Story Poster
Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Practice Observations | March 5

March 5, 2020

Notre Dame opened spring ball on Thursday morning and it was a lively practice as the Irish took the field in just helmets. It was not a sloppy practice and that could be a good sign. 

There was a large group of players not practicing: Aaron Banks, Jay Brunelle, Shayne Simon, Howard Cross, Jack Lamb, Dillan Gibbons and I believe Zane Heemsoth, along with a few others.

Former Notre Dame cornerbacks coach Kerry Cooks was on hand as Brian Kelly stated he’s in the process of being hired as an analyst.

The Fighting Irish started with tempo drill and the first and second team looked like this:

QB Ian Book
RB Jafar Armstrong/C’Bo Flemister
WR Braden Lenzy
WR Lawrence Keys III
WR Kevin Austin Jr.
TE Brock Wright/Tommy Tremble
LT Liam Eichenberg
LG Josh Lugg
C Jarrett Patterson
RG Tommy Kraemer
RT Robert Hainsey

QB Brendon Clark
RB Jahmir Smith/Kyren Williams
WR Javon McKinley
WR Avery Davis
WR Ben Skowronek
TE George Takacs
LT Andrew Kristofic
LG Hunter Spears 
C Zeke Correll
RG John Dirksen
RT Cole Mabry

DE Daelin Hayes
DT Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa
DT Kurt Hinish
DE Ade Ogundeji
LB Drew White
LB Jordan Genmark Heath
R Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
CB Shaun Crawford
CB TaRiq Bracy
S Kyle Hamilton
S Houston Griffith

DE Isaiah Foskey
DT Jayson Ademilola
DT Jacob Lacey
DE Justin Ademilola
LB Bo Bauer
LB Marist Liufau
R Paul Moala
CB Isaiah Rutherford
CB Cam Hart
S Isaiah Pryor
S DJ Brown

Ian Book

Kevin Austin vs. TaRiq Bracy – Tip Big catch
Lawrence Keys III vs. DJ Brown – INC
Brock Wright vs. Houston Griffith – PBU
Braden Lenzy vs. Isaiah Rutherford – Complete comeback
Javon McKinley vs. Cam Hart – Complete deep out
Kevin Austin vs. TaRiq Bracy – Complete
Lawrence Keys III vs. Kyle Hamilton – Complete
Brock Wright vs. Houston Griffith – Complete
Kevin Austin vs. TaRiq Bracy- Overthrown
Kendall Abdur-Rahman vs. DJ Brown – Complete
Braden Lenzy vs. Isaiah Rutherford - Complete
Javon McKinley vs. TaRiq Bracy – Nice catch. Deep ball
Avery Davis vs. Kyle Hamilton – Complete
Tommy Tremble vs. Houston Griffith – PBU. Nice break on the ball. Short out.
Ben Skowronek vs. KJ Wallace – Complete
Kevin Austin vs. TaRriq Bracy -PBU
Lawrence Keys III vs. Kyle Hamilton – Complete + PI
Tommy Tremble vs. DJ Brown – PI

Brendon Clark
Avery Davis vs. Kyle Hamilton – Complete
Tommy Tremble vs. Isaiah Pryor – Compete
Ben Skowronek vs. Isaiah Rutherford – Complete
Avery Davis vs. Ramon Henderson – PBU             
Micah Jones vs. Caleb Offord – Complete
Tommy Tremble vs. Kyle Hamilton – INC deep
Ben Skowronek vs. KJ Wallace – Incomplete
Javon McKinley vs. TaRiq Bracy – Complete – deep out
Avery Davis vs. Houston Griffith – Overthrown
Xavier Watts vs. Ramon Henderson – Complete
Javon McKinley vs. Caleb Offord – Complete

Drew Pyne
George Takacs vs. DJ Brown – Complete
Xavier Watts vs. Ramon Henderson – Complete
Micah Jones vs. Caleb Offord – Complete
Kendall Abdur-Rahman vs. Isaiah Pryor – Complete
George Takacs vs. DJ Brown - INT

Ian Book

OL: Liam Eichenberg, Colin Grunhard, Jarrett Patterson, John Dirksen and Josh Lugg
Complete to Kevin Austin for 10 yards
Jafar Armstrong run
Complete to Braden Lenzy – Short out
C’Bo Flemister short gain
Complete to Kevin Austin Jr. on a quick out
Complete to Lawrence Keys III for a short gain
Complete to Jafar Armstrong in the flat.
Incomplete. Pass thrown away.

Brendon Clark
OL: Andrew Kristofic, Hunter Spears, Zeke Correll, John Olmstead and Cole Mabry
Complete to Javon McKinley on a quick out.
Jahmir Smith short run
Incomplete to Javon McKinley.  Drop.
Incomplete to Ben Skowronek. Drop.
Complete to Kyren Williams in the flat.
Complete to Ben Skowronek for a short gain.

Ian Book 
Complete to Braden Lenzy on a quick out.
Complete to Kevin Austin Jr. on a crossing route.
Complete to Tommy Tremble down the seam. 40-yard TD
Complete to Braden Lenzy. Perfect throw over the hands of JOK.
Complete to Ben Skowronek. 10-yard comeback.

