Notre Dame Football: Andrew Trumbetti

INDIANAPOLIS -- Remarkably, Purdue gave Notre Dame a good game. Again. This one was in doubt until the fourth quarter before the No. 11 Fighting Irish pulled away with a 30-14 win to improve to 3-0 and remain undefeated in Shamrock Series games. They now enter a bye week before facing Syracuse on Sept. 27 in East Rutherford, N.J.

Here are the biggest takeaways from Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium:

[+] EnlargeEverett Golson, Jalani Phillips
Michael Hickey/Getty ImagesDespite being sacked four times, Everett Golson was able to make big plays with his arm and his legs against Purdue.
1) The Irish handle "adversity" well. Yes, that was the buzzword following a 16-point win, appropriate or not. In the context of the number of injuries Notre Dame's secondary suffered, that will work, as starting cornerback Cole Luke left the game with what coach Brian Kelly said was a neck injury and safety Nicky Baratti left with yet another shoulder injury. The unit was already down safety and captain Austin Collinsworth because of a Grade 2 MCL sprain. The Irish also lost receiver Amir Carlisle early in the game with an MCL sprain, were without defensive end Andrew Trumbetti, who was still banged up from the Michigan game, and did not use starting right guard Christian Lombard, still nursing a high-ankle sprain. That doesn't include the five players suspended due to the academic probe.

But seven penalties did not help matters, especially with starting safety Max Redfield getting ejected in the second quarter for targeting, further depleting a thin secondary. Hats off to true freshman Drue Tranquill, a former Purdue commit who was thrust into plenty of meaningful action and performed well.

"He did great," Kelly said. "He doesn't know what he's doing, but he's awesome. He's running around there. I say that kiddingly because he does know what he's doing. But we're trying to really keep it simple for him out there. He was such a locked-in kid. We're able to do some things with him, and he's only been here, what, eight, 10 weeks? Where would we be without that young man? It's really pretty incredible."

2) Everett Golson's still got it going. At times, Notre Dame's offense looked like it went with the gameplan of "let Golson dance around and make something happen." More often than not, he did just that, hitting running back Greg Bryant for his first career catches -- a pair of 17-yarders off broken plays -- and finishing 25 of 40 for 259 yards with two touchdowns and, most importantly, no turnovers. Golson also was the Irish's leading rusher, notching 56 yards on the ground and another touchdown despite being sacked four times being hurried six times by the Boilermakers. His leaps will continue to be a big storyline all season long, and he now boasts a 13-1 record as a Notre Dame starting quarterback (.929), second to only Johnny Lujack (20-1-1, .932).

He has said and done all the right things off the field as well.

"I also missed a wide-open pass, I don't know if y'all watched the film," Golson said, critiquing his 15-yard touchdown run. "I definitely missed a pass. Yeah, it was good for us, we got a touchdown, but as far as me, I want to be more of a pocket-passer. I missed the pass. I just have to execute better."

3) Paging the offensive line. Far too early to hit the panic button here, but the play up front could use some improvements before Stanford comes to town Oct. 4. To be fair, the unit was missing its fifth-year senior in Lombard (Matt Hegarty replaced him), and though only one of the Irish's five offensive penalties came from a lineman (a Steve Elmer false start), Golson was sacked four times by Purdue. That number probably could have been higher if not for Golson's mobility. Notre Dame averaged just 3.7 yards per rush after averaging just 1.7 yards per rush in last week's rout of Michigan. Take away the quarterback on Saturday and that average against the Boilermakers drops to 3.46 yards per rush. Again, it is very early, but if there's one unit that needs to pick up its play as Notre Dame readies for the meat of their schedule, it is the offensive line.

"We're not sustaining," Kelly said. "I mean, we're in position. We're falling off a block here. We miss a fit here. And maybe it's just the continuity took us a little bit longer. It's nothing big, but it's everything.

"It's going to get better. They will get better. It's just we're not where we need to be. We're going to keep working, keep grinding. We'll get there. We're just not there yet. We're on the 3-yard line, we're running a double-team into the B-gap, we slip and fall. Somebody fires through the B-gap. Little things like that. They got to get cleaned up before we get to where we want to be offensively."

Irish morning links

August, 15, 2014
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Two more weeks ...

Newcomers stepping up on Irish D

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- OK, so there was some pretty big news Wednesday out of Notre Dame. You can read and hear all about that here and here. But Brian Kelly did name some other starters for Week 1 against Rice.

