Posts Tagged ‘Omar Hunter’

Friday Night Lights roundup for the weekend of 11/16

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Sorry to be so slow once again in getting this up. Here’s your weekly rundown of how Notre Dame’s currently committed players fared in their high school football games last week:

  • With quarterback Dan McCarthy sitting on the sidelines after suffering a neck injury the previous week, Cardinal Mooney (Ohio) still managed to end two-time defending state D-III champion Steubenville’s 42-game win streak, as they built a 28-0 halftime lead and held on to win, 35-20. Mooney is now 13-0 on the year heading into this week’s semi-state game.
  • John Goodman had a tough day but did throw a 23-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter for a 7-0 lead, but Lowell came back with ten points in the last seven minutes to beat his Bishop Dwenger (Ind.) team 10-7, ending the Saints’ playoff run in the state semifinals. Dwenger finishes the season at 13-1.
  • Michael Floyd had five catches for 110 yards and a touchdown - including four receptions on the opening drive - as his Cretin-Derham Hall (Minn.) team moved to 13-0 with a 56-14 romp over Brainerd that moved them into the class 5A final for only the sixth time in their history.
  • Despite being bothered by a leg injury, Jonas Gray had 29 carries for 304 yards and four touchdowns - including fourth-quarter TD runs of 30 and 61 yards - as his Detroit Country Day (Mich.) team defeated top-ranked Zeeland West, 37-30, in a wild game that came down to a 52-yard hook-and-ladder play that went for a touchdown with 45 seconds remaining. Gray and the 11-2 Yellowjackets will face Marine City in the state finals.
  • Omar Hunter’s Buford (Ga.) team moved their record to a spotless 11-0 with a 56-7 blowout of Washington-Wilkes in the first round of the AA state playoffs.
  • Jamoris Slaughter’s Tucker (Ga.) team is also 11-0, after a 24-0 shutout of Clarke Central in their first-round AAAA game.
  • Robert Blanton had his fourth blocked kick and his sixth interception of the season, but it wasn’t enough, as his Butler (N.C.) team saw their season come to a disappointing end, falling to Charlotte Independence, 20-7, in the second round of the state playoffs. Butler finishes the season at 10-3.
  • Steve Filer’s Mount Carmel (Ill.) team also saw its dreams of a state title fade away, as they were upset by Glenbard North, 28-21. The Caravan’s final record is 12-1.
  • Sean Cwynar had a third-quarter extra point attempt - yes, you read that right - blocked, and his Marian Central (Ill.) team fell to Morris, 10-9, in the state semifinals. The Hurricanes finish the year at 10-3.
  • Joseph Fauria’s Crespi (Calif.) team defeated Millikan, 26-14, in the first round of the Pac-5 playoffs. Next up for the 9-2 Celts is Mater Dei.
  • Dayne Crist ended up being unable to play because of a concussion suffered in the previous week’s game against Crespi, and his and Anthony McDonald’s Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (Calif.) team couldn’t overcome his absence, as they fell to Newport Harbor, 7-3, in the first round of the Pac-5 playoffs. The Knights finish the season at 8-3.
  • Ethan Johnson’s Lincoln (Ore.) team moved to 6-5 on the year with a 19-7 playoff win over David Douglas. Next up for Lincoln is West Salem.
  • Darius Fleming and the 9-4 St. Rita’s (Ill.) defense shut down Loyola in a 28-0 win that moved the Mustangs to the Prep Bowl finals.

Hafis Williams and Mike Golic were off this week, and Braxston Cave, Brandon Newman, Lane Clelland, David Posluszny, and Kyle Rudolph are all done with their respective seasons.

100 reasons why I love Charlie Weis and am glad he’s our coach

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

With his team at 1-9 and its offense mired in the pits of Division I-A, Charlie Weis has taken a lot of much-deserved (and some undeserved) flack for the job he’s been doing as head coach of the Fighting Irish. And since I’ve been about as negative as anyone - well, maybe not quite ANYONE - about Weis, I think it’s time for me to come clean and make it known that my opinion of him is by no means exhaustively negative. Hence here are 100 reasons why I love Charlie Weis and am glad he’s our coach:

1. He’s a Jersey guy. Me too, or at least I was until I moved to California. And Jersey guys stick with Jersey guys.

2. He’s a Notre Dame alum. Again, me too, though I only got a lousy graduate degree. And if I love the place this much never having lived on campus for an extended period of time or gone through all the rest of the crazy brain-washing (an ND logo stamped into the middle of your WAFFLES?!), think of how much he cares about it.

