Five Questions: Blue Gold Game

Saturday ends Notre Dame's 15 days of practice and Brian Kelly's second spring session since taking over the Irish football program. We have Five Questions to be answered during this year's annual scrimmage.

Kelly enters the Blue Gold Game this year knowing far more about his roster than he did a year ago. Position battles for depth chart spots is the norm during the spring, allowing for several topics of discussion over the months leading to the start of camp in August.

This brings us to our five questions for the Blue Gold Game.

Question One: Will Andrew Hendrix or Everett Golson step up and become factors for the Irish when they enter camp in August?

Both quarterbacks will be live and taking hits Saturday. Hendrix and Golson have impressed several during the spring with their collective arm strength and ability to move. Saturday could push one or both into the battle for the starting job this fall. While some may feel Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees are safe bets to be at the top of the depth chart when the season starts, Brian Kelly has always proven to know just when a quarterback may be ready to lead his team.

Questions Two: Did the suspension to Michael Floyd help the Irish at the wide receiver position?

The topic of Floyd's future has been talked about throughout the spring. But practice continued without the team's top receiver and in the process, has given younger players a chance for more reps. While it would have been great for Floyd to have been in the fold, his absences should have been looked upon by younger players as a chance to step up and make their mark. We'll learn Saturday which members of the group used their time wisely.

Question Three: Have the Irish found the right guys to fill key backup spots along the offensive line?

We know what to expect from Zack Martin, Braxston Cave, Trevor Robinson and Taylor Dever after each put in solid seasons in 2010. However, establishing quality depth is key as the Irish finish with spring practice.

Can redshirt-freshmen tackles Christian Lombard and Tate Nichols continue to progress? Can Mike Golic become a trusted backup at both center and guard?

Question Four: Of the five early enrollees, who has completed the early steps to be talked about as a main contributor?

Five top level recruits entered Notre Dame early and have taken part in their first spring of college football. Saturday we get our first chance to see how they have responded to the college game and if we should be looking at any of them to make an early mark during their Notre Dame careers.

Question Five: Have any players stepped up in the Irish secondary to push for starting spots or key back up roles?

While the Irish are blessed to have an experienced group in the defensive secondary, there remains questions to be asked when you look at the overall depth. Gary Gray, Jamoris Slaughter, Harrison Smith and Zeke Motta all posted starts last season and Robert Blanton also major game experience as well as two seasons of prior starts under his belt. However, has the move of Austin Collinsworth paid dividends and can Dan McCarthy stay injury free and reach the potential many felt he would coming out of high school?

How has Bennett Jackson adapted to his new position? Is Lo Wood ready to take the reigns as the team's third cornerback?

Irish Eyes will review these Five Questions and more following Saturday's Blue Gold Game.


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