Chat with Matt Fortuna
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, Notre Dame blogger Matt Fortuna stops by to chat about the Fightin' Irish's football season.
Fortuna joined ESPN.com in 2011 after working for MLB.com and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where he covered college sports. He grew up in New York and is a Penn State graduate.
Send your questions now and join Fortuna Friday at 2 p.m. ET!
Matt Fortuna (2:02 PM)
Welcome aboard all.
Matt Fortuna (2:02 PM)
Busy week in the football world, especially in South Bend, so let's see what's on your minds ...
Shem (Twin Cities)
Hey Matt, Do you see GAIII making the move to WR with the loss of Greenberry? We have tried Riddick but he showed in the Bowl Game that he is an RB. I think not taking a TE this class will hurt. Lastly you headed to Indy to watch the SB? You will be surrounded by new Giants fans for sure
Matt Fortuna (2:05 PM)
Shem, good to hear from you. I think that becomes a real possibility right now, especially with the depth at RB now. Sadly, I will not be in Indy, though it has been by all accounts a great host site.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who did Notre Dame Sign on the National Signing Day of 2012?
Matt Fortuna (2:07 PM)
Chris, everyone on this list except for Deontay Greenberry: http://espn.go.com/blog/notre-dame-football/post/_/id/4573/where-nd-stands-on-signing-day
Edward S. (Hoffman Lake, IN)
"Gun" to your head, what number is Kiel wearing in September?
Matt Fortuna (2:10 PM)
Edward, I see what you did there. I'm pretty sure he'll be wearing No. 1.
Aaron (Bloomington, IL)
Doing a great job here Matt and I must tell you, The digital program director at the radio station I work at is a spitting image of you so I already feel like we're colleagues. Anywho, kind of a stupid thing to care about but these Adidas techfit jerseys just aren't doing it for me. In some light they look black. Plus they look like they're painted on some of those guys, they certainly don't look comfortable. What they had in the first half of BK's first year will do so if you could make that happen...thanks, or we could just go back to Champion.
Matt Fortuna (2:13 PM)
A lot to digest there, Aaron. I can't say I'm of much help to you on this matter, though the jerseys did look dark during the bowl game.
Every time I attend an Irish game we usually eat at Red Lobster afterwards, but what would you suggest that's outside the franchise restaurants and more locally known in South Bend?
Matt Fortuna (2:15 PM)
Aaron, I'm partial to Parisi's, just off the south end of campus. It must be the Italian blood in me.
Danny W. (Rockford, IL)
Hey Matt top 5 sports movies of all time1. Rudy2. Hoosiers3. Field of Dreams4. The Greatest Game Ever Played5. Celtic Pride?
Matt Fortuna (2:17 PM)
Wow, this is sure to start a debate. I've never seen No. 4 on your list. And being a comedy lover myself, I have to throw Major League on that list somewhere.
With all the talk about the QB's and who might start...who is going to be the WR's that are going to step up? Is there anyone on the roster that the coaches are looking forward to see play or get more passes thrown their way? And is Theo Riddick a RB next season or WR?
Matt Fortuna (2:19 PM)
Lucas, that's what makes the Greenberry loss hurt so much. Michael Floyd told the SBTribune this week he thinks Daniel Smith is a sleeper. I think T.J. Jones is a very good receiver, but he's no Floyd (few are). I wouldn't be surprised if someone was moved there -- be it Theo or Atkinson -- with the newfound depth at RB.
Jim (Atlanta, GA)
Matt,Happy (belated) ground hog day.I know the 2012 schedule (on paper) look a little daunting. However, if...and it is a big IF... ND can get consistent play from the quarterback position and shore up their secondary, do you think they have a realistic chance to finish in the top ten this year.
Matt Fortuna (2:22 PM)
Jim, you acknowledged that this is a big IF, so I say it's POSSIBLE they could go 10-2 with a really strong season, the most likely losses coming at Oklahoma and at USC.
how many players besides Floyd will get drafted this year?
Matt Fortuna (2:25 PM)
Raphael, Harrison Smith definitely. Darius Fleming, Robert Blanton and Gary Gray likely will, too, though you never know when you get to those later rounds. Here's hoping a team takes a shot on Jonas Gray, too, though it's tough to gauge how recovered he will be at that time.
Matt you have to look at Golson's high school tape & know hes the guy to lead the Irish next year right? Theres no better athlete or arm in the group.
Matt Fortuna (2:28 PM)
Andrew, you cannot make that assertion based on just high school tape. Sure, the skill set is there, but how will it measure up against elite college defenses, not HS ones? How will the kid handle all of the attention that comes with being the QB at Notre Dame? How will he bounce back from a mistake? None of this is to say Golson can't do it, and I am as anxious as anyone to see how his skills translate to the college level, but you can't say he's "the guy" based off just HS highlights.
Deontay Greenberry (Houston)
I'm excited about starting for the University of Houston. We are going to have a new stadium in 2 years and going to be playing in the big East. Sorry for bolting at the last minute, but I dedcided to go to the better program right now.
