Practice Report: Part I

Today's two-hour practice was open to the media and as a result, our practice report will be broken into several parts. Our first feature includes several roster items as well as a review of the always popular, "Irish Eyes" drill between blockers, tacklers, and a lone running back.

Mid-80s temperature, late-summer midwest humidity, country music, and the first full-pads practice of the 2012 season greeted Brian Kelly's Irish today in a two-hour practice session open to the media.

Said running backs coach Tony Alford of today's musical selection (drastically different than what we heard on Saturday's opening practice): "That is awful."

A few housekeeping items of note:

  • Internet rumors that Cierre Wood's missing/tardy medical paperwork was a smokescreen for a larger issue proved unfounded as the senior took part in every rep of today's practice.

  • Fellow running back Cameron Roberson was not at practice, his surgically repaired knee has not responded over the last 16 months since and the junior runner will take a medical redshirt waiver. He's no longer a member of the Irish football team, though the University will honor his scholarship and he can remain at the school. Roberson is the second such medical casualty on the current roster with redshirt-freshman guard Brad Carrico succumbing to the same fate last week after foot surgery.

  • Redshirt-freshman offensive tackle Jordan Prestwood has reportedly left the team. Prestwood, who transferred from Florida State following the spring semester of 2011 and was a part of the Irish Scout Team last fall, has not yet spoken with Kelly regarding his departure. We'll have more on the likelihood of a transfer as information becomes available.

  • Three injury updates: sophomore running back Amir Carlisle was limited today in practice. Carlisle is still recovering from off-season ankle surgery (Kelly noted he was about 80 percent, and that today was a day with inflammation. He was thus limited as a precaution).

    Junior tight end Alex Welch was helped off the field near the tail-end of today's scrimmage with a knee injury while junior linebacker Danny Spond was sidelined by a concussion. Spond had lined up with the first unit defense at the outset of practice but was replaced by sophomore (redshirt-freshman) Ben Councell at the Dog position.

With two hours of information available, today's practice report will be separated into several blogs over the next 48 hours:

- QBs
- Offense
- Defense
- Freshmen
- Roster movement
- General observations and early Depth Chart Thoughts

First, a look at today's Irish Eyes drill and the winners in each individual matchup. The drill features an offensive player in three-point stance vs. one defender. They're relegated to a small space by cones with a running back behind him.

- Nose guard Kona Schwenke defeats center Braxston Cave
- Left guard Chris Watt handles linebacker Manti Te'o
- Left tackle Zack Martin pancakes defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore
- Nose guard Louis Nix controls and stalemates right guard Mike Golic
- Right guard Nick Martin wins convincingly vs. linebacker Dan Fox
- Freshman defensive end Sheldon Day blows by right tackle Christian Lombard and actually makes a backfield tackle. There's a chance Day "pulled an Aaron Lynch" as contact is mandatory in the drill; he appeared to avoid the block rather than strike and shed.

- Tight end Jake Golic successfully blocks linebacker Ben Councell
- Center Matt Hegarty controls and turns nose guard Tony Springmann
- Linebacker Carlo Calabrese inexplicably goes low and is buried by left guard Conor Hanratty; Runner Everett Golson leaps over the grounded pair. That was a first...
- Right tackle Tate Nichols and defensive end Jarron Jones have a bit of a stalemate (I was late to locate this matchup, however. Better to disregard)
- Linebacker Ishaq Williams beats tight end Ben Koyack and makes a clean tackle (rare)

- Center Mark Harrell wins vs. nose guard Tony Springmann (close)
- Center/guard Bruce Heggie powers through linebacker Kendall Moore
- Left tackle Ronnie Stanley beats defensive end Justin Utupo
- Outside linebacker Romeo Okwara beat sophomore tight end Troy Niklas…now that was surprising.
- Center Braxston Cave kills defensive end Jarron Jones
- Linebacker Jarrett Grace easily defeats left guard Nick Martin
- Right tackle Christian Lombard and defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore fought to a draw (my call)

- Tight end Alex Welch beats outside 'backer Anthony Rabasa, who fell
- Nose guard Louis Nix wins handily vs. right guard Mike Golic
- Left guard Conor Hanratty does the same vs. walk-on 'backer Kevin Walsh
- Left tackle Zack Martin discards defensive end Sheldon Day
- Linebacker Ishaq Williams beats tight end Troy Niklas and makes the tackle (again).
- Tight end Jake Golic wins handily vs. linebacker Romeo Okwara

Part II will focus on the quarterbacks and be published shortly. Top Stories