Chat Transcript: Talk Notre Dame football with Eric Hansen

Staff reports
ND Insider

Eric Hansen answered readers' Notre Dame football questions in a live chat. Read the transcript.

// scrollpos[1]) { divtop = document.getElementById('cil_mainholder').scrollTop + 40; } else { divtop = scrollpos[1] - document.getElementById('cil_mainholder').offsetTop + document.getElementById('cil_mainholder').scrollTop + 40; } document.getElementById('cil_modalitem').style.left = divleft + 'px'; document.getElementById('cil_modalitem') = divtop + 'px'; document.getElementById('cil_modalitem').style.display = 'inline'; } function cil_closeLayer(){ if (document.getElementById('cil_modalitem').style.display != 'none') { document.getElementById('cil_divsrc').innerHTML = ''; document.getElementById('cil_modalitem').style.display = 'none'; } } function cil_replaceString(oldS, newS, fullS) { for (var i = 0; i < fullS.length; i++) { if (fullS.substring(i, i + oldS.length) == oldS) { fullS = fullS.substring(0, i) + newS + fullS.substring(i + oldS.length, fullS.length); } } return fullS; } function cil_getScrollingPosition() { var position = [0, 0]; if (typeof window.pageYOffset != 'undefined') { position = [window.pageXOffset, window.pageYOffset]; } else if (typeof document.documentElement.scrollTop != 'undefined' && document.documentElement.scrollTop > 0) { position = [document.documentElement.scrollLeft,document.documentElement.scrollTop]; } else if (typeof document.body.scrollTop != 'undefined') { position = [document.body.scrollLeft,document.body.scrollTop]; } return position; } function cil_getCurrentStyle(elem, prop) { if( elem.currentStyle ) { var ar = prop.match(/\w[^-]*/g); var s = ar[0]; for(var i = 1; i < ar.length; ++i) { s += ar[i].replace(/\w/, ar[i].charAt(0).toUpperCase()); } return elem.currentStyle[s] } else if( document.defaultView.getComputedStyle ) { return document.defaultView.getComputedStyle(elem, null).getPropertyValue(prop); } } function cil_setSizes() { document.getElementById('viewingtoolbar').style.width = document.getElementById('altcast_title').offsetWidth + 'px'; var oElement = document.getElementById('pageborder'); if (oElement) { borderHeight = cil_getCurrentStyle(oElement, 'border-top-width'); pageborderHeight = borderHeight.substring(0,borderHeight.length-2); } else { pageborderHeight = 0; } maxheight = 550 - (pageborderHeight*2); chatholderheight = (maxheight-document.getElementById('viewingtoolbar').offsetHeight-document.getElementById('viewingfooter').offsetHeight-document.getElementById('altcast_title').offsetHeight-9); document.getElementById('mainchat').style.height = chatholderheight + 'px'; } // ]]>

 Live Chat: Talk Notre Dame football with Eric Hansen(04/26/2013) 
Eric Hansen:  Welcome to today's delayed version of #NotreDame football live chat. We're rolling now and ready to answer your draft/spring football/even your math homework questions. Please include your hometown and name with you question. Please no whining or begging. With that, off we go.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:23 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Robb, ColoradoRobb, Colorado: ]  Eric, Does Coach Kelly's proclamation that a recruit who has committed and takes other visits is no longer considered committed going to stick? Seems like the first big stud who does this may get a little more slack than a 3-star kid. I am thinking of someone like Elijah Hood specifically. Thanks.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:25 Robb, Colorado
Eric Hansen:  Hi Robb, I'm not sure I heard him say that quite that way, I know Charlie Weis was a lot more hard line about it. I do agree with you, that it depends on the prospects and how valued they are. That might seem like a double standard, but when you are dealing with more than 100 offers out and 20-25 openings, you have to set some kind of priority system.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:28 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Andy, MuncieAndy, Muncie: ]  Judging by what you've seen so far, what incoming freshman have a shot at playing time this fall?
