Notre Dame Football: Hunter Smith

Notre Dame mailblog

August, 9, 2013
8/09/13
5:00
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What's on your minds?

John from Chicago writes: Matt, can you point me in direction where I can find a roster breakdown of scholarship vs. walk-on's? Just curious mostly.

Matt Fortuna: John, the roster we received last Friday listed the following players as walk-ons: Receiver Josh Anderson, punter Andrew Antognoli, cornerback Jesse Bongiovi, offensive lineman Kevin Carr, cornerback Connor Cavalaris, kicker John Chereson, defensive lineman Marquis Dickerson, quarterback Charlie Fiessinger, receiver Nick Fitzpatrick, receiver Omar Hunter, offensive lineman Scott Kingsley, linebacker Austin Larkin, receiver Eric Lee, outside linebacker Connor Little, defensive lineman Arturo Martinez, receiver Gerald Martinez, safety Eamon McOsker, kicker Danny Omiliak, running back Tyler Plantz, safety Drew Recker, kicker/punter Jude Rhodes, cornerback Joe Romano, long-snapper Hunter Smith, safety Ernie Soto and punter Alex Wulfeck.


Michael from Irsee, Bayern, Germany, writes: Hi Matt,By now, you are used to fielding crazy Notre Dame hypothetical questions (mostly about the offense) so I thought that I would throw this defensive one your way. Combining what you saw from Aaron Lynch in his first year with Notre Dame's defense last year (in Lynch's absence) and the endless speculation about how good he could have been/will be this year on USF - do you care to speculate as to what Notre Dame's starting defense would have looked like in 2013 if Lynch had never departed?

Matt Fortuna: Michael, it is easy to picture a starting defensive line of Lynch, Louis Nix and Stephon Tuitt -- three guys widely projected as first-round picks next spring -- and, on paper at least, think "Wow." But you have to remember that the Irish wouldn't have done better than 12-1 last year with Lynch, and they benefited from strong play (and even stronger leadership) from Kapron Lewis-Moore. Reports from Tampa, Fla., indicate that Lynch has matured and should have a strong year against American Athletic Conference competition, but let's remember that Sheldon Day isn't too shabby, either, and that the Irish still probably boast the top first-team defensive line in the nation.


Kenneth Moore from Bluefield, W. Va., writes: Matt, I know that CBK is on record about the starters playing more in special teams. Is there anything that you have seen or heard that this unit is improving. The return game has been a complete joke considering the prospects that Notre Dame gets every year. It has to be fixed because teams force the Irish to march down the field to score. If this can be fixed I think there will be a jump in points scored in 2013. Thanks.

Matt Fortuna: Kenneth, there is no question Notre Dame needs to improve its punt return game. More than anything, the Irish need a unit capable of forming solid return after solid return, rather than a big gain here and there with nothing to show for it in between. This is where I think the team's logjam at running back could help, as a number of these guys can do different things well and are capable of finding their ways on the field in separate ways. On Friday, T.J. Jones, Amir Carlisle, Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston were fielding punts.

Irish Lunch Links

July, 3, 2012
7/03/12
1:00
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Happy Birthday to the little(st) bro ...

Will ND throw an NFL pass this year?

December, 23, 2011
12/23/11
2:45
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Darren Everson brings an interesting question in today's Wall Street Journal: Will a former Notre Dame player throw a pass in an NFL game this year?

Why ask, you ask? Simply, because it has happened in every single NFL season since 1944, the longest streak of any school.
With two weeks left this season, no Notre Dame alum has thrown a pass yet. Ex-Notre Dame stars Jimmy Clausen and Brady Quinn, who have both been NFL starters, are now both stuck on the sideline. Their chances from here on aren't great: Clausen is third on the Panthers' depth chart, and Quinn's Broncos are gunning for the playoffs and thus are unlikely to sit their starters.

Everson also notes that from 2004-06 — years in which no Irish quarterback threw an NFL pass — non-QBs Jerome Bettis, Hunter Smith, Arnaz Battle and Carlyle Holiday threw passes, leaving room for optimism with two weeks left in the NFL regular season.

Oregon is second in consecutive years with an alumnus throwing a pass in the NFL, extending its streak to 63 years this season.

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