Brendon Clark
Complete to George Takacs
Complete to Jack Henige
DJ Brown INT
Incomplete. Deep ball

Ian Book
Complete to Braden Lenzy. Big-time ball
Complete to Kyren Williams – Juked Genmark Heath in the flat
Complete to Lawrence Keys III
Complete to Ben Skowronek
Complete to Braden Lenzy on a crossing route
Incomplete. Deep ball to Kevin Austin. Good coverage by TaRiq Bracy

Brendon Clark
Incomplete to George Takacs. PBU by JD Bertrand
Complete to Javon McKinley
Complete to Jafar Armstrong
Incomplete to Javon McKinley

Ian Book

Complete to Braden Lenzy for 8 yards
False start
Book keeper. Gain of 10.
Complete to Kevin Austin Jr. with PI.
Complete to Lawrence Keys III on a bubble screen.
Incomplete to Ben Skowronek. Deep out.
Complete to Jafar Armstrong in the flat.

Brendon Clark
Incomplete to Ben Skowronek. DJ Brown with nice coverage
Completed screen Avery Davis for a short gain.
Complete to Javon McKinley on a deep shot.
Completed screen to Avery Davis. 10-yard gain

Ian Book
Jahmir Smith run
Completed deep ball to Kevin Austin Jr. Catch of the day. Over TaRiq Bracy
Complete to Javon McKinley. Deep fade
Completed screen to Braden Lenzy
Complete to Tommy Tremble
Complete to Kevin Austin Jr.

Brendon Clark
Jahmir Smith run
Complete to George Takacs
Incomplete to Javon McKinley.
Complete to Micah Jones. TD. RPO read.


WR Kevin Austin Jr.: Welcome back. The junior receiver showed zero rust as he made 3-4 incredible catches on the day and caught everything else thrown his way. We saw Chase Claypool and Miles Boykin make NFL level catches their senior year and Austin looks to be the next in line if he can find consistency this spring. The jury was out on where Austin was in his development after not really seeing him for a year and he answered it pretty clearly after day one. 

QB Ian Book: The California native looks to have a little more velocity on his ball and it showed on downfield throws throughout the practice. He hit Tommy Tremble down the seam for a touchdown in 7-on-7 and while he made similar throws to Cole Kmet last year, Book ripped it to Tremble today. Book was as accurate as ever today and he was able to connect on quite a few 50-50 deep balls. 

QB Brendon Clark: He can rip it. Clark did some great things and then some bad things as you'd expect. He's processing things and that's the difference between a fifth-year quarterback and one who is in his first spring. It will be interesting to see his growth from today to the spring game as he has an arm to make "aggressive" throws down the field, but Clark has to see it first. 

WR Braden Lenzy, Ben Skowronek and Lawrence Keys III: All three impressed on Thursday. Lenzy showed consistency catching the football and his routes were much cleaner. Keys looks a little thicker and looked as explosive as ever. Skowronek had a few drops today, but I would expect him to clean that up as it was his first practice with new quarterbacks, offense and team. 

Buck: Jordan Genmark Heath got the first look and Marist Liufau also worked in during the day with the first team. Hard to really tell anything without pads on, but both are athletic and can run. 

S Houston Griffith: The junior safety looked excellent today and showed the same flashes we saw two springs ago when he was an early enrollee. He's a safety and it's noticeable how comfortable he is at the position. I'd look for him to have a big spring. 

S Isaiah Pryor: Thursday showed you can't get caught up in how a player looks in a Social Media photo during workouts. Pryor looks like a million bucks, but he struggled getting out of his break and in pass coverage today. Now, it's his first practice on a new team, so don't write him off, but I'm not sure you should buy stock into him being locked in as a starter, as some have reported before today. 

CB TaRiq Bracy: The junior cornerback had a rough day. No other way to put it. Kevin Austin Jr. and Javon McKinley made big plays down the field on him today. The quarterbacks also threw perfect balls on some of the highlight-reel catches. He did have a couple nice plays on the ball, but he's going to need to win a few more of the 50-50 balls. 

Early Enrollees 
QB Drew Pyne: He didn't get a ton of reps, but he did well for the most part. He threw one interception to DJ Brown and checked the ball down, but that's normal for a quarterback in his first practice. 

WR Xavier Watts: He looks like a college junior right now. The explosion we saw on his high school film is definitely there. He made some nice catches in limited reps, but I would imagine he gets on the field at some point this season. 

DE Jordan Botelho: He looks a little bigger since the last time I saw him and he looked explosive in some 1-on-1 work, but they weren't going full speed. 

DE Alexander Ehrensberger: He looks the part. We didn't get to see the defensive line work too much as they were outside. 

DT Rylie Mills: I actually didn't see Mills on the field today, but once again, the defensive line was outside for most of the day. 

CB Ramon Henderson: Definitely looks the part already. Mike Mickens gave the first lashing of the spring to him as Henderson quit on a 1-on-1 drill after the catch. He did some nice things in 1-on-1s, but still too early to see where he's at. 

CB Caleb Offord: We knew he was small and he might be a little smaller and thinner than I even thought. He's going to need a year with Matt Balis. He didn't flash today as it was easy to tell Offord was getting used to a college practice and the speed of the game. 

ISD Video | Practice Highlights 3.5

subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.