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:28 Andy, Muncie
Eric Hansen:  I know Bob Diaco likes to tamp down expectations, but I still think there are three kids on defense that will get on the field and several on offense. I think you could see as many as nine total, though there may not be a starter among them. On defense/special teams I would say Eddie Vanderdoes, Jaylon Smith, Mex Redfield and Doug Randolph. On offense, I'd say the most likely to play are Greg Bryant, Tarean Folston, Corey Robinson, Steve Elmer and a stretch for John Montelus.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:32 Eric Hansen
[Comment From John Columbus OHJohn Columbus OH: ]  Which of the early enrollees made the best impression this spring.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:32 John Columbus OH
Eric Hansen:  Well there were five of them QB Malik Zaire, WRs Corey Robinson and James Onwualu, OT Steve Elmer and TE Mike Heuerman. I was most impressed with Zaire and Elmer, even though one will almost certainly redshirt and they both could end up doing so. Zaire, really grasped the offensive concepts better than Golson or Kiel did when they were early-enrolled freshmen. Elmer looks the part and really did a nice job mentally for such a young kid/
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:35 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Tim, Milford, CTTim, Milford, CT: ]  HI Eric, Were you surprised that Manti didn't get picked in the first round last night? Do you consider him a "can't miss" prospect or more of a question mark considering the knocks against his 40 time and performance in the BCS title game?
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:35 Tim, Milford, CT
Eric Hansen:  Tim, I am surprised, and from what I've heard and read today, the biggest knock against him was his performance in the Alabama game. The catfishing stuff apparently was an absolute non-factor. If that's indeed the case, I can live with that. I'm not sure I would judge a player by one game, but I can see how that would work into a team's thinking.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:37 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Larry, Columbus, OHLarry, Columbus, OH: ]  When will all freshmen he on campus and where do you see Jaylon Smith fitting in this fall? He is behind Spond but it will be hard to keep that kind of talent on the sidelines.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:37 Larry, Columbus, OH
Eric Hansen:  Beyond the five guys who are already on campus, the rest of the group arrives in June in time for summer school. I wrote about the Jaylon Smith dilemma the other day. Not only do you have a strong returning starter in Danny Spond, but Ben Councell was dubbed the most improved defensive player of the spring. Both are drop linebackers. You're loaded at the other outside linebacker spot. I still think they find a way to rotate him in, and more and more as the season goes on. Perhaps he plays initially in the nickel package. There's a chance he could move inside next year, when the Irish lose both Fox and Calabrese, but this guy is such a prototype drop linebacker, I think he'll stay there and star there -- eventually.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:41 Eric Hansen
[Comment From The Gippeer. aliver and well in New JerseyThe Gippeer. aliver and well in New Jersey: ]  What is being done to bring special teams up to speed? Who the going to be the returners on kickoffs and special teams and who will do all the punting, kickoffs, FGs and XPs.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:41 The Gippeer. aliver and well in New Jersey
Eric Hansen:  Two things on the speed front, infuse special teams with starting players and with the most athletic of the freshmen, such as Randolph, Redfield, etc. I think they will look at Bryant and Folston in the flal in the return game, but my sense is Atkinson is going to end your main kickoff return guy and either C.J. Prosise or Amir Carlisle will return punts. Kyle Brindza has the inside track as kickoff man, place-kicker and punter, but he must have a strong summer punting to keep that job.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:43 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Robb, ColoradoRobb, Colorado: ]  Eric, I guess he said the thing about possibly pulling an offer if commits start taking other visits, ie. Mattingly, James, from this year. Anyhow, my next question has to do with Zaire. Any chance he starts the year as the #3 ahead of Hendrix or is he scout team bound all year?
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:43 Robb, Colorado
Eric Hansen:  I would really doubt he pulls ahead of Hendrix. I think the only way Malik plays is if there's an injury. It's not a bad thing to redshirt as a freshman quarterback. I certainly think it helped Golson.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:44 Eric Hansen
[Comment From JimJim: ]  Jim From Chicago How do you project how the T.E from Marist will work out?
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:44 Jim
Eric Hansen:  I haven't seen Nic Weishar play in person, but I like what I'm hearing about him 6-5, 215, figuring he'll be 230 by the time he gets to Notre Dame. He's the 13th-best TE currently in his class, which sounds modest, but remember Tyler Eifert was the 24th-best in his class.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:47 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Tom, South BendTom, South Bend: ]  I am extremely concerned about the WR position this year. God forbid, TJ or Davaris run into injury problems, we are in deep trouble. Which of the incoming freshman receivers would be most ready to come in and contribute right away?
