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Notre Dame Football

Todd Lyght Notebook

August 16, 2018

Notre Dame cornerbacks coach Todd Lyght has a deep position group in 2018 and he spoke about his unit on Wednesday. 

Notre Dame cornerbacks coach Todd Lyght spoke on Wednesday the progress of the Irish secondary. 

On Troy Pride Jr.:
“His development has been really wonderful and nice to see. His mental approach to the game has been outstanding. He’s very engaged in meetings, film study and then trying to apply the techniques and fundamentals that will produce championship play at the cornerback position.” 

On cornerback depth:
“I feel very good with where we are at with Julian Love, Shaun Crawford and Troy Pride. We have three guys that can start. To be successful in the secondary, you’re going to have to play multiple guys. 

“Shaun is coming off a year where he wasn’t injured, so this will be like his first year going into the season completely healthy. He feels really good. He’s one of the smartest players we have on our team.” 

On Donte Vaughn:
“He’s injury-free and playing really well. Coming into camp, he was in outstanding shape. Coach Balis did a great job with him in terms of his development in the weight room. He hasn’t had any back issues. 

“He’s feeling good physically, and I think his confidence is getting better. For him to take the next step is the concentration on executing the techniques it takes to win and being consistent with his applications of technique.” 

On Julian Love competing with Miles Boykin:
“It’s great. In terms of competitive battles, Miles Boykin has been a different player since he caught the game-winning touchdown against LSU. For us, if we compete at a high level in practice, the games will be easy. 

“We have to get the guys to buy in to go hard all the time. It’s hard for young players when they get camp legs, and sometimes they want to pull back. We have to continue to push them because they can go longer and harder than they think they can.” 

On freshmen cornerbacks:
“I really like the young guys. Coming out of high school their development is a little bit different. 

“DJ Brown comes from a big program where they have an extensive weight program. It’s evident you can see his development in his strength and power. Noah Boykin didn’t have a strong weight program, but he has great playmaking abilities. I think he has three interceptions in 10 or 11 practices. TaRiq Bracy again comes from a program that didn’t have a big strength program. He’s a little bit undersized but his speed, athleticism and ability to react has been great.

“All three of them are eager learners, and they want to do well. They do a really good job of being engaged in practice even when they aren’t on the field. They stay locked in, so when they do get on the field, they know what they’re doing. I’m pleased with their progress so far.” 

On finally having experience: 
“Having them under my wings for a couple of years, they know exactly what I want. There is a high level of trust between myself and the players. What I love about them is they are team first guys. The mentality has been phenomenal in training camp. 

“We’re getting a little bit more from them in vocal leadership. I need them to be a little more vocal and take the leadership role on. I challenge them each day to grow there. They want to be great, and they work hard.” 

On Noah Boykin:
“He’s at his best when he’s playing press when he can lock up. I think he’s going to be really special. In terms of his football intelligence, it’s really high. He’s very natural and instinctive. 

“He wants to be really good. It was interesting today because he came in and he was tired. I could see it in his eyes. I told him this was the hardest he’s worked since he’s played football. I told him it was why he came to Notre Dame and he stepped up to the challenge.”

On TaRiq Bracy:
“I love his energy. I think he has a chance to be a special one. He kind of reminds me of Troy a couple of years ago.” 

On Julian Love:
“He was a guy that was going to be exposed and make plays in 1-on-1 situations. He made a lot of plays and had success. Going into the spring, he wanted to have the same type of success. I think he was thinking more about making plays as opposed to playing with technique and playing the scheme of the defense.

“We reeled him back in. I told him he has to play the game organically and carry out the assignment and then the plays will come.” 

On grooming the nickel position:
“For us, we’re looking at using DJ Brown and also TaRiq Bracy there. In terms of strength and power, I think DJ is going to be the guy. If you have five DBs on the back, you put yourself in position to be exposed to runs. 

“With DJ’s physical prowess and ability to down ball carriers, I think he’d be a good fit for a young guy. As TaRiq gets a year under his belt in the weight room, he’s going to have an opportunity to be successful in the slot too.” 

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