3. He’s a family man. Seeing the way he relates to his wife, son, and daughter is really heartwarming. And say what you will about having Charlie Jr. on the sidelines: the fact is that it shows a level of attachment and devotion to his son that’s remarkable in a guy who works 20-hour days. Speaking of which …

4. He works like all hell. Want to catch Coach Weis on his way to work in the morning? Try tripping past the Gug on your way back from closing down the ‘Backer. In any case, be flexible with your definition of “morning,” and DEFINITELY don’t wait for the sun to rise.

5. He’s as pained by the losing as anyone. Do not - I repeat, do NOT - mistake his occasional press-conference brashness for a lack of awareness of how bad things have been this year, let alone a glib attitude about it. If your team got its butt hammered in, you got booed, and then you were dragged in front of an audience of overeager reporters with lots of dumb questions, you’d get pretty pissy as well. And hey, what do you want him to say? “We suck, we have sucked, we will suck, and I quit”? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

6. He gives back. Lots of ND football coaches have started charitable organizations after they’ve retired, but Hannah and Friends has been running from day one. And a lot of Weis’s efforts have been tied directly to the local community, which is admirable given the touchy history of town-gown relations between South Bend and the university. Even his lawsuit, which I must admit wasn’t my favorite decision (you know, high cost of medical services due to malpractice insurance, lawyers = scum of the Earth, etc.), was going to be used to help others rather than pad his own pockets.

7. He cares about his players. Weis got a lot of praise for driving Robert Hughes back to Chicago after his brother was killed, and rightly so. But the fact of the matter is that this fits right into a much more overarching pattern: sure, he manages to anger or even alienate some of his players, but at the end of the day they know it’s just because he’s trying to push them to do well, like an overbearing dad making his kid practice the piano because he really, really, REALLY wants him to be good at it. Peel away those layers, my friends, and you’ll find love at the core.

8-26. Nineteen wins in two years. Say what you will about ‘06 having been a disappointing campaign, but ten wins is ten wins. Say what you will about the quality of the opponents he beat, but you can only win the games you play (and it’s not as if Michigan, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Penn State, and UCLA are a bunch of nobodies). Say what you will about losing the “big games,” but he’s run into some downright juggernauts, especially in the postseason. If his teams had had any semblance of a D-I defense, not to mention better offensive lines and maybe some more talent at the tailback position, they very well might have won a pair of national titles. After the misery of the decade or so that preceded ‘05-’06, those wins were glorious to behold.

27-30. Four Super Bowl rings. Yeah, I know he wasn’t the head coach, and I know he was able to ride the coattails of Parcells, Belichick, et al, but championships are championships, and I’ll take a guy who’s won them over a guy who hasn’t.

31-98. Jimmy Clausen, Armando Allen, James Aldridge, Duval Kamara, Omar Hunter, Kerry Neal, … well, you get the point. That’s 68 recruits in three years, with a bunch more on the ‘08 “big board” who still have lots of interest in the Irish. Compare that to his illustrious predecessor, who recruited a total of 52 in his three seasons, barely more than Weis & Co. brought in through their first TWO. It’s not just about the rankings, either: you can’t win with an empty cupboard, and trust me, Ty left it BARE.

99. His players believe in him. Make no mistake about it: you don’t have top-notch recruits with offers from Everywhere breaking down the doors to play for you the week after being present for a 38-0 spanking if you’ve “lost the team.” Nor do insomniac offensive linemen pad over to your office in rainbow flip-flops and knock on your door at 5:30am to ask how to be a better leader unless they think that leading is a worthwhile endeavor. Sure, there may be some players, especially among the upper classes, who’ve sort of thrown in the towel, and there’s no doubt that this team has often played tentatively and has had a tendency to get discouraged when things have gone wrong, but a lot of them seem genuinely excited about the future of the program. And that’s a hell of an accomplishment when you’re 1-9.

