Notre Dame: Emptying the practice notebook

Notre Dame: Emptying the practice notebook
August 4, 2014, 5:00 pm
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CULVER, Ind. -- Observations from Notre Dame's first day of preseason practice on Monday:

-- Quarterback Everett Golson took every rep with the first team offense, while Malik Zaire exclusively worked with the second team.

-- The first injury scare of the 2014 season came about halfway through practice as left tackle Ronnie Stanley was carted off, though coach Brian Kelly said the junior only needed an IV and should be back at practice Tuesday.

-- Inside linebacker Jarrett Grace was in uniform and participated in a few drills, but didn't work with Notre Dame's defense in any drills that required much lateral movement or any seven-on-seven or 11-on-11 work. Kelly said Friday Grace was close to being cleared for the start of the season following two surgeries on a broken leg in October.

-- Tight end Ben Koyack declined to discuss the specifics of the shoulder surgery Kelly revealed he underwent in the offseason. He looked fine running with the first-team offense so whatever it was, it likely was minor.

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-- Offensive lineman Colin McGovern was banged up (knee) early in practice but returned to Notre Dame's second-team line later in practice.

-- Notre Dame's first-team offensive line, from left tackle to right: Stanley, Matt Hegarty, Nick Martin, Christian Lombard, Steve Elmer. Mike McGlinchey filled in for Stanley later in practice but is the odd man out to begin camp after manning right tackle in spring practice.

-- The first team defense ran mostly a 4-3 look: Ishaq Williams and Romeo Okwara at DE, Sheldon Day an Jarron Jones at DT, Jaylon Smith, Joe Schmidt and John Turner at LB, KeiVarae Russell and Cole Luke at CB and Austin Collinsworth and Max Redfield at safety.

-- There's still plenty of time for Notre Dame's freshmen to move up the depth chart, but on the first day of practice the only freshmen consistently in the top two units were right tackle Quenton Nelson and defensive end Andrew Trumbetti, the latter of whom was an early enrollee and spring practice participant. Expect a number of the freshmen Kelly mentioned last week to eventually push for spots on the two-deep, though.

-- Greg Bryant, Cody Riggs and Tarean Folston fielded punts, while Kyle Bridza punted far better than freshman Tyler Newsome.

-- If you're looking for an offensive breakout candidate, look no further than tight end Durham Smythe. Kelly has raved about the 6-foot-4, 242-pound sophomore for months, and Monday Smythe flashed the pass-catching prowess that brought about that praise. More importantly, Kelly said Smythe has become an excellent in-line blocker -- we'll get an indication of that when Notre Dame eventually puts pads on for practice -- and with that part of his game down expect Smythe to carve out an important role in the Irish offense.