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:47 Tom, South Bend
Eric Hansen:  I think there is a dropoff from TJ and DaVaris Daniels to the next tier, but I do think they have something in C.J. Prosise. Among the holdovers, Daniel Smith and Chris Brown need to have strong summers. Amir Carlisle will play in the slot some, and perhaps Tarean Folston a bit too. Among the freshman wideouts, I think Corey Robinson may be able to find a niche in the red-zone package. James Onwualu needs time to grow. I don't think Torii Hunter or William Fuller will be physically ready to go, but Hunter probably has the most upside of the four freshmen.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:49 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Cowboy from AtlantaCowboy from Atlanta: ]  How is Joey Brooks progressing and what role will he play in 2013?
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:49 Cowboy from Atlanta
Eric Hansen:  Joey hung in there in the spring and didn't walk away or get pushed away, which is a victory in itself after being away from football for four years I don't envision him having a signficant role, but who knows? He is a tall athletic kid with some speed who could play a flex tight end position.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:51 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Steve from St LouisSteve from St Louis: ]  Now that Spring practice is over what kind of football activities are the players allowed to engage in? Any coaches involved or strictly player organized?
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:51 Steve from St Louis
Eric Hansen:  From here until the end of exams, they'll be engaged in speed training with strength/conditioning coach Paul Longo. They'll have a break to go home after exams, working out in their hometowns. When they come back in June, there will be player-run practices and workouts that the coaches can not attend. Longo still can lead the lifting and speed work, however.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:53 Eric Hansen
[Comment From GuestGuest: ]  Hi Eric Really glad to have you back. What is your thoughts on special teams. ND has wandered around it seems to me the last few years. First there was not enough depth to field quality ST and now we need to place our starters out there like Alabama. If you get a scholarship to ND then you are a quality football player even if you are not first string and you should, in your desire to get on the field, have the fire that makes a good ST player in my opinion. Keep the chats going. Thanks Denny in Beaverton Oregon
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:53 Guest
Eric Hansen:  Thanks Denny, I'm not sure all of the problems were purely personnel. Some of it, I believe was related to scheme. I'm going to give BK the benefit of an open mind and see if this new philosophy works.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:55 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Frank from TucsonFrank from Tucson: ]  How is the O-Line shaping up?
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:55 Frank from Tucson
Eric Hansen:  Frank, the left side of the offensive line is stellar with Zack Martin at tackle and Chris Watt at guard. You can't do much better than those two. At center, you have Nick Martin taking over for Braxston Cave. He had an impressive spring, but still has a ways to go.Christian Lombard, last year's starting right tackle, will start at either guard or tackle. It will come down to whether playing Ronnie Stanley at tackle and Lombard at guard gives you the best chance to win or Lombard at tackle and Conor Hanratty at guard Depth could be a problem if there are injuries. There are bodies but five of them are true freshmen.
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:58 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Beth from Lansing, MIBeth from Lansing, MI: ]  Eric I attended the spring game and the offense was less than impressive. Just being vanilla for the cameras or should we be concerned?
  Friday April 26, 2013 1:58 Beth from Lansing, MI
Eric Hansen:  I think it was a matter of being vanilla for the cameras and also the fact that quarterbacks were not live, so as a defense you really didn't have to honor the QB running the ball. Also, the line missing Chris Watt made things a little more choppy and keep in mind ND's defense is still tough for anyone to move the ball on. In the practices I saw, the offense was more fluid and proficient than what we saw Saturday in the Blue-Gold Game.
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:00 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Craig From CincinnatiCraig From Cincinnati: ]  Hello Eric, What are you hearing about Eddie Vanderdoes and the strength of his commitment?
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:00 Craig From Cincinnati
Eric Hansen:  He signed his letter of intent back in February. I'm not sure I understand the question.
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:03 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Jerome - CincyJerome - Cincy: ]  Has there been any discussion in the program about over recruiting by 2 or 3 players to guard against the transfers and injuries that happen every year?
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:04 Jerome - Cincy
Eric Hansen:  I'm not sure you can count on those. What happens if you oversign and then no one gets hurt or transfers?
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:04 Eric Hansen
[Comment From GuestGuest: ]  Overall, do you think this year's team will be better than last year's on both side's of the ball. And who do you think will emerge as leaders?
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:04 Guest
Eric Hansen:  I think the offense is better, but still has a lot to show me in August. I think the progres and health of Carlisle, Prosise, Chris Brown and Greg Bryant are key pieces. So is getting the right side of the line settled. I really like the starters on defense. I'm not sold on the depth at defensive line yet.
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:06 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Domer in JerseyDomer in Jersey: ]  If, indeed, special teams are one-third of the game, why does ND just keep punting on it under Kelly instead of making it return dividends in TDs from punts and kickoffs returns?
