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Why is a struggling Michigan team still one of Notre Dame's toughest games? History has shown that if the spotlight is bright and Notre Dame or it's opponent is unprepared for the glare it's Notre Dame. This game will get more hype than it deserves since the only other high-profile games will be USC at Stanford. It will be the final game in the Michigan rivalry and since Michigan won their last home game the pressure is on the Fighting Irish. More focus will be on the significance of the rivalry than on the current state of each program and for good reason since Michigan lost 6 of their final 8 games and finished the season at 7 - 6 and Notre Dame finished their season at 9 - 4.
Contrary to the poor state of Wolverine football, their first few weeks are historically great. Of the past 5 years they have been 4 - 0 in 4 of 5 years. The exception being 2012 when they had the misfortune of playing undefeated Notre Dame and eventually national champs Alabama.
In week two Michigan visits Notre Dame for the last time in the foreseeable future. Michigan will be coming off a convincing win against Division II powerhouse, Appalachian St. Michigan is not one of the top 5 opponents and as the season goes on their weaknesses will be clear but since the game comes in week two before Michigan has a chance to self-destruct this will be a tough game for Notre Dame. This team will look similar to last year's and although Michigan fans hope differently, that could still be enough to beat an Irish team that isn't focused on the task at hand.
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Is there reason to be excited about Notre Dame's 2015 class? The offense is heavy and by that I mean out of the 6 offensive commits 3 are linemen: Jerry Tillery, Tristen Hoge, and Trevor Ruhland. Kelly has done an excellent job of recruiting quality bigs and this class continues that trend with Tillery and Hoge both ranking 4-star status.
The current OL projected starters range in weight from 295 lbs to 318 lbs. Ruhland (270 lbs) and Hoge (285 lbs) will need a few years in the system to meet the physical standards now expected from Notre Dame offensive linemen. Tillery towers in at 6'7" and 314 lbs.
At the skill positions there are 2 receivers: Jalen Guyton and CJ Sanders and 1 running back: Josh Adams. Notre Dame's stable of running back is getting low and although Adams isn't a top back he is a much needed get. Adams is a sturdy 6'3", 210 lbs and will be valuable if injuries plague the Irish in coming years.
CJ Sanders, 4-star receiver, competed at The Opening 2014 and wildly impressed coaches, fans, and analysts. Although Sanders is undersized at 5'9" and 175 pounds his athletic ability is off the charts. He completed the 40 yard dash in 4.32 seconds. Sanders will find his place at the slot position where Notre Dame has been losing production over the past few years.
Jalen Guyton, 3-star receiver, weighs 6'1" and 185 pounds. Don't let the 3-star status fool you. When Guyton joined IST he mentioned that he often sits the second half because Allen High School dominates its opponents. While the Irish have a handful receivers on roster only Daniels has stepped out as the solid number 1 and he will be graduating when Guyton joins the team. Bottom line is that Guyton is better than advertised and he'll fill a needed spot.Add a comment
Wide receiver Miles Boykins commitment to Notre Dame is a big addition to the class of 2015, dubbed Shamrock Soldiers 15. He is currently rated a 4 star on Rivals.com. He had narrowed his list of schools down to Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan St, Missouri and Notre Dame, ultimately choosing Notre Dame.
Miles is a big receiver standing at 6'4" and weighing 220 lbs. With his size he could potentially be a Tyler Eiffert style tight end, lining up outside or inside.
Miles is from New Lenox, Illinois and attends school at Providence Catholic. He is set to have a big senior season and is a huge addition to the Shamrock Soldiers and Notre Dame receiver group.Add a comment