The biggest surprise? Early enrollee Andrew Trumbetti will be the starter at weak-side defensive end, where Romeo Okwara had appeared to have the initial leg-up. Ishaq Williams is the other starting end.

"We think that he’s got a huge upside for us in so many areas that sometimes I don’t talk about him enough," Kelly said of Trumbetti. "But a great motor, physical, smart, does all the things that we ask him to do. But again, you’ve got to keep in mind we’re talking about first-and second-down players."

Another first-teamer, a name that is considerably less shocking than Trumbetti's, is Florida transfer Cody Riggs, who will start opposite KeiVarae Russell at cornerback.

Kelly repeatedly praised the approach of his defensive freshmen, saying that tackle Jonathan Bonner is in the two-deep, that linebacker Kolin Hill and lineman Jhonny Williams are third-down pass-rushers, and that linebacker Nyles Morgan will play.

While Kelly admitted that he probably would have been uneasy counting on so many rookies to contribute in the front seven, he says his eyes tell him different when he watches them every day on the practice field.

There is also, of course, a new defensive coordinator in Brian VanGorder. Kelly was asked if the new scheme is easier to grasp than what former coordinator Bob Diaco ran.

"They can go. There’s a lot more going on. There’s a lot more pieces to this," Kelly said. "But Brian let’s them run and let’s them go. And so that’s why a lot of these young guys can just, in the places that he’s putting them, in the fronts that he’s calling with Nyles Morgan, he’s not asking him to two-gap anybody. He’s saying, ‘Listen, we’re going to cover everybody. Just go run. Go make a play.’ And some of the freshmen are getting similar kind of front calls where they can just pin their ears back and go."

Irish lunch links

March, 25, 2014
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"The Wolf of Wall Street" is out on DVD today. Think the Irish cheer squad will celebrate by doing the Matthew McConaughey chant all over campus?
Brian Kelly spoke with reporters on national signing day for more than an hour. Here's a quick look at his thoughts on each of the 23 additions to the Irish roster:

Justin Brent (Speedway, Ind./Speedway): "When I got a chance to see him work out this morning, the first thing that stood out to me is that he does not look like a freshman. He had his shirt off this morning and he was running around, and he looks like a senior."

[+] EnlargeNotre Dame defensive end commit Andrew Trumbetti, the No. 2-ranked prospect in the state of New Jersey, shows off his Under Armour gear.
Courtesy of IntersportDE Andrew Trumbetti's athleticism -- he returned kicks in high school -- is just one of the things that impressed the Irish.
Andrew Trumbetti (Demarest, N.J./Northern Valley Region): "The thing that really put him over the top for us is when we were watching his film, he was returning kickoffs in high school, and not many times do you see a defensive lineman returning kickoffs."

Alex Bars (Nashville/Montgomery Bell Academy): "Dad played here, it's an easy leap; not so much. Sometimes you've got to work harder to get that young man to come to Notre Dame because he wants to go off on his own sometimes."

Grant Blankenship (The Colony, Texas/The Colony): "We got three players from Texas, all of them offered by the University of Texas. I don't know if that happens very often."

Jonathan Bonner (Chesterfield, Mo./Parkway Central): "When you talk about the right fit to Notre Dame, Jonathan possessed all of the right characteristics, academics, socially, and then as a football player."

Jimmy Byrne (Cleveland/Saint Ignatius): "Physical, moves his feet well, and again, I think what you'll see with all of our offensive linemen, they all can get out and move their feet. They all have the ability to run block, pass pro."

Daniel Cage (Cincinnati/Winton Woods):
"This guy is a ferocious player. He's an inside player, and we love the way he got off the ball. His strength, lower body strength, he's a guy that's going to play the shade, he can play the nose."

Jay Hayes (Brooklyn, N.Y./Poly Prep Country Day): "One of his quotes when I was with him was, ‘Coach, some of these guys don't get it. They don't really understand why you would come to Notre Dame.’ And he's such a thoughtful kid at his age that he understands why he would come to Notre Dame for all the right reasons, getting a degree and opening up doors for him for the rest of his life."

Kolin Hill (Schertz, Texas/Samuel Clemens): "A right fit for Notre Dame, character, high energy, yes, sir, no, sir, had all those things that we really liked. He was engaging. Really impressed our admissions people."

