Notre Dame Football: Rick Mirer

What we learned: Week 3

September, 15, 2013
9/15/13
10:00
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Here is what to take away after the Fighting Irish's 31-24 win at Purdue.

1) The D still has work to do. Purdue had two offensive touchdowns entering the game. The Boilermakers managed only one last week in narrowly escaping Football Championship Subdivision program Indiana State. But they scored three Saturday night against Notre Dame, one week after the Irish surrendered 41 points at Michigan. Bennett Jackson's pick-six was huge, and the front seven pressured Rob Henry often, but the defense needs to play better. Plain and simple.

2) DaVaris Daniels is a big-time player. Daniels was phenomenal again, grabbing eight passes for 167 yards and scoring touchdowns on back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter. Daniels roomed with Tommy Rees when the Irish were at Shiloh Park last month, and the connection has resulted in four touchdowns through three games. He can really help open up the offense as he continues to become a very good deep threat in the passing game.

3) Tommy Rees is ... Tommy Rees. Rees did not look great in the first half, during which Notre Dame fell behind 10-0. But he never gets rattled, as we know, and he was much better in the second half, resulting in a 20-for-33 line for 309 yards and two touchdowns. He now has eclipsed the 300-yard mark in all three games this season, and he received a game ball for his efforts Saturday. He is now tied with Rick Mirer for fourth all-time on the school's passing touchdowns list with 41. Brian Kelly had a colorful quote on Rees' "legacy" after: "That's for you guys to write. He's one of our players. The guys love that. He's a college student. He goes to class. He's got pimples. He's a college kid. You guys are 35,000 feet -- he's a college kid. And I'm really proud of the way he settled down in the second half and helped our football team win. That's really where I fit when it comes to thinking about Tommy. I can't think about legacies and all those other things. I'm sorry."
The day is finally here. All the build-up, all the hype -- finally, we get to see which college stars land where.

And for the second straight year, it is likely that multiple Notre Dame players will hear their names called at Radio City on Night 1.

Tyler Eifert and Manti Te'o are both widely expected to be first-round picks. Michael Floyd and Harrison Smith were last season.

The last time the Irish had multiple first-round picks before 2012? That would be 1994, when Bryant Young, Aaron Taylor and Jeff Burris all went in the first round.

The last time Notre Dame had multiple first-round picks in consecutive years? That, also, would include the 1994 NFL draft, which followed a 1993 event that saw four players from South Bend, Ind., get selected in the first round: Rick Mirer, Jerome Bettis, Irv Smith and Tom Carter.

The only other times that has happened with Notre Dame players, according to the school, are 1944-45-46 and 1954-55.

So just where will Eifert and Te'o end up? That depends on who you ask.

Mel Kiper Jr. has the tight end going to the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 17, which is 11 spots lower than Todd McShay's forecast, which has the Cleveland Browns jumping on Eifert at No. 6.

Kiper is higher on Te'o, who he has going to the Chicago Bears at No. 20. McShay sees Te'o joining a bunch of old college buddies with the Minnesota Vikings at No. 25.

Our NFL bloggers had a mock first round of their own this week, with Eifert ending up in Pittsburgh at No. 17 and Te'o closing out the night by going to the Baltimore Ravens at No. 32.

Scouts Inc.'s Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl, meanwhile, went the distance, projecting all seven rounds and 254 picks, right down to Mr. Irrelevant (FIU end/linebacker Tourek Williams, for those wondering).

Muench and Weidl don't see the rest of the Irish contingent getting in on the fun until the sixth round. There, the duo projects Zeke Motta to land at No. 178 with the New York Jets.

The seventh round then becomes Notre Dame-heavy, with Theo Riddick slotted for the Denver Broncos at No. 234, Jamoris Slaughter to the Ravens at No. 238, Cierre Wood to the Atlanta Falcons at No. 243 and Kapron Lewis-Moore to the Ravens at No. 247.

I'm a little surprised to see Braxston Cave's name absent form the seven-round mock, and I wonder if any NFL team takes a chance on former Irish and Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist after all of his injury problems in college.
Nearly two-dozen current and former NFL players will be at Notre Dame during the weekend of the annual Blue-Gold spring game, albeit for more than just spring football.

The NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial "Investment for Impact" program will take place April 18-21 at Notre Dame, hosting 13 current and 10 former NFL players.

Notre Dame graduates Brady Quinn and Jeff Faine helped start the program with NFL Player Engagement, and the two will speak at the event along with Warrick Dunn, Rick Mirer, Jeremy Bloom and Deke Cooper.

“The opportunity to play in the NFL has provided a platform to have an impact on our communities,” Quinn said in a statement. “It is my hope that through the Notre Dame Entrepreneurial program, attendees may learn how to invest with an impact for the greater good.”

Panels featuring experts from the academic and business world will take place.

And yes, a trip to Notre Dame Stadium for the spring game is included.

“I’m proud to have had a hand in bringing Investment for Impact to my alma mater, and assisting in forming a partnership between University of Notre Dame and the NFL for the continuing education of professional athletes,” Faine said in a statement. “It has been a longstanding goal to give back in a meaningful way to the game that has provided so much opportunity for me. This course will provide a template on how to bridge traditional business models with a focus on the greater good of humanity. I believe social entrepreneurship is the wave of the future.”

The following is a list of the 23 former and current NFL players scheduled to attend:

Jon Alston
Charlie Batch
David Bruton
Riki Ellison
Jeff Faine
Josh Gordy
Lamarr Gouston
Winston Justice
Sean Mahan
Corey Mays
Kyle McCarthy
Kerry Meier
Duke Preston
Brady Quinn
Vincent Rey
Mike Rivera
Harrison Smith
Stephen Spach
Shawntae Spencer
Matthew Tennant
Adalius Thomas
Gregory Tolver
Maurice Williams
Michael Floyd's place in Notre Dame history grew even bigger Thursday night when he was taken by the Cardinals with the 13th overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Floyd became the highest former Irish player taken since 1994, when defensive tackle Bryant Young was selected seventh by the 49ers. He became the first Notre Dame receiver taken in the first round since 1988, when the Raiders took Tim Brown sixth. And he became the school's highest offensive pick since 1993, when Rick Mirer and Jerome Bettis were selected second and 10th by the Seahawks and Rams, respectively.

"I could not be happier for Michael and his family," coach Brian Kelly said in a statement. "I've said many times I have never coached a person as talented as Michael, and his selection tonight shows that. Michael's work ethic and passion for football are unparalleled and fans of the Cardinals will love the productivity he'll bring to Arizona’s offense."

Overcoming three alcohol-related brushes with the law, Floyd returned to school for his senior year this past fall and set a single-season school record with 100 receptions. He blitzed through pre-draft evaluations with strong combine and pro day showings, watching his stock soar from a fringe first-rounder to being invited to Radio City, where commissioner Roger Goodell called his name and later embraced him. Now he will team with fellow Minnesota native Larry Fitzgerald, becoming one-half of what has the makings to be one of the NFL's top 1-2 receiving punches.

Floyd leaves Notre Dame as its career leader in receptions (271), receiving yards (3,686), touchdown receptions (37), receiving yards per game (85.7) and 100-yard receiving games (17).

Irish Lunch Links

February, 14, 2012
2/14/12
12:00
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Still trying to process the Hornets' jerseys from last night ...

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