100. The glimmers of hope. Clausen dropping a beautiful pass over two defenders. Kamara stiff-arming an undersized defensive back and plowing through a pair of tacklers to pick up eight yards. Armando Allen bursting around the outside for a gain of eleven. James Aldridge running over a would-be tackler at the line of scrimmage. Golden Tate snagging a touchdown bomb, with his FINGERNAILS. Kerry Neal and Brain Smith playing like men possessed on the outside. Darrin Walls looking more and more like a shut-down corner every week. Chris Stewart crushing defensive linemen to open up holes for his tailbacks. And on and on the list goes … no doubt this year’s team has been a HUGE disappointment, but the flashes we’ve seen (and yes, they’ve only been flashes, and have been few and far between the lengthy stretches of awfulness) have made it clear that Weis and his staff have brought in some extraordinary talent. At this point it’s about developing these kids and teaching them to win.

Of course, none of this counts as evidence that Weis will definitely, or even probably, be able to accomplish what he needs to in order to right this oh-so-sunken ship. But just as he’s responsible for a big portion of the damage, it’s also going to be his task to repair it, at least for the time being. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Friday Night Lights roundup for the weekend of 11/9

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Here’s your weekly rundown of how Notre Dame’s currently committed players fared in their high school football games this past weekend:

  • Dan McCarthy, who earlier this week was named his district’s Offensive Player of the Year, led his Cardinal Mooney (Ohio) to their twelfth straight win to start the year, a 21-17 victory over St. Vincent-St. Mary. Mooney will face Steubenville in the regional final on Saturday.
  • John Goodman had touchdown runs of 43 and 19 yards and threw for three more scores - including a 75-yard bomb - as his Bishop Dwenger (Ind.) team extended their undefeated season with a 42-14 blowout of Jay County in a regional semifinal game. Next up for the 13-0 Saints is a trip to Lowell for the semistate.
  • Dayne Crist left the game with a concussion after being hit hard and fumbling the ball on a quarterback keeper, and Joseph Fauria caught an 18-yard touchdown pass just one play later, as Fauria’s Crespi (Calif.) team cruised to a 23-3 victory over Crist and Anthony McDonald’s Notre Dame squad.
  • Braxston Cave and his Penn (Ind.) squad saw their undefeated season and dreams of a state title come to an end with a 21-20 loss to Merrillville in the regional final.
  • Michael Floyd had a relatively quiet day with four catches for 44 yards, but he did score a touchdown as his Cretin-Derham Hall (Minn.) team survived a scare and defeated Lakeville North, 26-18, in the class 5A quarterfinals. Up next for Cretin-Derham is 13-1 Brainerd.
  • Jonas Gray rushed 26 times for 167 yards and two touchdowns, and his Detroit Country Day (Mich.) squad moved to 10-2 with a 24-6 victory over Milan in a regional playoff game. Next up for the Yellowjackets is undefeated and top-ranked Zeeland West in the state semifinals.
  • Omar Hunter’s Buford (Ga.) defense (recently profiled here) pitched their third straight shutout, ending their regular season at 10-0 with a 21-0 victory over Lovett. Buford QB Twoey Hosch left the game with an injured foot, and while x-rays revealed no fracture, he remains questionable for next Friday’s game against Washington-Wilkes.
  • Jamoris Slaughter’s Tucker (Ga.) team finished up a 10-0 regular season in which they allowed more than eight points only once with a 38-8 victory over Cedar Grove. The Tigers will face Clarke Central in their first-round playoff game.
  • Robert Blanton’s Butler (N.C.) team moved to 10-2 with a 49-6 spanking of Lumberton in the first round of the playoffs. Next up for the Bulldogs is archrival Charlotte Independence, whom they upset in dramatic fashion the week before.
  • Steve Filer’s Mt. Carmel (Ill.) team moved to 12-0 with a 21-14 victory over Maine South in a class 8A quarterfinal game. Up next for the Caravan is 8-4 Glenbard North.
  • Darius Fleming’s St. Rita’s (Ill.) squad rebounded from a tough loss last week with a 35-18 victory over Fenwick in the first round of the Prep Bowl playoffs.
  • Sean Cwynar’s Marian Central (Ill.) team had a dramatic, come-from-behind 34-27 victory over Nazareth in their class 5A quarterfinal matchup. Next up for the seventh-seeded Hurricanes is fifth-seeded Morris.
  • Brandon Newman’s Pleasure Ridge Park (Ky.) team nearly upset 10-1 Manual, but they were stopped on a two-point conversion attempt in overtime and lost, 21-20, in the first round of the class 6A playoffs. PRP finishes the year at 4-7.
  • Hafis Williams’s Elizabeth (N.J.) team fell to 5-4 with a 20-0 loss to Hunterdon Central.
  • Ethan Johnson’s Lincoln (Ore.) team cruised to a 55-28 playoff victory over Roseburg that was propelled by a 42-point explosion in the second half. The Cardinals are now 5-5, and will meet David Douglas in their second-round game.
  • Lane Clelland’s McDonogh (Md.) team finished their regular season with a 21-14 loss to Gilman that dropped their record to 6-4.
  • Mike Golic Jr.’s Northwest Catholic (Conn.) team moved to 7-2 on the year with a 28-0 shutout win over East Catholic.

