Senior Moments

IrishEyes first of four class reviews looks at the production and progress of the 2008 recruiting class – this season's seniors.

Scout.com's 2nd-ranked recruiting class of 2008 will conclude its fourth season this fall. Together, the 21 remaining members represent the 2011 graduating class at the University of Notre Dame, and the majority (14) can apply for the opportunity to play for the school through the 2012 football season.

Below is a look at how the group, after two defections, has fared to date, en route to a 21-17 record entering 2011.

Class Superlatives

Key to the team's 2011 fortunes: forging the class's first two-game road winning streak, thus concluding September on a high note prior to a return to South Bend for three consecutive home games (with the season's bye week intermixed).

  • Record at home: 12-8
  • Record on the road: 5-9
  • Neutral record (regular season): 2-0
  • Bowl record: 2-0 – the class could be the first to win three bowl games since the famed recruiting haul of 1990 (3-1 in four New Year's Day/BCS-equivalent Bowls)
  • Longest Winning Streak: 4 games (Present: Utah, Army, USC, Miami…)
  • Longest Losing Streak: 4 games (Navy, at Pittsburgh, UConn, at Stanford 2009)
  • Longest home winning streak: 4 games from Sept. 6 to Oct. 4 2008 (San Diego State, Michigan, Purdue, and Stanford); snapped by Pittsburgh on November 1.
  • Longest road winning streak: N/A (or 1 on four occasions)
  • Record vs. Top 25 opponents: 1-5 (defeated Utah last November; lost at UNC and at USC '08; vs. USC and at Pittsburgh '09; and at home vs. Stanford 2010)
  • Record vs. teams that finished with a winning record: 10-15
  • Record vs. teams that finished with a losing record: 10-2 (also beat 6-6 Western Michigan)
  • September Record: 7-5
  • October Record: 8-4
  • November Record: 4-8
  • December Record: 2-0
  • Record prior to Bye Weeks: 1-2
  • Record following Bye Weeks: 2-1
  • Record in prime time: 5-6

Class of 2008 Individual Leaders (through 38 games):

Its not surprising that Floyd, the class's crown jewel in '08 and its best player from the outset of his collegiate career, dominates the list. But the dearth of rushing touchdowns from the group (0 at RB, 0 from WRs, 4 from its QB) is telling.

    Leading Receiver: Michael Floyd (171 receptions, 2,539 yards, 28 TD)
  • Leading Rusher: Jonas Gray (75 carries, 309 yards, 0 TD)
  • Most Rushing Touchdowns: Dayne Crist (4)
  • Leading Passer: Dayne Crist (184-314, 2,163 yards, 16 TD, 8 INT)
  • Longest TD Scored: Michael Floyd (88 yards vs. Nevada, 2009). Departed classmate Kyle Rudolph scored on a 95-yard touchdown toss vs. Michigan last fall.
  • Longest TD Combination: Dayne Crist to Michael Floyd (80 yards vs. Western Michigan, 2010) …Also, Crist-to-Rudolph: 95 yards vs. Michigan in Week 2, 2010.

  • Most Tackles: Robert Blanton (123 total)
  • Most Tackles for Loss: Darius Fleming (25.5)
  • Most Interceptions: Robert Blanton (6)
  • Most Sacks: Ethan Johnson (12.5)
  • Most Games Played: Ethan Johnson (38)
  • Most Career Starts: Michael Floyd (29)
  • Total Touchdowns Scored by the class' remaining members: 35 (Floyd 28, Crist 4, Blanton 2; Goodman 1). Early NFL Draft Entrant Kyle Rudolph added 8 in 29 games.

  • Offensive MVP to date: Michael Floyd, with no other plausible candidate.
  • Defensive MVP to date: Ethan Johnson, followed closely by Darius Fleming, Kapron Lewis-Moore, and Robert Blanton.
  • Special Teams MVP to date: Steve Filer, with Blanton as runner-up and Fleming in the conversation, though the latter's role on the specialty units has decreased each season.
  • Best individual games to date: Offense: Floyd vs. Nevada in the 2009 season opener (4 receptions, 189 yards, 3 TD). Defense: Fleming vs. Purdue in Week Four, 2009 (4 tackles, 3 for lost yardage with a sack). Runner-up: Blanton vs. Purdue in Week Four 2008 (5 tackles and a 47-yard interception touchdown).

  • Aggregate Starts: 160 (188 including Rudolph)
  • Likely 2011 Starters from the class: Robert Blanton, Braxston Cave, Dayne Crist, Sean Cwynar, Darius Fleming, Michael Floyd, Ethan Johnson, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Trevor Robinson
  • Possible 2011 Starting Assignments from its ranks: John Goodman, Jonas Gray, Jamoris Slaughter, Hafis Williams
  • Likely Two-deep Contributors: Steve Filer, Mike Golic Jr., Dan McCarthy
  • Depth Chart competitors: Lane Clelland, Anthony McDonald, Brandon Newman, David Posluszny, Deion Walker
  • Transferred Player: Tight end Joseph Fauria (prior to 2009 season)
  • Early Draft Entry: Tight end Kyle Rudolph

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