Sunday, June 1, 2008

In The Trenches – Part II

Starting the first game of his freshman season, Sam Young's presence at the line of scrimmage has become old hat for Notre Dame coaches, players, and fans alike. The now junior right tackle played on the opposite side of the line last season to protect him from further injuring his right wrist, which is now reportedly healthy. There are three keys to further advance Young's development, beginning with leadership, which Young previously displayed by paying a visit to Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis last season (a true ND fan knows the story well). Now he needs to become more vocal (assuming it is within his personality, and it might not be). Next, Young gained about twenty-pounds since last season and tips the scales at around 330. Will that be too much weight to match up with talented speed rushers (think Everson Griffin, Southern California's next great defensive end) that the Irish will face this season? That's the one concern. Conversely, Young's added girth should help him with run blocking by sheer size alone. Finally, Young needs to develop a nasty streak. No, not the old school Oakland Raiders lets get five fifteen yard unsportsman-like conduct calls-type of nasty streak, but the "I'm going to bury my opponent during this next play and there is nothing he can do about it" attitude. Sort of like Aaron Taylor, Tim Ruddy, Jeff Faine, and other past Irish offensive linemen that would go out of their way to send a message to a defender by driving him into the ground whenever possible. For Young to reach his potential, he must develop that mentality. He does that once in a while, but now he must do it consistently. Young possesses the talent. It's up to him.

Overall, right tackle looks good for the 2008 and 2009 seasons, but Young is only the starting point. Redshirt freshman Taylor Dever did not garner preseason High School All-American honors before entering his senior season, but much like many other offensive lineman at the high school level, came into his own as a senior and earned many scholarship offers before the conclusion of his high school career. While he has yet to play a minute of College Football, Dever has earned good reviews by many close to the Notre Dame Football program. Dever will likely be the no. 2 right tackle this season and next, before taking over the starting position in 2010. It's a good situation for Notre Dame offensive line coach John Latina to have. Now coach Latina and the Notre Dame coaching staff just need to land a good right tackle recruit this next Frebruary and the depth chart will be restored to normalcy.

Interior offensive line play will be the next installment…

1 comment:

Sir John said...
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