That’s it for this week, as David Posluszny’s and Kyle Rudolph’s teams are finished with their seasons.

Friday Night Lights roundup for the weekend of 11/2

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

(Sorry to be a bit slow getting this up; Saturday’s loss made for a lot to process.)

Here’s the Roundup’s weekly rundown of how ND’s committed recruits for the 2008 season fared in their high school games this past week:

  • Dayne Crist completed 10 of 15 passes for 185 yards in the first half but was only 1-of-6 after halftime, but he finished with 230 total yards and also ran a score in from 70 yards away on the third play of the game as his and Anthony McDonald’s Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (Calif.) team moved to 8-1 with a 51-30 defeat of Bishop Amat.
  • Dan McCarthy attempted only one pass on the night but ran for 105 yards and two scores - and had three other touchdown runs called back on penalties - as his Cardinal Mooney (Ohio) team moved to 11-0 with a 30-6 blowout of Coshocton. Mooney faces St. Vincent-St. Mary, against whom they rallied from a 17-0 deficit for a win a few weeks ago, in their next playoff game, as they seek to defend the Division IV state title they won in 2006. (McCarthy’s stats from his first ten games are available here.)
  • Braxston Cave’s Penn (Ind.) team defeated Goshen by a score of 13-3 to recapture the Class 5A sectional trophy and move their record to 12-0. The no. 2-ranked Kingsmen face no. 4 Merriville, former home of ND tailback James Aldridge, in next week’s regional game.
  • Steve Filer’s Mount Carmel (Ill.) team blew out Palatine by a score of 34-0, moving their season record to 11-0 and advancing them to the third round of the Class 8A playoffs.
  • John Goodman threw two second-half touchdown passes and ran in a 54-yard score before halftime as his Bishop Dwenger (Ind.) team moved to 12-0 with a 52-20 blowout of DeKalb that brought them a Class 4A sectional championship. The Saints will face Jay County in their next playoff game.
  • Kyle Rudolph’s Elder (Ohio) team had their season come to a disappointing end, with a 45-14 loss to top-ranked St. Xavier that dropped their season record to 7-4. Rudolph had seven catches for 79 yards in the game.
  • Robert Blanton made a spectacular one-handed touchdown catch (video here) with six minutes remaining in the game, and his Butler (N.C.) team moved their season record to 8-2 became the first in-state team since 2000 to defeat national power Charlotte Independence (a span of 109 games), winning a nail-biter by the score of 21-20 (more here). (Kyle Rudolph’s Elder squad had, of course, beaten Independence earlier in the year, in an interstate matchup at the Herbstreit Classic.) Independence was playing without head coach Tom Knotts, who was suspended after being involved in an altercation with a parent after a JV game the night before, but is reportedly not going to face assault charges.
  • Darius Fleming’s St. Rita’s (Ill.) team ended their season at 7-4 as they blew a 22-7 third-quarter lead by giving up 19 straight points to undefeated Wheaton Warrenville South as they lost their a Class 7A playoff game by a score of 26-22 (more here). Fleming had three sacks on the night.
  • Mike Golic Jr.’s Northwest Catholic (Conn.) team moved to 6-2 with a 22-0 shutout of Farmington.
  • Michael Floyd scored four touchdowns - one rushing, three receiving - as his Cretin-Derham Hall (Minn.) team cruised to a 53-32 victory over Tartan in the third round of the playoffs. The Raiders are now 11-0 on the year.
  • Lane Clelland’s McDonogh (Md.) team moved to 6-3 on the year with a 25-7 victory over Georgetown Prep.
  • Hafis Williams’s Elizabeth (N.J.) team improved to 5-3 with a 41-7 blowout of Newark East Side.
  • Jaromis Slaughter’s Tucker (Ga.) team wrapped up a no. 1 seed in the playoffs as they moved to 9-0 on the year with a 63-0 win over North Springs, their sixth shutout of the season.
  • Ethan Johnson’s Lincoln (Ore.) team fell to 4-5 with a 37-27 loss to Tualatin. I don’t think Ethan played in the game, since as I noted last week he was expected to sit out the rest of the season due to his ACL injury.
  • Jonas Gray’s Detroit Country Day (Mich.) team moved to 9-2 with a 7-0 victory over Crockett Tech in a second-round playoff game. The Yellowjackets will face Milan next week.
  • Joseph Fauria had five catches for 65 yards as his Crespi (Calif.) team defeated Loyola by a score of 38-7, to move to 7-2 on the year. The Celts’ next game is against Crist and McDonald’s Sherman Oaks team.
  • Sean Cwynar’s Marian Central (Ill.) team pulled off a stunning playoff upset, as the 7th-seeded Hurricanes defeated no. 2 Montini by a score of 29-15 (more here and here). Marian Central moves on to face 14th-ranked Nazareth County (8-3) in their next playoff game, but they will be without star running back/linebacker T.J. Pappas, who suffered a broken bone in his left foot.

