Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Freeman's Practice Observations | 8.9

August 9, 2018

Notre Dame is back on campus and after getting a day off from practice. The Irish took it easy for the most part on Thursday despite being in full pads. Notre Dame did work in 11-on-11 situations multiple times, but it wasn’t an overly physical practice. Jeremiah Owuso-Koramoah, Jahmir Smith, and Drew White started practice on the bike and didn’t participate in practice. Jack Lamb and Aaron Banks joined them doing conditioning work throughout the practice. 


First-Team Offense 

QB - Brandon Wimbush 

RB - Tony Jones Jr.

WR - Miles Boykin 

WR - Chase Claypool

WR - Chris Finke 

TE - Nic Weishar/Cole Kmet

OL - Liam Eichenberg 

OL - Alex Bars 

OL - Sam Mustipher 

OL - Tommy Kraemer 

OL - Robert Hainsey 

Second-Team Offense 
QB - Ian Book 
RB - Avery Davis 
WR - Jafar Armstrong
WR - Michael Young
WR - Javon McKinley 
TE - Alizè Mack/Brock Wright 
OL - Jarrett Patterson
OL - Dillan Gibbons 
OL - Trevor Ruhland
OL - Josh Lugg
OL - John Dirksen 

Third-Team Offense 
QB - Phil Jurkovec 
RB - C’Bo Flemister
WR - Kevin Austin Jr. 
WR - Lawrence Keys III 
WR - Braden Lenzy/ Joe Wilkins Jr. 
TE - Tommy Tremble
OL - Aaron Banks 
OL - Logan Plantz
OL - Colin Grunhard 
OL - Luke Jones 
OL - Cole Mabry 

DE - Khalid Kareem 
DT - Jon Bonner
DT - Jerry Tillery 
DE - Julian Okwara 
LB - Te’von Coney
LB - Drue Tranquill
Rov - Asmar Bilal 
CB - Julian Love 
CB - Troy Pride Jr. 
S - Nick Coleman 
S - Alohi Gilman / Houston Griffith

DE - Ade Ogundeji
DT - Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa
DT - Kurt Hinish 
DE - Daelin Hayes 
LB - Jordan Genmark Heath 
LB - Bo Bauer/ Jonathan Jones 
Rov - Shayne Simon
CB - Shaun Crawford
CB - Donte Vaughn
S - Devin Studstill
S - Jalen Elliott 

It was an up and down day for Brandon Wimbush. He made some big throws and then some not so good throws, but it was a solid day for the most part. 


I have to go with offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons laying out linebacker Jordan Genmark Heath on the sideline. It was a reverse play to Joe Wilkins, who took it about 20 yards downfield before running into the sideline and defenders. 

Gibbons hustled his way downfield, and as Wilkins was headed out of bounds, the sophomore offensive lineman made sure Genmark Heath knew he was there as he completely laid the linebacker out. 


- Wimbush struggled early but rebounded with a solid period in red zone work as he threw four touchdowns in six passes. Boykin caught two of them, while Alizè Mack had a helluva catch in the corner of the end zone, while Cole Kmet added the final one. 

- Running back Tony Jones Jr. had a nice run in 11-on-11. It would have likely been a 65-yard touchdown, but the play was blown dead about 30 yards downfield. 

- Freshman receiver Lawrence Keys III continues to impress me. He’s not the biggest guy as we have stated, but he caught the ball well on Thursday. Keys was also able to get open with ease against a secondary that made life very difficult for other receivers on the day. 

- Freshman receiver Joe Wilkins Jr. also impressed throughout the day. He worked with the second group at times and made a few nice catches. He’s a bigger body that can find open space and made more than few tough catches in traffic on Thursday.

- Freshman receiver Kevin Austin Jr. does everything well. In the red zone, Austin made a phenomenal catch over a defender in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. It was Michael Floydesque. 

- Sophomore running back/receiver Avery Davis was great in the red zone. He got separation and then made the catch. Most of his highlights were in 1-on-1 situations, so it's hard to get too excited about him as he has the entire end zone to work with, but he's probably ahead of where I expected his development to be. 

- Offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons set the tone for practice by laying out linebacker Jordan Genmark Heath in an 11-on-11 period. The next play Gibbons laid out defensive end Jamir Jones. Gibbons is much larger than a year ago, and his nasty style of play is starting to show.

- Notre Dame’s pass protection was much better today. Jerry Tilley got some inside pressure and would have been credited with a sack (or two), but Robert Hainsey and Liam Eichenberg were solid. Jarrett Patterson also had a solid day. 

- On defense, Troy Pride Jr. continues to impress. The junior cornerback had several PBUs on the day but has really taken significant steps forward as a physical player. He doesn’t get pushed around at the line anymore and won physical battles against Chase Claypool.

- Junior cornerback Donte Vaughn got a lot of reps and was productive throughout practice. I'm not sure he's going to get a lot of interceptions, but he's going to force the quarterback to throw perfect balls as his length really makes it tough on receivers.  

- Safety Nick Coleman was named player of the day twice already in camp and continued to have a big camp on Thursday. Coleman was able to get his hands on several balls for PBUs in 1-on-1s, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11.


- Wimbush and the first-team offense struggled in 7-on-7. Wimbush made a few late reads which caused a dangerous ball. Other times the receivers dropped easy balls or ran bad routes.

- Wimbush’s receivers also didn’t help him as Chase Claypool had a number of drops on the day and even stopped running his route on one play that led to Wimbush throwing an interception. Not the best day for Claypool.

It’s not to the point where people should get concerned, but when you have a quarterback that has struggled with consistency, the receivers need also to do their part. 

- Ian Book had a similar day to Wimbush as he was also up and down throughout the day. His receivers didn't cost him as much, but he battled through some drops. 

I think you'd love to see a little more consistency getting air under the ball in the red zone from him as Book throws more of a line drive. 

- Both Book and Wimbush needs to be more consistent in practice. I wouldn't consider Thursday a bad day but I hope and expect to see a crisper day on Saturday. 

- Phil Jurkovec didn't take any reps in 1-on-1s, 7-on-7 or 11-on-11. It's not a shock but you would still like to see him get a few reps here and there. I'm not sure that's a reflection on Jurkovec's performance during camp but more so on practice structure. 

- Offensive lineman Aaron Banks was out of practice minus the tempo drill after hyperextending his elbow in practice on Tuesday. 


It was one of the few days in the last two years we actually saw Justin Yoon in action, and he looked in midseason form.

Yoon hit from 20, 30, 35, 36, 41 and missed from 50 as it hit the right upright, but it had plenty of leg strength. 

The “pop” that Yoon had as a freshman is back, and you can really tell his distance is better than his sophomore to junior year when he was battling a leg injury. 

Consistency is the biggest thing for Yoon when it comes to 50 yards and over, but I would imagine most kickers struggle from that distance. 

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