Tag:Andrew Hendrix
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:19 pm
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Irish name Chuck Martin offensive coordinator

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Notre Dame made a few coaching announcements on Friday, including the announcement that former safeties coach Chuck Martin would be taking over as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

“I’m excited about that move,” said head coach Brian Kelly. “Chuck and I have a shared vision as it relates to our offense. He is experienced and knows what I’m looking for.” 

What Notre Dame is looking for is a consistency on offense, and in order to find that, the Irish will need a quarterback to emerge. Which is something Martin talked about on Friday as well.

"You'd love to have one," said Martin. "Is it realistic? I don't know. It's going to play out in the spring. Maybe somebody takes it and runs with it and comes into their own and they've played themself ahead of the other group.

"If it's not that…then you still got a long evaluation period in the fall. For me, it would be awesome if we did have a clear-cut starter, but it won't be a big deal to me and it won't be a big deal to coach Kelly. You can name your starter the day before the first game and it can be fine, he can go and win the Heisman Trophy. There's no magical answer." 

Notre Dame went into the 2011 season much the same way, with Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees battling for the job during the spring and fall before Crist won the competition. Then one bad half from Crist in the season opener against South Florida led to Rees taking the job and Crist eventually heading to Kansas.

The difference this spring is the competition is now between four quarterbacks, not just the two. Rees will be competing with Andrew Hendrix, Everett Golson, and the prize of Notre Dame's latest recruiting class, Gunner Kiel.

So while Chuck Martin may not know who his quarterback is yet, he does have options.

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 9:34 pm
 

Signing Day is bittersweet in South Bend

Posted by Tom Fornelli

If you look at the players Notre Dame has in its latest recruiting class, you can see why the Irish are ranked at #17 in CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25 this year. After all, Brian Kelly and his staff managed to sign one of the top quarterbacks in the country with Gunner Kiel, got a perfectly named William Mahone -- if Irish fans aren't calling him "Pogue" before he even sets foot on the field, they're doing it wrong -- at running back, and continued to build on defense with players like Tee Shepard, Sheldon Day and Jarron Jones.

The problem is when you look at Notre Dame's list of commitments and realize who isn't there. That's when you notice wide receiver Deontay Greenberry is suddenly missing.

His name was supposed to be on that list, and his signature was supposed to be on a letter of intent coming across a fax machine, only it wasn't. Instead Brian Kelly was caught off-guard on Wednesday morning when he found out that Greenberry had given his letter of intent to Houston. Understandably, Kelly was a bit perturbed at the development.

"I used to have a saying about players like that and that was I'd rather play against him for four games than with him for four years," Kelly said shortly after hearing the news.

Kelly would later change his tune on Greenberry, saying it's hard "to feel disappointed about something I never had," but his original feelings reflected that of a fan base in shock. Five-star wide receivers just aren't supposed to turn down a chance to play at Notre Dame for a school like Houston. A school like Houston that just lost its head coach at that.

Times, however, they are a changing, both in South Bend where the Irish just aren't the powerhouse they want to be, and in the recruiting game, which is more national than ever before. 

The real reason Greenberry's switch hurts is because Notre Dame has a big playmaker to replace on offense next season in Michael Floyd. Nobody knows who is going to be lining up under center for the Irish next season. It could be Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix, Everett Golson or the newcomer, Kiel.

Whoever it ends up being, having a target like Greenberry available would have made things a lot easier.

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Posted on: January 10, 2012 6:47 pm
 

Brian Kelly gets a two-year extension

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Notre Dame announced on Tuesday that it had exercised the option on Brian Kelly's contract that extended his deal through the 2016 season.

"While Coach Kelly and I are focused on the additional work that must be done to reach our goals, I am very pleased with the progress we have made during the past twoyears.” said athletic director Jack Swarbrick in a statement.

"Our football team’s performance on the field, in the classroom, and in the community reflect Coach Kelly’s commitment to building a program that will be able to sustain success in the long run, and to doing so in a manner consistent with Notre Dame’s values and tradition." 

Kelly's first two seasons in South Bend haven't brought the return to national prominence that the school and fans had been hoping for, as the Irish have gone 16-10. Along with consecutive 8-5 seasons, the Irish also find themselves in the same boat as they did last offseason, getting ready to head into spring practice without a starter at quarterback as Tommy Rees is expected to compete with Andrew Hendrix and Everett Golson in the offseason following the transfer of Dayne Crist to Kansas.

Kelly has also seen three of his assistants leave to take jobs elsewhere, though the school also announced two-year deals for all the assistants that remain on his staff.

On the positive side of things, Notre Dame has seen a lot of improvement on the defensive side of ball thanks to the recruits that Kelly and his staff have brought in. The real question, however, is if Kelly will be around through the end of his contract and if Notre Dame will finally start living up to the lofty expectations routinely placed on the team.