Corey Holmes (Fort Lauderdale, Fl./Saint Thomas Aquinas): "He has a lot of the same feelings in terms of where TJ Jones developed, but he's 6-2. This kid is longer. He's a bigger kid than TJ. But he's got a lot of those mannerisms and characteristics. "

DeShone Kizer (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic): "He's going to be able to do the multidimensional things that we love. Now we've got three quarterbacks on campus that all do the same things."

[+] EnlargeTyler Luatua
Tom Hauck for Student SportsTE Tyler Luatua made an impression on and off the field with Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.
Tyler Luatua (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada): "People said, ‘Well, he didn't talk enough. He wasn't engaging enough. I didn't hear enough from him.’ I said, ‘Well, you just don't know him well enough because when you get to know Tyler Luatua, he's just like Justin Utupo; you can't shut him up.’"

Greer Martini (Woodberry Forest, Va./Woodberry Forest School): "His leadership skills, his ability to recognize and really -- you have to have leaders. He's a really good player, and he's a really good leader, and he'll be a very good linebacker for us here at Notre Dame and will also be a guy that makes others around him better."

Peter Mokwuah (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph-By-The-Sea): "We've had a great Nigerian connection here, Romeo Okwara, Prince Shembo, just to name a few, and then Pete was able to connect Catholic institution, goes to a Catholic school. That profile fit very well for us."

Nyles Morgan (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee): "Every time I'm with him, he just wants to talk about football, and he's a good student, and his mom and dad want him to just talk about academics, and he's a good student and he recognizes the value of getting a degree at Notre Dame."

Sam Mustipher (Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel): "All these guys can be big and strong and physical, but if they can't move their feet, if they can't bend, if they can't get out of their stance and do a good job and moving and bending, then we're moving on, and I think -- I sound like a broken record with the offensive line, but those are the characteristics."

Quenton Nelson (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Catholic): "He's going to come after you play after play after play. And again, his desire to want to be great is what always stood out about Quenton is that he's always pushing himself. Every time we talk to him he's coming back from something."

Tyler Newsome (Carrollton, Ga./Carrollton): "He was such an intriguing young man in all the kids that we saw that when we saw him punting, there was nobody that was even close to with the potential upside that he has. "

Nile Sykes (Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic): "We want people that want to be part of Notre Dame and be part of our family, and to bring Nile and his family in, he's a versatile player. He can play inside, he can play outside."

Drue Tranquill (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll): "People have asked does he play safety, does he play running back? I don't know where he plays, but he's going to play somewhere here at Notre Dame because he's a darned good football player."

Nick Watkins (Dallas/Bishop Dunne): "This is draft day, you're getting a No. 1 draft pick. This kid is an exceptional football player. We think we got one of the best corners around. Long, athletic, can really do a lot of things for us."

Nic Weishar (Chicago, Ill./Marist): "He's the finest pass catching tight end that we saw. You could argue about who it is, but we think he is. We love his ball skills, we love his ability to use his body to control defenders, has a knack of catching the football in the air and taking it away from people. "

Jhonny Williams (Berrien Springs, Mich./Berrien Springs): "There's no ceiling on Jhonny Williams' future. He's an engaging young man. He just recognizes that he's got a great opportunity at Notre Dame, and we're excited to provide him that opportunity."
The biggest surprise of the day was an early one, and a considerably positive one for Notre Dame, as Winton Woods (Ohio) High four-star defensive lineman Daniel Cage faxed in his national letter of intent to the Irish. Cage adds to a rather large haul across the defensive line for the Irish, who have announced 22 signatures so far, including nine ESPN 300 prospects (and including both of their January enrollees, Andrew Trumbetti and Justin Brent).

The other verbal commit? Probably not worth getting stressed over, as the biggest recruit of them all, Nyles Morgan, tweeted that he signed.

Coach Brian Kelly meets the media at noon ET, so we will have more then.

(* denotes ESPN 300 prospect)
Still waiting on …
  • Four-star ILB Nyles Morgan (Crete, Ill./Crete Monee)*
Notre Dame will return four players for their fifth seasons in 2014, as Austin Collinsworth, Christian Lombard, Kendall Moore and Justin Utupo will all be back with the team, sources confirmed to ESPN.com.

IrishIllustrated.com first reported the news.

Collinsworth and Lombard had been widely expected to return given their career production with the Fighting Irish, as Collinsworth started 11 games at safety in 2013 and led the team with three interceptions. Lombard started all 13 games at right tackle during Notre Dame's 12-1 season in 2012 before moving to right guard this past fall, when he started the first seven games of the season before being shut down following back surgery to repair a herniated disc.