Matt Fortuna (2:30 PM)
Should Notre Dame move into the Big East in football so that they can get into the BCS bowl games? I have been a Notre Dame fan for 70 years and I have come to realize that there is not an Athletic Director out there who can see playing a hard schedule every year with 8 to 9 bowl teams will not get you into a BCS game. Notre Dame does not have the same draw as it once did in recruiting. Example how can you lose a WR to Houston. Where are the top OL, WR, and HB's going, not to Notre Dame.
Matt Fortuna (2:31 PM)
Tony, I can never really picture that happening, but I will say I've seen several more views like yours from the fanbase recently.
Also, what do you think of Les Miles' comments on Gunner Kiel?
Matt Fortuna (2:34 PM)
Tim, very low of Les. I'll have more to say on this later.
Matt, let's be honest: the loss of Greenberry hurts badly. So my question is, who has the ability to step up and be the man at receiver this year? I'm not talking about Eiffert or any of the guys who have been at ND for a while...i'm talking about the new guys --Davaris Daniels, Ferguson, Brown etc..
Matt Fortuna (2:36 PM)
I'd put my money on Ferguson. Brian Kelly, for what it's worth, spoke VERY highly of Brown on Wednesday.
Matt.... I strongly assume you have had the chance to see Evertt Goldson practice. Is this kid special? Does he have the ability to be great?
Matt Fortuna (2:39 PM)
Daz, I actually haven't. No practice availability since I've been on the beat. His teammates have spoken very highly of him, though.
Matt...I know this is a touchy subject, but i have to say it: The reason why Notre Dame hasn't won a National Championship since 1988, and the reason why they have fallen off considerably is simple: Their academic standards are too high. Period. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but can you imagine the number of kids that play for LSU, Florida, Alabama that couldn't even get into ND. Sure Notre Dame still gets top 10 classes yearly.. but you know it and i know it.. the standards are too high. Your thoughts?
Matt Fortuna (2:41 PM)
Corey, a couple of us were talking the other day about another factor: Stanford. Preaches much of the same in terms of academics, has had much more football success recently and is a lot closer to many top recruits.
has les apologized for the gunner comments? has gunner or kelly commented on the issue?
Matt Fortuna (2:44 PM)
Joe, to my knowledge, no, on all counts. I wouldn't expect anyone from ND to; Kelly has talked in the past about trying to avoid that kind of tit-for-tat stuff, especially after the USC game.
Despite Notre Dame's mediocrity over the past 15 years, are the Irish still the most polarizing team in College football?
Matt Fortuna (2:46 PM)
I think so. Sure, some may be hated more. Some may be loved more. But none cover every corner of the nation the way this program does, and EVERYONE has an extreme feeling about them in one direction or another.
Do you got Matt Barkley throwing for 400 against ND?
Matt Fortuna (2:48 PM)
Otto, ND probably won't be the only team he has a big day against, though the combination of a POTENTIAL title game spot and POTENTIAL Heisman candidacy up for grabs there could make that game interesting on many levels.
Matt, it seems like ND was a finalist for a lot of prospects, but didn't pull any in on NSD. Why do you think that is?
Matt Fortuna (2:49 PM)
Mitch, I'd say a lot of it is momentum. Last year they won their last four games, had a new regime and had a future to sell. They were able to land a few big names late in the game, and they entered this season with BCS expectations. Those didn't pan out, and the season began and ended flatly.
why would you answer someone who asked you WHO we signed???? come on, man!!!
Matt Fortuna (2:50 PM)
It's not like I went through each name-by-name. I threw the link up there for reference.
Red Lobster!? listen, i grew up there. you tell that young man to eat at LEGENDS on campus. great food, great service.
Matt Fortuna (2:51 PM)
You just did. I like it, too.
Deontay Greenberry in the future (His couch)
Man I really wish I would of went to ND... BIG mistake
Matt Fortuna (2:52 PM)
You sound like a conflicted man today, Deontay.
Any news on Tee Shepard's reaction to Greenberry's last minute change? Tee is in South Bend to stay correct?
Matt Fortuna (2:55 PM)
Jerry, I don't see Tee going anywhere. He seemed from the get-go much more sold on ND than Greenberry, though it was still a surprise to see him flip.
How about that basketball team, knocking off the undefeated Orange and the UConn... think they'll make the BCS, err, tournament this year?
Matt Fortuna (2:56 PM)
John, big surprise. They're certainly in a good position now, but that can all go South quickly in the Big East. Also, catch the UConn news on Calhoun today? Hope he's OK.
Denard (Ann Arbor)
Matt, does UM beat the Irish again this year? How do the teams compare right now on paper?
Matt Fortuna (2:58 PM)
Denard, as long as you're there, I'll like your chances against Notre Dame.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Matt, I'm a diehard Sooner fan, and am very excited about the game next year in Norman. Who should I be most concerned with when the Irish come visiting in September?
Matt Fortuna (3:00 PM)
Tony, you should be most concerned with your calendar, since the game is in October!
Matt Fortuna (3:01 PM)
On a more serious note, ND's front-seven has the makings of something really special with Te'o inside and the ridiculously athletic and young linemen up front. If Landry Jones gets time, though, he could be in for a field day.
Matt Fortuna (3:01 PM)
That's all for today folks. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the Super Bowl.