That’s all for this week: Omar Hunter’s Buford team had a bye, and the seasons are over for David Posluszny’s Hopewell squad and Brandon Newman’s Pleasure Ridge Park team.

Friday Night Lights roundup: weekend of 10/26

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Here’s the Roundup’s weekly summary of how Notre Dame’s current group of committed players for the 2008 class, which now stands at 21 total, fared in their high school football games this past weekend:

Friday Night Lights Roundup: Weekend of 10/19

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Here’s the Roundup’s weekly rundown of how Notre Dame’s committed players fared in their high school football games this weekend:

  • First things first: Cretin-Derham Hall (Minn.) wide receiver Michael Floyd, who committed to the Irish after his official visit this past weekend, scored three touchdowns within a brief span in the second quarter: an 11-yard run with 7:51 on the clock, a 68-yard reception at 6:02, and a 54-yard punt return less than two minutes later. He had 235 all-purpose yards on the day before leaving with five minutes to go in the third quarter with an apparently unserious ankle injury, and his team defeated Mounds View by a score of 42-7, to move their season record to 8-0 and clinch their conference championship. (As domer.mq points out, the lead into this article is priceless: “Every time Cretin-Derham Hall’s Michael Floyd has the football, a collective gasp typically follows.”)
  • David Posluszny, back in the lineup after missing several games with a concussion, caught a 22-yard touchdown pass as his Hopewell (Pa.) team snapped a three-game losing streak and kept their Parkway Conference title hopes alive with a 47-7 victory over Moon. Hopewell is now 4-4 on the season.
  • Dayne Crist threw for 299 yards and four touchdowns as his and Anthony McDonald’s Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (Calif.) team defeated Chaminade 44-17, to move their season record to 5-1.
  • Brandon Newman’s Pleasure Ridge Park (Ky.) team fell to 3-6 on the season with a 35-7 loss to St. Xavier.
  • Joseph Fauria’s Crespi (Calif.) team had a slow day on offense but still pulled out a 13-0 win over St. Paul, to improve their season record to 5-2.
  • John Goodman threw for 156 yards as his Bishop Dwenger (Ind.) team opened the playoffs with a 42-7 victory over Elmhurst. Dwenger is unbeaten in ten contests so far this year.
  • Mike Golic Jr.’s Northwest Catholic (Conn.) team stunned previously unbeaten Berlin, 34-6, to move their record to 4-2 on the year.
  • Lane Clelland’s McDonogh (Md.) team improved to 4-3 on the year with a 33-15 defeat of Calvert Hall.
  • Ethan Johnson’s Lincoln (Ore.) team bumped their season record to 4-3 with a 48-20 win over Benson.
  • Robert Blanton’s Butler (N.C.) team rebounded from a tough loss last week to defeat South Mecklenburg, 19-16. Butler’s record on the season is now 7-2.
  • Braxston Cave’s Penn (Ind.) team stayed undefeated in ten contests on the season with a 28-14 victory over Elkhart Central in the first round of the sectional playoffs. They face Mishawaka next week.
  • Sean Cwynar’s Marian Central (Ill.) team defeated St. Francis, 30-21, and will head into the playoffs with a 7-2 record.
  • Steve Filer’s top-ranked Mount Carmel (Ill.) team stayed undefeated with a 56-6 victory over Hales. They head into the playoffs with a record of 9-0.