Moore and Utupo, meanwhile, saw their value increase down the stretch during 2013, as injuries mounted on defense.

Moore, an inside linebacker, tallied 17 total tackles in 2013, including one for loss, to go with an interception and a pass defended. He has 43 total tackles for his career, including three for loss.

Utupo, a defensive end, notched seven total tackles, including one for loss, this past fall.

Collinsworth, the son of NFL commentator Cris Collinsworth, will be Notre Dame's fourth-leading returning tackler from last season, having tallied 43 total stops in 2013, including 0.5 for loss. He added three passes defended and three quarterback hurries -- one of which, on Michigan's Devin Gardner, led to a pass that Stephon Tuitt picked off in the end zone for a pick-six back in Week 2.

Collinsworth earned the Irish's special teams player of the year honors in 2011 and played in all 26 games in 2010 and 2011 before missing 2012 because of shoulder and back surgeries. He has 68 total tackles for his career, plus a forced fumble.

The return of these four players, plus the 22 committed recruits from the Class of 2014, ups Notre Dame's scholarship number to 82 players, as the Irish were set to return 56 scholarship players in 2014. Two of those recruits, ESPN 300 receiver Justin Brent (Speedway, Ind./Speedway) and ESPN 300 defensive end Andrew Trumbetti (Demarest, N.J./Demarest), enrolled at Notre Dame early and started spring classes Tuesday.

Midyear signings: Notre Dame

January, 16, 2014
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According to ESPN's Jared Shanker and Tom VanHaaren, the following players have enrolled at Notre Dame:

Andrew Trumbetti DE Demarest, N.J./Demarest
Height: 6-5, Weight: 250
Positional Rank: No. 10 DE
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (No. 97)
Under Armour All-American

Justin Brent WR Speedway, Ind./Speedway
Height: 6-1 Weight: 197
Positional Rank: No. 41 WR
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (No. 280)
Senior defensive end Andrew Trumbetti (Demarest, N.J./Northern Valley Regional High) was presented his honorary game jersey at his school on Thursday during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2014 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game. The event was part of a three-month tour.

[+] EnlargeNotre Dame defensive end commit Andrew Trumbetti, the No. 2-ranked prospect in the state of New Jersey, shows off his Under Armour gear.
Courtesy of IntersportDE Andrew Trumbetti's athleticism -- he returned kicks in high school -- is just one of the things that impressed the Irish.
Trumbetti, a Notre Dame commitment, is one of 90 players selected to compete in the seventh-annual Under Armour All-America Game presented by American Family Insurance, a nationally televised competition spotlighting the country’s top high school seniors. The 2014 Under Armour All-America Game is set for 4 p.m. ET on Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will be televised on ESPN.

“First I would like to thank my family for all their love and support,” Trumbetti said. “Thank you Joe Riccheo, Dan Goodman and the entire VarsityF staff for helping to build me into the athlete I am today. Next, I would like to thank my teammates because I truly feel like this is a team accomplishment, and I would not be standing here without them. I would like to thank my coaches, especially coach [Tony] Mattola, for all their support and lessons they have taught me on and off the field. ... Finally, thank you Under Armour and American Family Insurance for selecting me. I can’t wait to represent my school and my community when I step onto the field January 2nd for the 2014 All-American Game.”

Mottola says his star player is special on, and off the field.

“What makes Andrew Trumbetti special is pretty much everything he does," Mottola said. "He’s a fierce competitor. He does a great job on the field, does a great job off the field in the classroom and in the community. Everything he does, he gives 110 percent. He comes from a really tremendous family, and we are just very proud of Andrew.”

Like so many before him, Trumbetti said the competition and roster are what led him to choose the Under Armour All-America Game.

“I decided to accept the invitation to the All-American Game because of all the competition I knew was going to be there," he said. "I mean, from past years of watching the game, it’s definitely a big deal. I know a lot of guys that are going, and it’s definitely going to be great to go down there and see them and compete with them, and hopefully win the game.

"I feel that I was selected to play because I'm a hard worker and I'm not a showboat when I step on the field. I know a lot of kids look up to me, I know that I have a lot to live up to, and I know that every time I step on the field I give it everything I have. Being an All-American isn't all about just being the best player. It's about being the best teammate, classmate, friend, and whatever else you can be."

