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August 23, 2001
OT Curtin Continues To See Quality Time in Drills
By The IrishEyes.Com NewsService
NOTRE DAME, Ind. (IE) – Reserve tackle Brennan Curtin continues to get quality snaps in practice.
First, there was the sprained ankle of Kurt Vollers and then the sprained knee of Jordan Black. Vollers has returned to practice and Black is expected to return for drills on Thursday, but the quality practice time appears to have benefited the 6-8, 305-pound Curtin.
As reported, Curtin buckled defensive end Grant Irons in one-on-one drills earlier this week. That means little in itself, but Curtin says the additional practice time and plays like that help him get some needed confidence in his play.
"When you're not running with the ‘ones,' it's hard to get thrown into the mix,'' Curtin told Al Lesar, the South Bend Tribune's Indiana SportsWriter of the Year. "I've gotten a lot of reps with the ‘ones' because we had guys go down. By the end of this camp, I should be ready in my mind.
"In spring I was mentally prepared to take the leap, but I don't think I had the confidence. Now I'm starting to develop a little of the confidence. The only way to get that is to go out there and play."
Afternoon rains forced practice Wednesday inside to the Loftus Center. That facility is not air-conditioned and the humidity had its effect.
According to Bob Davie, defensive tackle Darrell Campbell was removed from practice because of heat-related problems.
With the tragedy at Northwestern, no team is taking chances with the heat these days. The Irish training and medical staff says it has always taken care to guard against heat injury, and had a meeting with Davie before the start of two-a-days.
One of the keys to maintaining health in the face of the August heat is to ensure the intake of adequate body fluids. It's an old saw, but one that is taken seriously by the staff and, increasingly, by the players.
Before every practice, each Notre Dame player steps on a scale and his weight is recorded, according to Jim Russ, head athletic trainer. After practice, each player's weight is recorded again. For the loss of every pound, Russ said, the player is encouraged to drink 20 ounces of fluids.
The top three tailbacks—Terrance Howard, Tony Fisher and Julius Jones—returned to limited drills on Wednesday. They had missed time with assorted leg injuries, according to Davie.