  • Darius Fleming’s St. Rita’s (Ill.) team rebounded from a tough loss last week and moved to 6-3 on the season with a 69-0 pasting of St. Francis de Sales.
  • Kyle Rudolph had five catches for 120 yards and three touchdowns as his Elder (Ohio) team defeated Benedictine, 49-34. Elder’s record on the year is 6-3.
  • Dan McCarthy had an interception and a pass break-up as his Cardinal Mooney (Ohio) team moved their season record to a perfect 9-0 and clinched their conference title with a 37-14 victory over Ursuline (photos here).
  • Omar Hunter and his Buford (Ga.) defense continued their season-long dominance with a 56-0 victory over Walker that was already a 28-0 game at the end of the first quarter. Buford is 8-0 on the year and has allowed more than a touchdown only once.
  • Hafis Williams’s Elizabeth (N.J.) defense gave up a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns as they fell to Westfield, 13-7, to drop to 3-3 on the year.
  • Jamoris Slaughter’s Tucker (Ga.) team kept their season record perfect at 7-0 with a 21-14 overtime victory over Washington.

… and there you have it! Good luck to all of our committed players as they wrap up their seasons and/or prepare for the playoffs.

Friday Night Lights update for the weekend of 10/11

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Here’s your weekly rundown of how ND’s currently committed players fared in their high school football games this past weekend:

That’s all for now! I hope to get to the primary recruiting targets later.

Friday Night Lights Update, Part I

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Here’s a rundown of how Notre Dame’s nineteen currently committed players fared in their high school football games this weekend:

I’ll be back tomorrow with updates on ND’s primary recruiting targets.

This weekend’s Friday Night Lights roundup (10/1/07)

Monday, October 1st, 2007

Here’s a rundown of how Notre Dame’s current group of 19 committed high school seniors, as well as their primary recruiting targets, fared in their football games this past weekend. (Note that I’m no longer tracing the stats for Frostproof (Fl.) tailback Carlton Thomas, who committed to Georgia this past weekend.)

Commits:

Recruits:

News and Notes: 9/27

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

As noted by BGS, Michael Rothstein reported yesterday that freshman Andrew Nuss has moved from the defensive line, where he started the season, to the offensive line. This may have something to do with the injury to Dan Wenger, who Charlie Weis said will not be playing against Purdue:

“I’d say, optimistically, it looks like maybe UCLA,” Weis said. “He’s not going to be a go this week, but he’s out there running around now. (UCLA is) what he’s shooting for right now.”

In other news on the injury front, defensive end Justin Brown still seems a bit hobbled in practice. Weis admitted that he “still doesn’t look full speed,” but insisted that Brown “looks a heck of a lot better than any time last week.”

[UPDATE: Rumors abound that sophomore offensive lineman Chris Stewart is going to be the latest player to transfer from ND. This could have something to do with Nuss's move to the OL, though I didn't see Ford or Rothstein mention Stewart being absent from practice yesterday. We'll have to see.]