Eight-win seasons will only keep the peace for so long. 

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Posted on: December 19, 2011 3:18 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2011 3:22 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Champs Sports Bowl

Posted by Tom Fornelli

NOTRE DAME WILL WIN IF: The Irish offense will face their toughest test of the year in the Florida State defense in this game. The Seminoles finished the year sixth in the nation in total defense and actually gave up less yards per carry (2.32) than any other defense in the country, including Alabama and LSU. Which isn't good news for a Notre Dame defense that will be without Jonas Gray (791 yards, 12 TDs) in this game. This means that if Notre Dame is going to find success on offense, it will likely come through the air. The Seminoles aren't bad in that area either, as they're 32nd in the nation in defensive pass efficiency. Of course, as has usually been the case with the Irish this season, the most important part of this game will be whether or not they can take care of the ball. Turnovers have killed the Irish throughout the season, and against a defense this good, Tommy Rees and the rest of the Irish offense cannot afford to give the ball away.

FLORIDA STATE WILL WIN IF: Assuming the Florida State defense can do a good job of keeping the Irish offense in check, then there's reason to believe the Seminoles can find enough success on offense to pick up a win here. The Florida State offense hasn't been prolific this season, but against a Notre Dame defense that is good but not great, the opportunities to put points on the board will be there. E.J. Manuel hasn't been great throwing the ball this season, but he's had some solid games and this could be a chance for another one. The Notre Dame defense may be allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete less than 60% of their passes in 2011, but it's also only picked off 8 passes while allowing 21 passing touchdowns on the year. And with Florida State's running game being a bit anemic this season and Notre Dame being pretty solid against the run, the passing game will be the way the Seminoles want to go.

X-FACTOR: Andrew Hendrix. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has already named Tommy Rees his starting quarterback for the bowl game, but that doesn't mean he's going to take all the snaps. Hendrix saw a lot of playing time over the final few weeks of the season, and considering that Kelly seems to feel that Hendrix is his quarterback of the future, I'd expect him to get quite a bit of playing time in this one as well. He brings a new dimension to the Notre Dame offense because unlike Rees, Hendrix can beat you with his legs. So it will be interesting to see how much Hendrix plays and how the Irish utilize him.

You can check out our extensive preview of the Champs Sports Bowl here
Posted on: December 4, 2011 1:40 am
Edited on: December 4, 2011 1:40 am
 

Dayne Crist is leaving Notre Dame

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist has asked for and been granted his release from the school and will begin talks with other schools about a transfer according to the Chicago Tribune.

This does not come as much of a shock to anybody who has been paying attention to Notre Dame this season. After beginning the season as the team's starter after a competition with Tommy Rees during the spring and fall, Crist lasted only one half before being benched for Rees in Notre Dame's season-opening loss to South Florida.

Yet, even when the Notre Dame offense struggled with turnovers the next few weeks under Rees, Crist only saw playing time after Rees suffered an injury and had to come out. Crist was even surpassed by Andrew Hendrix, who came in as a change of pace quarterback over the last month of the season.

Crist met with head coach Brian Kelly to discuss his situation on Friday.

Since Crist has only one year of eligibility left he will not be required to sit out a year before playing at another school. Exactly what school that will be is not known, though Wisconsin, Utah and San Diego State have all been mentioned as possibilities while rumors swirled Crist would transfer over the last few weeks.
Posted on: November 26, 2011 11:52 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2011 11:52 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Stanford 28 Notre Dame 14

Posted by Tom Fornelli

STANFORD WON. Andrew Luck had one last chance and a national spotlight to try to further impress possible Heisman voters following Trent Richardson's big day for Alabama, and there wasn't much wrong with what could have been his final game in Palo Alto. Luck finished the night with 233 yards passing and had 4 touchdowns, but also had an interception to go with it. Still, Stanford stuck with the same formula that it had followed all season long, and rushed for 226 yards against the Notre Dame defense. Though it did save the touchdown glory for its quarterback.

Stepfan Taylor rushed for 149 yards for the Cardinal on 20 carries, while Coby Fleener caught 4 passes for 97 yards and 2 touchdowns. Michael Floyd had 8 receptions for 92 yards and a score to lead the Irish on offense.

WHY STANFORD WON. Notre Dame got off to a slow start in this one, falling into a hole early and there was just no way the Irish could climb out of it. The Stanford offense is just too balanced to be able to stop it consistently, and the Irish didn't really have the speed or playmakers they needed on offense to exploit the Stanford defense.

WHEN STANFORD WON. The Cardinal let Notre Dame hang around for a while in this contest, as they jumped out to a 21-0 lead and never buried the Irish completely. However, when Notre Dame had two successive drives while 21-7 end in Stanford territory without scoring any points and Luck then hit Fleener for a 59-yard touchdown to make it 28-7 it was the final nail in the coffin everyone had been waiting for.

