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Filling In the Puzzle Pieces

First off, best wishes to Bill Lewis with his double hip replacement surgery. He's been a great coach and representative of Notre Dame (in addition to being an outstanding recruiter.) I'm sure this was a tough choice, but he will always be a part of the Notre Dame family and will soon begin his role as manager of athletic community relations.

Goodbye, Bill.

Hello, Jon.

Jon Tenuta will assume an assistant head coach position and likely either coach the secondary or the linebackers. Like Lewis, a hell of a get as a position coach.

Tenuta is known for his attacking defenses at Georgia Tech that throttled ND's inept offense this past year (no big deal,) but notably held Notre Dame in check with Brady Quinn at the helm two years ago. In addition to successful stints as a defensive coordinator, he's also coached the defensive line, linebackers and the secondary in his career.

Remember when Ohio State couldn't not turn out an NFL db? That was Tenuta, a college defensive back, who helped Shawn Springs, Antoine Winfield, Ahmed Plummer and Nate Clements into the first round of the NFL. Of course Corwin Brown coached DBs in the NFL, so ND will be getting a proven winner as a DB coach no matter who takes over for Lewis.

Like Lewis, in Tenuta, Weis hired a coach that he couldn't (figuratively) beat on the field.

In fact, Tenuta almost seems over qualified and will likely not just contribute to the defensive scheme, but help Weis pressure test his offensive scheme, which has proven vulnerable to pressure. His tough guy mentality will also help restore the nasty play Weis is looking to cultivate. Even the past two years, Notre Dame has been known to have soft players.

It's hard to imagine Notre Dame winning while losing a coach with the experience of Lewis, but given his departure, Tenuta fits perfectly into the puzzle as a coach -- the only question is whether he'll match Lewis's recruiting prowess.

Schadenfreude Friday

So Florida was ready to take all-star corner Patrick Johnson with what they thought was a bogus test score, but he committed to LSU. How did Florida respond? "Florida flagged my scores," Johnson said. "They called the compliance office."

"I'm not upset," Johnson said. "Florida made an issue about the ACT score. They're cowards. They had to go behind my back. But that's OK. We play them this year (on Oct. 11 at Florida)."

That's unbelievable on many levels.

Meanwhile, DickRod continues to shred at Michigan -- not just papers, but the truth as Michigan will likely move to the same 3-3-5 defense. Good news is that he still has a shot at Patrick Johnson.

Schadenfreude Friday

Look, we're fans. We take pleasure in the misery of our greatest rivals.

And this past week or so has been a bonanza for Notre Dame fans heartened by the talent and character of the incoming recruiting class which will be Notre Dame's best in 25 years.

Meanwhile, Florida's been taking it on the chin with a loss to unranked Michigan, Meyer putting the blame on his players, Harvey (who reportedly hates Meyer) heading to the NFL, Florida running backs coach Stan Drayton defecting to Tennessee with this parting shot:
"The offense we were running in Florida did not have much involvement with the running back," he said during a news conference Wednesday night. "There was some frustration there, I must be honest with you."
and now outlet after outlet slamming Meyer's recruiting tactics and lack of character.

This was recently posted on noledigest.com

"While Gator fans will sit and give excuses or spin the details of what is going on, there is no denying that it seems like the UF staff flat out lies to these kids. Here is a quote from Trent Pupello (a player they initially compared to Jeremy Shockey), who is looking to leave the program this year: "Coach (Steve) Addazio (UF tight ends coach) told me to work on my speed," Pupello said. "He didn't say that my speed was slow or anything. He just said that everything (at this level) is faster. I need to work on speed and getting stronger, which is pretty much what we all need to work on. He said that they need me at tight end, that I’ll have an early chance to play and that all of the tight ends will play on the special teams.

The examples are endless. Who is next to fall to the wayside at UF?"

And from the Michigan site:

"The University of Florida stayed on the four star pass-catcher well all the way through. Things crescendoed recently after a conversation with Urban Meyer. According to Stonum, Meyer had a compelling reason why he should become a Gator. "He told me that he talked to Coach Carr and Coach Soup and that they told him that I would be a much better fit in the Florida offense than I would be in the one at Michigan," Stonum recalled. "I thought, wow, my coaches are selling me out.? I confronted them about it. I asked Coach Carr and Coach Soup about it and they said they never talked to that guy and that there was no way they ever said anything like that and that they think I should be a Wolverine. I believed them. Right then, I knew just how Florida rolled.?"

And of course you can't tell the story about the Jevan Snead story enough (recounted in the
book MeatMarket:)

"Funniest thing I read in it concerned what Urban Meyer told Jevan Snead.

Snead had watched outside the lines special on Tebow in which it showed Meyer and OC Dan Mullen in the stands. Problem was, Meyer had told Snead, committed at the time, that he was the only quarterback they were going after. When Snead asked Meyer about it, Meyer responded, "We are recruiting him for linebacker."

I had heard that before, but got a big kick out of reading it in the book straight from Snead."
For Notre Dame fans, it's been fun to watch the Michigan coaching debacle with Michigan men split over whether "DickRod's" recruiting tactics and schemes will pass Michigan muster. Star talent Ryan Mallet left the program by taking this parting shot at Rodriguez (though he was just being honest,) "Tell me how many guys have run the spread and mad it past college?"

Yeah, that'll help recruiting.

** Note the Detroit Free Press ran equal opinion pieces on Terrell Pryor

Scheduling a National Championship Loss

OSU out of conference slate 2007: Youngstown State - Akron - Kent State - Washington

An Irish All-Star Weekend

Deion Walker pushed Notre Dame's number one ranked recruiting class further on top by committing to the Irish on Saturday. Walker brings a combination of size and speed that Notre Dame has been missing to open up the field. He chose the Irish over offers from USC, Florida, LSU, Florida State and Penn State. Nice cohort list.

A couple of highlights from Saturday's all-star games:

Story #1: ND recruit Braxston Cave kept Florida commitment Omar Hunter in check all day long. Cave is not only one of Notre Dame's great ambassadors, but he's a very stout inside player. Cave won almost all of his battles against Hunter including a 1st quarter pancake of the Florida bound nose tackle (yes he committed to UF before December.)

Story #2: Crist to Floyd. The two hooked up for one long touchdown pass, but both players looked to be the best at their positions on the day and there was a lot of great competition on the field. Bob Lichtenfels ranked the quarterbacks: Crist, Pryor and Jackson. Crist will be a great one, but still needs a little polish. Floyd, as I've been harping, is an out of the box ready to play wide receiver. Goodman is faster than expected and a couple of milkshakes away from being a good player for Notre Dame. He has better raw skills now than any upperclassman wide receiver at Notre Dame. Walker has AA potential.

Story #3: Golic can play. The much undersized center looked much better than he did in one on one drills. He's still two years away from being physically ready to play, but he's got the skills and the frame to be a very good player down the road. Robinson is already a beast on the OL. Clelland and Golic are projects, but good projects to have.

Story #4: ND All-Stars. It was incredible to see an all-star game overflowing with Notre Dame talent and even better to see the character of the kids who committed to Notre Dame. It didn't hurt to see Florida's top two defensive back recruits choose other schools. Meyer's reputation (see Derrick Harvey) will catch up with him sooner or later -- maybe sooner if he makes rumored changes on his defensive coaching staff. What goes around...

Story #5: LB Speed. Both Filer and Fleming showed very good speed on the field today -- something Notre Dame sorely needs.