In other d-line related news, Derrell Hand spoke to the media yesterday for the first time since his arrest for solicitation:

He expressed regret and knew he did a bad thing. And more than anything else, Derrell Hand thanks those who stuck by him as he went through his suspension from the beginning of training camp until last weekend.And in that time, the junior from Philadelphia went from suspended to starter. Hand had been suspended the day before Notre Dame training camp started in August for soliciting a prostitute in South Bend.

“I think I survived it pretty well,” Hand said. “I have a huge supporting cast. What happened was unfortunate. I learned a huge life lesson and I’m just happy I got a second chance to be a part of this Notre Dame family.

“These first four weeks couldn’t have happened any better.”

An injury to starter Justin Brown placed Hand in the lineup in his first game back. He said it was difficult to hear himself associated as someone with bad character but had a bunch of people helping him out.

And he wasn’t surprised with the way Notre Dame chose to handle it, by allowing him to stay in school.

“I feel as though I’m a good kid. I made a lot of close friends, students and faculty, and I just feel like what happened was bad but I feel Notre Dame handled it the way Notre Dame handles these things.”

Best of luck to Derrell as he works to get things back in order. ND can certainly use him on the field, especially if Justin Brown is not 100%.


According to the Cincinnati Post’s Jeff Katzowitz, former Irish QB Demetrius Jones might end up at the University of Cincinnati - Jones was at the Bearcats’ practice on Wednesday, and UC coach Brian Kelly, who recruited Jones out of high school when he was the head coach at Central Michigan, said that he and Jones had been in contact:

We had a good conversation. We talked about the situation here and what we think our strengths are. He’s in that evaluation process now. He’s looking at his options. We’re one of a few of the options he has. He thinks highly enough of us to drive five hours to come up and visit.

When Katzowitz got Jones on the phone yesterday evening, Jones denied rumors that he’d made a final decision, but said that watching the UC practice was “nice.” More on this story as it comes in.

[UPDATE: It's official. Jones walked into Kelly's office this afternoon and told him he wants to play for the Bearcats. Apparently Notre Dame has given UC the go-ahead. Jones will pay his own way for the coming fall quarter, and then will be on scholarship starting in January once several seniors have graduated.]


Meanwhile, want another example of the difference between a respectful sports journalist and an inflammatory hack? Compare Al Lesar’s article about the Purdue offense (it’s a “work of art,” the headline tells us) in today’s South Bend Tribune with the latest screed from the Indianapolis Star’s Bob Kravitz, who was recently, and rightfully, named “Asshat of the Week” by KGreen:

Here was Purdue football coach Joe Tiller’s challenge for Tuesday’s media briefing: Find something nice to say about this week’s opponent, Notre Dame. Try to convince the media and, by extension, his players, that Notre Dame is still Notre Dame and not Apalachicola Junior College.

“They have the fourth-ranked pass defense in the nation,” Tiller said flatly.Give the guy credit: He said it with a straight face.

Holding up Notre Dame’s pass defense is like complimenting the movie “Beer League” on its soundtrack.

Are you kidding me?

Of course the Irish have impressive pass defense numbers. It’s because they have the 111th-ranked running defense in the nation. Nobody passes on Notre Dame because nobody needs to pass on Notre Dame. Opponents get huge early leads, then run off tackle the rest of the game.

Next thing, we’ll hear that Notre Dame has a sparkling personality and practices good hygiene.

I’ll let that one speak for itself.

Bob Kravitz: Still an asshat.


There’s also a bit of recruiting news to report. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Irish DL commit Omar Hunter received an official offer from USC on Tuesday, and expressed some excitement about it:

When Pete Carroll talks, recruits listen. Even ones already committed to Notre Dame. Buford’s Omar Hunter visited with Carroll over the phone Tuesday and received an offer from the coach of top-ranked Southern Cal.

“It was pretty exciting. Southern Cal, that’s pretty big,” said Hunter, who verbally committed to Notre Dame in June.

That doesn’t mean the blue-chip defensive tackle has changed his mind about heading to South Bend.

“I’m sticking with Notre Dame for right now,” Hunter said.

At this point, there’s no reason to worry too much about this, since Hunter has said that his commitment to the Irish is solid, and this sort of thing is really a normal part of the recruiting cycle. But it’s certainly a situation worth keeping an eye on, and I can guarantee you that Weis and the coaching staff will be doing just that.