Notre Dame football practice report 3-2

Carter Karels
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame football began spring practice on Saturday. The Irish donned only helmets and had little contact. Members of the media observed the first 45 minutes of practice. Below are some notes.

• The Irish stretched before breaking into offense-defense work. They then broke into position drills. The starting offense and defense only ran a couple plays before intermingling the second and third units.

• Centers Trevor Ruhland and Colin Grunhard, cornerback Donte Vaughn, defensive tackles Darnell Ewell, Jamion Franklin and Hunter Spears, safety Alohi Gilman, cornerback Shaun Crawford and rover Jack Kiser were among players limited to sideline work. Ewell, listed on ND’s roster as No. 94, wore No. 58. Kiser sported a sling across his left arm. Kelly said at Friday’s press conference that Gilman should be limited some during spring football as a precautionary measure.

• Starting for the offensive line (from left to right) were senior Liam Eichenberg, junior Josh Lugg, sophomore Jarrett Patterson, senior Tommy Kraemer and junior Robert Hainsey. Patterson, an offensive tackle, moved inside as Grunhard and Ruhland were limited to sideline work. Lugg took the place of Aaron Banks, who started at left guard for last season’s final five games.

• Junior Ian Book started at quarterback, with sophomore Phil Jurkovec rotating in often. Junior Jafar Armstrong started at running back with receivers Michael Young, Chris Finke and Chase Claypool on the perimeter.

• The Irish slotted Claypool at Miles Boykin’s former position on the boundary. Finke lined up in the slot with Young on the wide side of the field. Junior Brock Wright started at tight end with Cole Kmet on the road for baseball.

• Book and Jurkovec threw to receivers running basic routes for the latter portion of the observed session. Nothing stood out about Jurkovec’s throwing motion and both quarterbacks looked fluid.

• The defensive starters were defensive end Khalid Kareem, defensive tackle Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, nose guard Kurt Hinish, defensive end Julian Okwara, middle linebacker Drew White, buck linebacker Asmar Bilal, rover Shayne Simon, field cornerback Troy Pride Jr., boundary cornerback Houston Griffith, free safety Paul Moala and strong safety Jalen Elliott.

• Cornerback DJ Brown worked with the safeties during position drills. The 6-0, 192-pounder joined the likes of Jalen Elliott, Paul Moala and more. Sophomore Derrik Allen remained with the safeties unit. Senior free safety Devin Studstill was not seen at practice. 

• Junior Avery Davis and sophomore Houston Griffith worked with the cornerbacks during position drills. Davis will get a look at the boundary position after moving to running back last year. Griffith will also move to the boundary after rotating at nickel back last season.

• Early enrolled Quinn Carroll lined up at right tackle during early drills. The 6-foot-7, 285-pounder was considered by some recruiting analysts as someone who could play guard or tackle.

• Early enrolled running back Kyren Williams did not appear overweight at 5-9, 209. Williams has gained nine pounds since the end of his high school career. None of the 10 early enrolled players appeared noticeably out of shape.

• Early enrolled defensive tackle Jacob Lacey has also gained nine pounds since high school. At 6-2, 294 pounds, Lacey rotated in often.

• Early enrolled punter Jay Bramblett did not appear limited in the observed session. A Nov. 19 surgery on a severe high ankle sprain limited Bramblett through early January’s All-American Bowl. He played in the Jan. 5 contest but did not feel comfortable and struggled.

Notre Dame’s Jafar Armstrong (8) runs during practice on Dec. 18, 2018 at the Guglielmino Athletics Complex.