Friday notes: Kiel, juniors, camps and more
Before we kick-off the notes portion of the show, I wanted to give a quick apology if it’s been a little up-and-down here the past week or two. I’m trying to get my off-season legs under me, and a lot of the work I’m doing for the website isn’t quite ready for broadcast.
If you’re one of those readers that is trying to decide whether or not they should just hibernate and comeback in August, you’ll be making a big mistake, as we’ve got some infinitely cool stuff ready to lead us through spring practice and into preseason.
(Pep talk over. Commence notes column.)
For those of you staying up to speed on your recruiting, the Irish are in the running for two of this year’s biggest quarterback prospects, Maty Mauk and Gunner Kiel. Both have ties to the Irish program -- Kiel’s uncle Blair played quarterback for the Irish and Mauk’s brother Ben played quarterback for Brian Kelly at Cincinnati.
Both already have dozens of scholarship offers and project well in Kelly’s offensive system. While Kiel was slated to stop in South Bend for an unofficial campus visit before this weekend’s junior day, Christian McCollum from IrishSportsDaily.com reports that inclement weather has pushed the family to reschedule the visit.
Obviously, getting a recruit on campus sooner than later is a priority for the Irish coaching staff, but any rumors that Kiel or his family may have already shut the door on the Irish seem to be ill-founded, and in some ways the Irish could have a situation where both Mauk and Kiel will push each other in the Irish’s favor, as Notre Dame will likely only take one quarterback, and the QB carousel will only stop once in South Bend.
I’ve got a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot about these two quarterbacks over the next few months so buckle up and I’ll keep you posted.
Bad weather or not, the Irish coaching staff is still holding a junior day this weekend, with over two dozen recruits planning on attending. As of this morning, here are the recruits with offers that plan on being on campus:
Nicky Baratti, QB/S -- Spring, Texas
Maty Mauk, QB -- Kenton, Ohio
Mike Moore, DE -- Hyattsville, Maryland
Tom Strobel, DE -- Mentor, Ohio
Dan Voltz, OL -- Barrington, Illinois
Baratti lists as a quarterback or athlete, but it’s pretty clear that he’s being targeted as a safety, a position where the Irish are in need of numbers and playmakers. We’ve covered Mauk, who would finalize the Irish’s quarterbacking plans if he committed (though I’m sure BK and crew could find room for Kiel if he wanted to join as well.) Moore is a monstrous athlete with elite offers, and it looks like it could be Diaco vs. Larry Johnson Sr. part two for the prototype 3-4 defensive end. Strobel fits that mold of a Kelly “Big Skill” athlete, measuring in at 6-6, 240-pounds, and the ability to play with a hand on the ground as well as in space. Voltz has also seen his stock rise considerably, adding offers from SEC powers Alabama and Auburn over the last few weeks.
You can’t expect the Irish to walk out of the weekend with a commitment, but expect some great in-roads to be made, especially important with recruits like Moore and Baratti.
Hard core chalk-talk might not be up everybody’s alley, but if you’re a football coach or merely interested in an absolutely riveting collection of offensive minds, you should seriously consider attending the Notre Dame Football Coaches Clinic.
It’s hard to top two of Kelly’s featured guests, former Irish wide receivers coach Urban Meyer (yeah, I guess he made a little noise in Gainesville) and Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly. The fact that Meyer and Kelly accepted BK’s invitation to come back and speak certainly shines highly on Kelly’s reputation among his peers and more importantly, puts three of the biggest spread offensive innovators in the same room, something that high school coaches or football nuts have to find incredibly intriguing.
Charley Molnar, Bob Diaco, and the rest of the Irish coaching staff will all be presenting, and they’ll also be joined by high school coaches Mickey Wilson of Myrtle Beach High School in South Carolina and Rick Finotti, the head coach of St. Ed’s High School, a powerhouse program in Ohio.
The event takes place from Thursday March 24 - 26 and includes access to two Notre Dame spring practices.
While I’m stumping for Notre Dame camps, I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up the annual Notre Dame Football Fantasy Camp, which is taking place again this summer from May 31 - June 4th.
If donning the full uniform of the Fighting Irish, being coached by the entire coaching staff, and playing a fully refereed football game in Notre Dame Stadium is your thing, than you’ll likely want to see if you can scratch together what it takes to make this dream a reality.
Last year, I was lucky enough to attend, and got a first hand look at what being coached by guys like Bob Diaco, Mike Elston and Chuck Martin was like. Even better, throughout the week, it was like a revolving door of former Irish greats working with both teams, with guys like Tony Rice, Chris Zorich, Allen Pinkett, Terry Hanratty, and dozens more dropping by to share their experience.
Football operations director Chad Klunder, who runs the camp, has already confirmed former Heisman Trophy winner Paul Hornung for this summer. If you’ve got some cash saved up and want to go through some middle-aged wish fulfillment, it’s definitely worth some serious thought.
A few quick links:
* If you’re wondering what helped bring Greg Mattison back to Michigan, a great relationship with Brady Hoke probably helped, but so did a guaranteed $750,000, which has a chance to bump to $900,000 if the Wolverines win the Big Ten.
* Jonas “Meatball” Gray 1, Dustin “Screech” Diamond 0. (Still looking for the video, though.)
* Harrison Smith’s interceptions, broken down by ND messageboard coach Busco21.