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front depth for next year

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Friday, January 09, 2015, 09:18

Perusing the eligibility list:

* tally last season: 23 guys in the front depth

* delta from last season: minus only Utupo for sure

* possible attrition: Hounshell, Councell, Rabasa

* adding back: Ishaq, Grace

* injury questions: Jones, Schmidt, Grace

* coming off of redshirt: Bonner, J. Williams, Mokwuah

* FNGs: eight (Tillery, MDT, Tiassum, Taylor, Wallace, Bilal, Barajas, Coney)

* grand tally: 31, or eight more than last year, and 17 of them with non-garbage time game experience



The number of career starts/guys with SE is a bit different

by FunkDoctorSpock, Your Nightmares, B* tches, Friday, January 09, 2015, 09:30 @ Jay

DL: 11
Day 8
Jones 1
Okwara 1
Ishaq 1

LB: 16
Jaylon 13
Grace 3


2015 (as of today)
DL: 47
Day 19
Okwara 13
Jones 12
Matuska 1
Trumbetti 1
Ishaq 1

LB: 51
Jaylon 26
Schmidt 8
Onwaulu 8
Morgan 4
Grace 3
Martini 2


That number could obviuosly change but, regardless, the total number of players with important snaps is on another planet heading into 2015 season


The returning experience is good but...

by Mobster, Friday, January 09, 2015, 11:55 @ FunkDoctorSpock

the talent looks marginal at DL.

Day - Excellent. Potential AA if he can stay healthy.
Okwara - Average at best. He just isn't very good. Not great against the run and can't generate a pass rush to save his life.
Jones - Good. Coming back from a significant injury.
Matuska - probably average at best. Big body but not much else.
Trumbetti - Good. His potential is off the charts IMO, but he'll just be a sophmore.
Ishaq - Good. Never been able to reach his potential but he seems reliable enough (football wise).

Then we have to rely on a bunch of unknowns. Hayes, Bonner, Mokwuah, Cage.

I think there is potential that the unit goes from god awful (which they were at the end of 2014) to decent in 2015. I'm not holding my breath that the DL will be a strength of this team next year. I think we'll need to outscore people.


So we have four "good" starters returning

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Friday, January 09, 2015, 12:02 @ Mobster

and a lot of potentially good/solid players backing them up.

I think that's a recipe for a pretty good defensive line, assuming normal improvement trajectories from our young guys. And I would classify Daniel Cage as much better than an "unknown." He's a really good player.


Plus Rochell is missing

by Spesh ⌂ @, Los Angeles, Friday, January 09, 2015, 12:10 @ Jim (fisherj08)

I do think a better pass rush is needed. So we really need Johnny Williams at DE.


Oh, absolutely.

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Friday, January 09, 2015, 12:12 @ Spesh

Kolin Hill and Jhonny Williams need to take a step forward in their development-but that's not so difficult to imagine, is it? Especially if they don't have to play a tremendous amount of snaps?


Well, we disagree.

by FunkDoctorSpock, Your Nightmares, B* tches, Friday, January 09, 2015, 12:01 @ Mobster

I don't think it will be 2012 level but certainly better than marginal. I am putting together a post that will show that ND had the youngest/least experienced front seven among the fifty five Powe 5 teams that won at least 5 games in 2014.


If we stay healthy and guys make reasonable improvement

by Mike (bart), Friday, January 09, 2015, 12:00 @ Mobster

that is certainly a DL that can win 10 games against our schedule next year. Perhaps more.


Of minor interest-OSU reached out to TIassum

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Friday, January 09, 2015, 09:28 @ Jay

He told them he's all ND, but still-if OSU thinks he can be a player...


He's an interesting player

by Spesh ⌂ @, Los Angeles, Friday, January 09, 2015, 09:40 @ Jim (fisherj08)

He looked out-of-shape and a non-factor in the Semper Fi Bowl. However, he just posted a link to his senior highlights on Twitter yesterday, and one of the recruiting gurus retweeted it, so I had to take a look. It was ridiculous. He was like twice the size of the other players on the DL and on the opposing teams. On most of the plays he was either unblocked on the backside of a run and chased it down from behind, or he knocked the OL backwards 2-3 yards and made the play. Just horrible competition.

That said, I'm really interested to see what type of player he becomes. He certainly has size, and apparently his high school does not have much of a weight room, so it's hard to predict what his ceiling might actually be. I think he could really surprise when it's all said and done.


Not buying the weight room thing

by Jim (OFD) @, Naptown, Friday, January 09, 2015, 14:46 @ Spesh

Park Tudor costs about $20k per year for grades 6-12. More of the issue is likely related to competition level--I believe they play 2A, which is the second smallest class in the state. Also, they don't play many teams from Indy and the ones they do are also small private schools.

He will take some time to develop, but should be more than serviceable at DT in a few years.

Additionally, Okwara has been hurt from not getting a redshirt season. Remember, he was 16 when he started at ND and only played football for a few seasons. He is still pretty raw but doesn't lack athleticism.


Weight room stuff usually comes down to instruction

by PAK, Friday, January 09, 2015, 15:04 @ Jim (OFD)

I went to a private school that had a huge weight room with all sorts of Nautilus stuff, benches, whatever we needed... but the guy who was supposed to be running the weight room was a bad instructor and had no concept of getting us on effective, proven plans. We were not very good at football.

The reality is that the right equipment (squat rack, benches, bars, plates, and dumbbells) for a weight room is awfully cheap. The right instruction is the tricky part.


Potential "rotation" depth

by Mike (bart), Friday, January 09, 2015, 09:27 @ Jay

I thought our depth at the start of the season seemed to work alright, but as the injuries mounted up we found ourselves in quicksand. If nothing else, we'll be better set up to handle attrition next year in the front 7.

EDIT: The table didn't show up the right way, but by my count we started the season with 14 viable front 7 rotation players, dropped to 10 by the end of the season, and should have ~18 next season.

2014 (14- start) 2014 (10 - finish) 2015 (18 - proj)
Day Day
Jones Jones
Rochell Rochell Rochell
Trumbetti Trumbetti Trumbetti
Cage Cage
Blankenship Blankenship Blankenship
Utopo Utopo
Okwara Okwara Okwara
J. Smith J. Smith J. Smith
Onwualu Onwualu Onwualu (move to S?)
Hill ??? Hill
Schmidt Schmidt
Martini Martini Martini
Morgan Morgan Morgan
Matuska Matuska
J. Williams
I. Williams
Frosh (Tillery?)

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