Notre Dame offensive practice notes 4-7

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND — Chase Claypool is a mismatch in the red zone.

This should be included in a list of commonly agreed-upon facts, such as the Earth rotating around the sun and being round, not flat (though Kyrie Irving may disagree).

In Notre Dame's 10th practice of the spring on Friday, Claypool — a 6-foot-5, 224-pound sophomore wide receiver — was a frequent contributor in red zone 7-on-7 drills, at one point ripping the football on a crossing route away from safety Jalen Elliott, who was draped helplessly on his back.

Elsewhere in the Irish receiving corps, junior Equanimeous St. Brown and sophomore Kevin Stepherson were both limited on Friday with hamstring injuries. Head coach Brian Kelly said after practice that St. Brown's injury is largely insignificant, while Stepherson's strain has nagged him throughout the spring.

In St. Brown and Stepherson's absence, junior wide receiver Miles Boykin practiced with the starters. Sophomore Javon McKinley also received more reps and seemed to be moving fluidly as he continues to rehab a broken fibula.

Notre Dame's offensive starters on Friday were quarterback Brandon Wimbush, running back Josh Adams, left tackle Mike McGlinchey, left guard Quenton Nelson, center Sam Mustipher, right guard Alex Bars, right tackle Tommy Kraemer, tight end Durham Smythe and wide receivers Claypool, Boykin and C.J. Sanders.

Tight ends Nic Weishar and Alize Jones also worked in with the Irish starters.

Notre Dame's offensive skill players were frequent victors in 1-on-1 drills, though the defense won more reps in 7-on-7 and red zone work.

Claypool did let one pass slip out of his hands in the end zone, but that was a rare gaffe in an otherwise impressive display.

Notre Dame's Chase Claypool runs a drill during practice, Friday, March 31, 2017, in South Bend. Tribune Photo/BECKY MALEWITZ