Quick reads: What we saw during Notre Dame football's fall practice No. 6 Thursday
SOUTH BEND — After holding Tuesday night's practice at South Bend Saint Joseph High School's Father Bly Field near downtown, the Notre Dame football team returned to campus for its sixth fall camp session ahead of its season opener on Sep. 3 at Ohio State.
Media members observed stretching and five periods of practice, which was roughly 30 minutes.
Here are some observations from Thursday's practice:
Sophomore linebacker Prince Kollie and redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Michael Carmody both watched position drills from the side in street clothes. Kollie was also not dressed during Monday's practice (the last time media was present).
Other notable absentees included freshman cornerback Jayden Bellamy and freshman linebacker Nolan Ziegler.
Senior wideout Joe Wilkins Jr. was once again working on cardio exercises in full pads away from the practice field.
Special teams work
The same group of punt returners from Notre Dame's first fall practice (Matt Salerno, Jaden Mickey, Brandon Joseph, Gi'Bran Payne and Chris Tyree) caught simulated punts from the ball machine on the inside field.
The Irish also spent time working on punt blocking drills. In one session, players tried to run at, then tip a volleyball, which was kicked by grad assistant, James Laurinaitis. Another group of players worked on getting through blocks in pursuit of blocking a punt.
Linebackers vs running backs
A drill media witnessed for the first time was Notre Dame's running backs working on pass blocking against its linebackers, with sophomore back Logan Diggs, simulating the quarterback in a red jersey indicating no contact.
Junior running back Chris Tyree, sophomore Audric Estime, and freshman Gi'Bran Payne, had mixed results in their reps. Tyree was beat by Jack Kiser, Estime by Will Schweitzer and Payne by Tre Reader.
Representatives from the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs watched portions of Thursday's practice, with a plenty of attention being paid to defensive line, offensive line and linebacker drills.
The Irish will practice again on Friday, with limited media access.