mild but noticeable swagger to how they practice
and compete with each other.
I spent some time on Thursday with some folks in
the program and just like last year..they tell you
"We really got a lot to work on." and almost smile
as they deliver the words!
But what I think they mean is...."We don't need much to
happen to achieve our goals!"
Let's start with the obvious:
Where should I start?
For most of the practices I saw last year, and videos, I thought he
might have been mute!...Well the kid has found his voice!
He's the COMMANDER AND CHIEF on that field!
He reads coverage, moves around players...changes plays
and executes with ease!
He reminds me of a kid playing Nerf Football in the back yard vs
other kids that are 4 years younger!
He glides across the field!...smooth like he's sliding on ice with
no effort or worry of slipping!
His accuracy is unreal...putting the ball almost every time, where only
his guy can get it!....Throws that you watch and go...OH SH#T...and then
when it arrives, you see why he threw it!
You can tell he is making some of his guys realize that they have to
meet him half way...but it's ALL THERE!
He's dangerous hitting the receivers almost on command...most of the routes
I saw, he threw the ball BEFORE the receiver even broke out of his
route...he's years ahead of a second year starters learning curve!
If the receivers are all covered and he gets pressure?
Thats where the fun begins!
He's DANGEROUS when he breaks the pocket?
Fast...hard to get a hand on...and ALWAYS looking down
field...and makes the big play look very easy and effortless!
He will be a top 5 QB by seasons end!
This is an interesting topic, I keep hearing the "We need depth!"
or "We are low at WR numbers!"
Well..that's not what I saw!
What I saw, was off season of 7 on 7s creating what might be
one of the most electric passing cores in the country!
Let's talk about who we KNOW will be nasty!
He's a man among boys in my opinion!
He's fast...know's how to use his body and seems to have
figured out what his role is and how to maximize the balls
being thrown his way!
Great hands and range!...he catches EVERYTHING that is in
his area code!
Or as I'm staring to call him Mr. Consistency!
Death, Taxes and TJ JONES!
He's poised to break out and become the "go to" for Everett
next season...you know if you look at his numbers..theres an
argument that he already was!
He had almost as many catches as Eifert and most of the big throws
for over 20 or 25 yards he was in on!
He will draw attention and force teams to cover him with 2 people
opening up the door for the other receivers!
Last year this was MR.GO ROUTE!
He was young...and inexperienced but we knew one thing,
HE WAS FASTER THAN ANYONE TRYING
TO COVER HIM!
TO COVER HIM!
Now?...Guess what..Happy's learned to putt!
The routes are crisp and clean and he's learned to use his
size and ability to jump and pin point the ball!
He's a bubble screen NIGHTMARE for D coordinators!
At 6'7 260 lbs and fast!
He's the type of TE that would make Bill Belichick DROOL!
His hands are soft...he runs great routes and jumps out of the gym!
When he catches the 8 yard cross...he's a
TRUCK HEADING DOWN HILL!
I'm amazed at how ND seems to find these Tight Ends that
can make such an difference in a game plan!
Niklas will be a first round draft pick when he leaves ND!
Now...to the WILD CARDS!
This is the Matthias Farley of the offense in my opinion!
This kid has ability...it's raw...and still being honed,
but the player ran 7 on 7s this off season will make
him into a trained assassin!
He's got speed to burn..he's a smart kid from a good
school and wants to make a difference for Notre Dame!
He seemed a bit shy of contact...but that nothing new for
a young WR running full speed into a forrest of D secondary!
Once he learns that he's 6'2 and 210 and runs a 4.5 and people
dont' want to hit that as much as he doesn't want them
to hit him..he'll be just fine!
Let him ring some bells of corners or safeties a few times
he'll like the taste!
Everett broke the pocket... scrambled to his right..hit CJ going the
opposite direction for an EIGHTY YARD TD in scrimmage on
Saturday that was just beautiful!
This might be the most physically ready freshman I've seen since
Michael Floyd..and imagine that...they attended the same high school!
Not only did they attend the same high school, since the 8th grade they've
attended the same training centers!
Onwualu is EXTRAORDINARY...he can line up in slot...or running back
or at 6'2 215 he could be a linebacker!..LOL
No POSSIBLE way he doesn't see the field game one in my opinion!
He's smooth and precise and makes all the right reads and
is just too physical to be a freshman...I think he went through
2nd grade 3 times!...LOL
This kid has the ability to be a 1000 yard receiver in Brian Kelly's system!
On to the BABY ADMIRAL!
Click on this link and use your imagination!
This kid catches EVERYTHING!...
He's long...can jump a house and has a VERY
high football IQ!
He will be a 3rd down and redzone MENACE!
So...the WR position?...No worries!
There is just too much to possibly cover in one blog!...
But I'll leave you with this schedule!
THURSDAY APRIL 18th second 1/2 of Offense
SUNDAY APRIL 28th Defense
SUNDAY MAY 12th OVERALL THOUGHTS!
I'll close with this thought:
Our architect is Brain Kelly...
Our blueprint is nearing completion..
And this machine will be unstoppable!
And the beauty is...we don't need anything special to
make it happen!
GO IRISH and GOD BLESS!