Inside Look (and NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson) was on hand with a large media contingent today to witness the final 15-20 minutes of Notre Dame's first full pads practice of the spring

Notre Dame's first padded practice of the spring included a media viewing period with a controlled scrimmage. Each quarterback took snaps and with the exception of Cierre Wood, Jamoris Slaughter, and DaVaris Daniels (as explained here), nearly every major competitor took part in the proceedings.

First Unit Defense/Observations

We walked in mid-drive, but the first unit defense appeared to include the following:

D-Line (left to right): Aaron Lynch, Louis Nix, Stephon Tuitt
Linebackers (boundary to field): Prince Shembo, Manti Te'o, Dan Fox, Danny Spond
Defensive Backs: Lo Wood and Bennett Jackson (Cornerbacks), Zeke Motta and Austin Collinsworth (safeties).

Two of the best plays on the ball were made by junior Lo Wood, the best on an out-route from Andrew Hendrix that he dislodged from the grasp on classmate and fellow January 2010 enrollee, T.J. Jones.

Lesson learned: Don't stand near a pile, Daniel Smith: Manti Te'o might arrive a bit late and decide someone needs to get hit during the whistle…

It appeared both Lo Wood and Josh Atkinson played field and boundary corner during the session. I only noticed Bennett Jackson on the boundary but that wasn't my main order of viewing business…

Ishaq Williams, Carlo Calabrese and Jarrett Grace took second team linebacker reps. Grace defended Ben Koyack well down the seam, drawing a "Go up with two hands and catch the ball!" correction from an unimpressed (tight ends coach) Scott Booker. I haven't seen Grace in live action since last August, but recall vividly his one-handed interception down the seam during that scrimmage, too. Grace also stopped a tunnel screen before it could get underway.

Sheldon Day, Kona Schwenke, and Kapron Lewis-Moore (left to right) took second unit defensive line reps with Schwenke looking much more comfortable with his added weight. I felt he lumbered in limited action (vs. Purdue) last year.

Also seeing time: CB Jalen Brown, DL Tyler Stockton, ILB Justin Utupo, ILB Kendall Moore, ILB Anthony Rabasa, S Matthias Farley (showed some range), CB Cam McDaniel, S Chris Salvi, and S Danny McCarthy, who delivered the final blow of practice to tight end Troy Niklas.

Offense: Riddick and the rest

A handful of snaps stood out among the constantly rotating offensive personnel, with Everett Golson authoring three: a fumbled snap from center, drawing the ire of his head coach; a subsequent dropped shotgun snap (recovered by a diving Rabasa)…and a frozen rope to a well-covered John Goodman for a completion on a semi-roll right.

Gunner Kiel completed a boundary out route to Alex Welch in his first rotation (in front of the media). He later bounced one to T.J. Jones…John Goodman made the best catch of the session, reaching behind him over the middle while taking a rake to the arms. He added another grab in traffic on the field (right side) along with a low catch of a Golson pass as noted above…

Our brief viewing offered an example of George Atkinson's patience, as pointed out by Kelly regarding his sophomore runner. GA3 was strung out wide on a read option but managed to break inside for more than five yards at the last possible second as the defense converged on what could have been a lost yardage play…

Theo Riddick provided the two biggest plays of the viewing period: a 25+ yard gain on a swing pass to the boundary, space provided for him by a blocking mismatch in space: All-America Tyler Eifert vs. third-day cornerback Cam McDaniel, who appeared two feet smaller than the towering Eifert. Riddick was stopped in his tracks by safety Zeke Motta, an occurrence that did not please Kelly…

Riddick also burst for more than 50 yards on a handoff over the right side before being run down (angled) by a sprinting Josh Atkinson, who was congratulated on the field for the touchdown saving effort by defensive coordinator Bob Diaco…

The third longest run during our viewing? None other than junior Tommy Rees, who escaped over the right side for at least 20-25 yards before being tracked by Jalen Brown, who attacked the football from behind for two seconds after the whistle and with Rees already out of bounds. Rees didn't fumble; then casually dropped the ball in front of them, jogged back, and chatted with the redshirt-freshman cornerback (couldn't tell if it was encouragement or wondering what took him so long to catch up…).

Of the run, Andrew Hendrix noted post-practice: "I haven't talked to him about it. If I tried, I'm sure he was out of breath." (Rees took no mercy on Hendrix when the latter was caught from behind on a 78-yard run vs. Air Force last October.) Top Stories