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:07 Domer in Jersey
Eric Hansen:  If I understand you correctly, you're using the word punting as a metaphor and not actually talking about punting? If that's the case, we've kind of covered that. We all agree the return games need to improve.
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:08 Eric Hansen
[Comment From GuestGuest: ]  The 2014 recruiting class seems to be lacking the top 100 athletes now, how many of the top 100 do you see ND getting and which few are their odds best with?
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:08 Guest
Eric Hansen:  It's April. There is a long long long long way to go. Think about the standouts in last year's class who were not part of the class in April -- Max Redfield and Eddie Vanderdoes didn't come aboard until the final days of the cycle. Even Jaylon Smith didn't commit until June. So inhale. Exhale. The Irish are positioned well at a number of positions of need.
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:11 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Ken - Pensacola,FloridaKen - Pensacola,Florida: ]  How does this team compare to last year's on both sides of the ball? And whom do you think will emerge as team leaders? Also, Cam McDaniel runs hard, but he doesn't seem to get much fan-fare from the coaches.
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:11 Ken - Pensacola,Florida
Eric Hansen:  Sorry, I forgot the leaders part of that question. On defense, I'm going to say Bennett Jackson and Matthias Farley are the strongest voices and Prince Shembo and Lou Nix carry a lot of respect through their actions. Offensively, Golson, Zack Martin, Chris Watt and TJ Jones stand out.
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:12 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Dan, in Grand RapidsDan, in Grand Rapids: ]  Is there a reason for concern in the punting game? Brindza sure didn't look good Saturday however, he was very good in HS. Not sure how he could lose it like that, or was it just a bad game? Have you seen him punt?
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:13 Dan, in Grand Rapids
Eric Hansen:  He didn't get much of a chance to work on it during the spring, They were inside 11 of the 15 practices. He's a guy who has some gurus outside of the program, and my sense is that he'll get it together.
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:14 Eric Hansen
[Comment From CHARLES FROM "THE BEND"CHARLES FROM "THE BEND": ]  Hi Eric Happy Happy Happy its finally SPRING!! Quick question for you. Why didn't Kyle Brindza take any snaps as the place kicker. Is he no longer no. 1 on the depth chart?
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:14 CHARLES FROM "THE BEND"
Eric Hansen:  He is still No. 1. They wanted to give Nick Tausch those opportunities in game-like conditions (in front of a large crowd), since that has been a bug with him in the past and he hasn't had many of those opportunities in recent years. I think that was a smart thing to do. It's great to have a good Plan B.
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:15 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Pete Coto De Caza, CAPete Coto De Caza, CA: ]  Who's the fastest player on the team?
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:15 Pete Coto De Caza, CA
Eric Hansen:  Bennett Jackson and the Atkinsons will all say they are. In a 40, I would put my money on Amir Carlise or Chris Brown, followed by Jackson and the Atkinson twins. Believe me, they will let me know if I am wrong.
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:17 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Joe from South BendJoe from South Bend: ]  Has there ever been talk of putting about 30 pounds on Daniel Smith and making him a TE? He can block and would be tough match-up. If not, then at WR and throw some fades to him in the end zone. Watched him and high school and he can flat out go up and get the ball.
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:17 Joe from South Bend
Eric Hansen:  Joe, Daniel Smith has been a puzzle. I too watched him in high school, because for two years, he was a teammate of my own son. The kid has a great attitude in my opinion. I think injuries have so often derailed his progress and the coaches' trust in him. They need him as a WR more than they need another tight end. If he can be that complete package we all envisioned four years ago, he has a chance to get some meaningful playing time.
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:19 Eric Hansen
[Comment From Charles, Hartford, KYCharles, Hartford, KY: ]  Hi Eric, I think our punt returns would be a lot better if our players blocked the other team coming off the line of scrimmage. We appear to step aside and let them blow by on their way to our punt returner.
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:19 Charles, Hartford, KY
Eric Hansen:  Amen brother. I never understood it or really got an explanation that any of us bought into.
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:20 Eric Hansen
Eric Hansen:  That looks like it's going to be it today. Thanks for all the great questions. Thanks for hanging with us through the delay and (shameless plug) don't forget to pre-order your copy of the 2013 Notre Dame Magazine, available at southbendtribune,com/ndannual.
  Friday April 26, 2013 2:23 Eric Hansen


Eric Hansen Chat mug