WHAT STANFORD WON. With Alabama winning in such convincing fashion against Auburn earlier on Saturday and Stanford not having another game to play, the odds aren't in its favor, but with this win, the chances of going to New Orleans to play for the BCS title are still alive. Which is probably the best Stanford can hope for right now, though if nothing else, it's almost assured of a BCS bowl game at this point. Possibly the Fiesta Bowl to face Oklahoma State.

WHAT NOTRE DAME LOST. Notre Dame will never be able to claim a win against Andrew Luck, as he became the third quarterback in history to beat the Irish three times in his career. Still, there may be some good news to emerge for the Irish in all this as Andrew Hendrix took over for Tommy Rees on Saturday night, and he appears to be the quarterback of the future in South Bend. In fact, I'd be surprised if he wasn't starting for Notre Dame when they finish the year in a bowl game.
Posted on: October 8, 2011 7:30 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2011 7:30 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Notre Dame 59 Air Force 33

Posted by Tom Fornelli

NOTRE DAME WON. For the first time since a 57-7 victory over Stanford in 2003, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame eclipsed 50 points in a game as the Golden Domers had a rather easy time with Air Force on Saturday afternoon. The Notre Dame offense scored 6 touchdowns on its 6 possessions in the first half, with six different players scoring the touchdowns. Tommy Rees finished the day with 261 yards and 4 touchdowns, and the Notre Dame offense played it's second consecutive game without committing a turnover.

WHY NOTRE DAME WON. Let's all just be happy that the Air Force has jets at its disposal when it's defending the country, because if it were solely up to the Falcons football defense, we'd be pretty vulnerable right now. Yes, Notre Dame's offense looked extremely efficient in this game, totalling 560 yards, but the Air Force defense didn't exactly do much to stop it either.

WHEN NOTRE DAME WON. When Cierre Wood's 8-yard touchdown run gave the Irish 5 touchdowns in its first five drives and expanded the Notre Dame lead to 35-9 it was pretty evident that Air Force wasn't going to be able to get back into this one.

WHAT NOTRE DAME WON. A lot of confidence on offense heading into the annual showdown with rival USC. The Notre Dame offense had been able to put yards on the board all year, but over the last two weeks, not only has Notre Dame picked up yards but it's also scored 97 points and hasn't turned the ball over a single time.

WHAT AIR FORCE LOST. A chance to be one of the many teams that has come into South Bend and upset the Irish the last few seasons. It's not a conference game, so this loss doesn't hurt Air Force in the Mountain West, but this still would have been a nice win for the Falcons.

THAT WAS CRAZY. Notre Dame rushed for 266 yards against Air Force on Saturday, but it's leading rusher was backup quarterback Andrew Hendrix. Yes, the sophomore saw his first action in a Notre Dame uniform on a few plays in the first three quarters, and he took over for Tommy Rees late. He ended the game with 111 yards rushing on 6 carries, including a 78-yard gain that set up Notre Dame's final touchdown of the day.
Posted on: February 16, 2011 1:03 pm
 

Notre Dame moves Luke Massa to receiver

Posted by Tom Fornelli

What was going to be a six horse race to be Notre Dame's starting quarterback in 2011 is now down to four. Nate Montana made it official and transferred to Montana on Monday, and now it's been confirmed that quarterback Luke Massa will be moving to wide receiver for the Irish. Much like Montana, Massa had the option to either switch positions or transfer to another school, and it seems he doesn't want to leave South Bend.

According to his high school coach, Steve Specht, it's a move that shouldn't be a major problem for Massa.

“I think Luke wished he had more time to prove himself at that position," Specht told the South Bend Tribune. "But on the other hand, this kid is all about helping Notre Dame. If they want him to clean the stadium, and that makes the team better, he'd be the first to do it. He'll embrace wide receiver.

“And as far as how good he can be? Well he's faster than people think. He can jump as high or higher than anybody on that team. He has phenomenal body control. I would not bet against Luke Massa.”

Massa certainly has the size to play receiver, as he's listed at 6'4 and 215 pounds. Which would mean that whichever quarterback winds up with the job, he'll have a large target to throw to.

It also means finding a starter will be a bit easier for head coach Brian Kelly. The general consensus is that Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees, who both started games in 2010, have the edge, but the coaching staff is also pretty high on Andrew Hendrix. Then there's the wild card of incoming freshman Everett Golson. Golson has already enrolled for the spring in South Bend, and some believe he's the best fit for Brian Kelly's offense. Of course, whether or not means he's ready to take over the offense from the start remains to be seen.

Though the last time Notre Dame found a dual-threat quarterback from South Carolina, Tony Rice, things turned out pretty well.
 
 
 
 
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