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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Chip Long Notebook

February 9, 2018

Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chip Long recapped the newest offensive signees and gave a quick look into the offense. 

On surprises at Notre Dame after year one: 
“I had a good idea of what I was getting into. The demands on the players, especially towards the end of the year, they faded hard, but they were able to finish strong over the last two weeks of bowl prep.

“I was taken back about how awesome these kids are and how hard they work in the classroom. Every day at practice, they do everything you ask them to do and it's through the echo of the whistle. They are always taking their game to another level, which is inspiring to be honest.  

On recruiting across the nation:
“It’s a totally different animal. When you walk in, they make time for you instead of it being just a hassle. They know what this school represents. It represents everything that’s great about college football, and they understand how their kids are going to be developed.

“I’ve never been any place with the power of Notre Dame.” 

On running back depth:
“I feel good about it. We’re always trying to add more. You kind of saw through the season the wear and tear that goes on those backs. You can never have enough of them. I like the mismatches they present in the passing game and moving them around personnel-wise.

“We have some young guys, which is exciting. They’re doing a great job stepping up, and I’m really excited to see what they do in spring ball. Every team is different. We want to add depth at every position, especially losing two guys – three guys really.” 

On offensive line signee Jarrett Patterson: 
“You’re able to go all in on three or four guys for the month of January, so that was big. It was another opportunity to land another big man, who is athletic and can move to an already good group.

“You never want to pass those guys up. He was a good fit when he came on his visit and meshed well with our players. Fit to me is just as important as anything at Notre Dame. The ability for kids to survive here is as big of a criteria as we have in our evaluations.” 

On tight end class:
“One thing I always like to do with the tight end group, I like to have size and athleticism. Both of them bring that, and both are a little different. You don’t always want the same type of player. You want to have variety. Certain guys can do certain things.

“It just so happened that we lose Durham (Smythe), but we don’t want to pass up on a great athlete. Both of them are tremendous. George (Takacs) is already here doing a great job.” 

On scramble at running back:
“I feel good about the group we have and the experience we have coming back. Some of them need to grow up, but it was really about the fit. We didn’t want to take a guy to take a guy. Coming across C’Bo (Flemister), he’s our type of guy. He came up here and did a great job. 

“He was committed to Georgia Tech and decided that wasn’t the route he wanted to go. He comes from a great family and was the right fit for what we do. It helps to be the leading rusher in Georgia and being 6-foot, 200 pounds. I like to get a bigger guy and smaller guy with more ball skills that can do certain things. Always having variety.” 

On early enrollee RB Jahmir Smith:
“You don’t want him to get overwhelmed. He’s going to get frustrated like every freshman, but stick to the process, and it’ll come to you. He’s doing a great job in the weight room. I just watched him run, and he’s going to be a good fit. He’s going to be a good player.” 

On running backs picking up the blocking scheme:
“You have to protect the quarterback. That dictates if you’re going to play a lot or be a situational guy. It’s something you have to embrace, the physicality. You can’t hide from it. Guys are going to pressure you, and you have to see the blitz.

“The game is sometimes faster for younger guys, especially when we’re playing at tempo. If it’s not a big deal to you, you’re going to struggle. Other than protecting the ball, that’s the only thing that will keep a back off the field in our offense.” 

On tag teaming recruiting:
“We will watch as a staff and get everyone’s input. When we decide on a guy, we go all in on him. I recruit everybody on the offense. I’m responsible for every single one of them. I want our guys to know what I’m looking for in prospects to help them when they go on the road in the spring with their evaluations.” 

On relationship with Jeff Quinn:
“Coach Quinn was my right-hand man with the tight ends all year. He knows exactly what I want especially with the offensive line and how we want this offense to look. He was right there in every single meeting. 

“It’s different, but it’s good because of all the time we’ve been together. It’s going to be an easy transition in my opinion.” 

On tight end personnel:
“We’ve tried to be a 12 personnel team. Our whole offense is dictated on the players we have and the guys that can sustain the tempo to go out and execute. It can look different every single year or game. It’s a player driven offense, but we want to be physical. 

“To run a play-action offense, you need to have tight ends and establish the run.” 

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