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Trumbetti is the No. 107-ranked prospect overall and the No. 11 defensive end in the class. He committed to Notre Dame over Boston College, Virginia, Penn State, Wisconsin and a number of others.

Two commits highlight big weekend

August, 5, 2013
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A quiet two weeks gave way to two busy days this past weekend, as Notre Dame hauled in a pair of four-star defensive prospects from different pockets of the country.

Outside linebacker Richard Yeargin III (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School of Nova South) and defensive tackle Matt Dickerson (San Mateo, Calif./Junipero Serra) committed to the Irish on Friday and Saturday, respectively, giving the program seven defensive pledges in the class of 2014.

Our Jared Shanker has a good breakdown of what these pick-ups mean for the Irish and their national reach, saying that their front-seven in this class could be as good as any in the country and that it is always a big get for Notre Dame when it can scoop up a premier player not far from USC's backyard.

"I just knew it was the school when I walked on campus," Dickerson, who visited Notre Dame on Friday, told Shanker. "I felt it in my heart."

Here's a look at Notre Dame's 17-man recruiting class from the class of 2014, which includes seven ESPN300 prospects (*).

Blankenship is No. 14 for ND

July, 8, 2013
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Everett Golson made most of the headlines during another holiday weekend by telling a local television station that he plans on returning to Notre Dame. He could have some company, then, in three-star defensive end Grant Blankenship (The Colony, Texas/The Colony).

Blankenship committed to the Irish on Friday, according to multiple reports, Insider giving the program its 14th recruit from the Class of 2014.

As the South Bend Tribune's Tyler James notes, news of the 6-foot-5, 230-pounder's commitment comes nearly one year to the day of the Irish's first commitment from this class.

Here is a list of all 14 Irish commitments from this class. ESPN150 members are designated with one asterisk (*), while ESPN300 members are designated with two (**).

Irish recruiting roundup

June, 19, 2013
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Where were we? Oh, yeah .
Notre Dame continued its building of an even deeper offensive line Wednesday night, as the Irish secured a verbal pledge from four-star offensive guard Quenton Nelson (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Catholic).


Nelson is the Irish's ninth commitment from the Class of 2014, and the fourth offensive lineman among that group, giving the program nine offensive line commitments during the past two recruiting cycles.

The 6-foot-5, 285-pounder is the No. 11 prospect in the state of New Jersey and the 19th-ranked guard in the nation.

Brian Kelly secured the pledge from Nelson during the head coach's one allotted phone call Insider to the prospect during the spring evaluation period, our Jared Shanker writes.

"He's really thrilled," Nelson's mother, Maryellen, said. "We're so happy that he committed to a great school like Notre Dame. He's wearing his Notre Dame hat and shirt right now."

Here is a list of all nine Irish commitments from this class. ESPN150 members are designated with an asterisk (*).

" Four-star RB Elijah Hood (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic)
" Four-star DE Andrew Trumbetti (Demarest, N.J./Demarest)*
" Four-star ILB Greer Martini (Woodberry Forest, Va./Woodberry Forest)
" Four-star OG Sam Mustipher (Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel)
" Four-star WR Justin Brent (Speedway, Ind./Speedway)
" Four-star OT Jay Hayes (Brooklyn, N.Y./Poly Prep)
" Four-star OG Quenton Nelson (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Catholic)
" Three-star TE Nic Weishar (Chicago/Marist)
" Three-star OT Jimmy Byrne (Cleveland/Saint Ignatius)

Irish recruiting roundup

April, 24, 2013
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Notre Dame added pledge No. 7 on Tuesday night. Who could be next?
ESPN RecruitingNation's initial Class of 2014 rankings and stars are out, with Notre Dame coming in at No. 10 nationally, Insider boasting five four-star prospects and one three-star prospect.

Defensive end Andrew Trumbetti (Demarest, N.J./Demarest) leads the pack for the Irish, as he is the only Notre Dame commit in the first list of ESPN150 prospects, coming in at No. 102 overall and 11th among ends.

Texas starts off with the top recruiting class, boasting 15 commitments in all.

Familiar faces Michigan (No. 6), Miami (No. 8), Alabama (No. 12) and USC (No. 15) are in the top-15 as well.

Tom Luginbill breaks down some of the top offensive players form the Class of 2014 here, while Craig Haubert does the same with the defensive players here.

The two also discuss the release in "The Verbal Commitment" podcast.

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