- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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Thanks again to those who stopped by the weekly Notre Dame chat, the complete transcript of which can be found here.
Some of what you missed:
Mike (Connecticut): Most media outlets are focusing on the quarterback battle right now which seems ridiculous as there is little chance we know anything before the Blue/Gold game and most likely will know little more until fall. Can we hear a little more about the position battle that should yield a little more info during this spring: cornerback?
Matt Fortuna (2:04 PM): Mike, I agree that there will probably be no definitive answer until the week before the first game of the season. That being said, everyone is ridiculously interested, and it's a decision that could affect this program for years to come, so I have a hard time questioning the news value of it. The cornerback battle has been written about plenty of times before. Coaches are raving about Bennett Jackson, Lo Wood has the inside track at the other starting spot, and Jamoris Slaughter took some reps there as well (though it's highly unlikely we'll see him there in game action.)
Krystal (Raleigh, N.C.): Hey Matt, Happy Good Friday! I know its still early in the recruiting process for the 2013 class, but what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of a recruit committing early to a football program? And who has showed significant improvement in spring football from last year to this year so far?
Matt Fortuna (2:15 PM): You too, Krystal. An early commitment essentially means that school has a really good chance of eventually signing him. It's good for momentum and can certainly have a domino effect, as we saw two weeks ago during Junior Day, but as we've seen recently with ND having five 2012 de-commits, nothing is settled until pen is put to paper (or even after that, in some cases.) As for improvement, Bennett Jackson and John Goodman are two players the staff has raved about. Jarrett Grace as well.
David (Washington D.C.): Matt, do you believe the coaches when they rave about John Goodman? He's a 5th year player who hasn't shown the ability to get separation on the field, but it sounds like something's changed this spring.
Matt Fortuna (2:41 PM): David, I do. For one, he wouldn't have been brought back if the staff didn't see something in him, so I do believe he has the tools. Also, it's always been about consistency for him, bringing it every day. Coming to work every day backing up Michael Floyd, an all-time ND great, is different mentally from coming in with the chance at a starting position.
Martin Galvin (Bronx, N.Y.): Have you seen any development from Andrew Hendrix? I could see using him to run the ball a lot and play two TEs, which seems to be the strong-suit of the team. Also, is Tate Nichols locking down the RT? Finally, assuming things calm down with Lynch, how many sacks do you see him with? Thanks!!!
Matt Fortuna (2:46 PM): Martin, the staff has said Hendrix has done a better job of putting bad plays behind him and moving forward. I don't think they're grooming him for packages; they'd like to see him (or any of the other three) emerge as the cut and dry starter. I'd be surprised is Nichols didn't end up starting by the fall. As for Lynch, ND should hope it's more sacks (5.5 last year) than penalties (six last season) in 2012, assuming things calm down.