Ronnie Rodamer started to make his move in the spring. Both offensive coordinator Bill Diedrick and wide receivers coach Trent Miles were very complimentary of his play and Rodamer says it all boils down to being healthy. "I think that being healthy and just not being injured is the biggest thing. I just go out every day and try to win this position. I've spent a lot of time in the weight room this year and I've gotten bigger. I worked very hard to get my body in shape so I won't have to deal with injuries this year."
Rodamer has had to watch classmate Omar Jenkins develop into a fine receiver while sitting on the sidelines nursing an injury. He was set to make his move last fall but another injury slowed his progress. Sophomores Rhema McKnight and Maurice Stovall stepped in and became solid performers so Rodamer's climb to the top has become even more difficult. "It's been really frustrating actually because I feel I should have been out there playing all the time and it's been injury after injury and finally now I am just healthy. It was real frustrating. Last year was the hardest. I was ready and I was healthy and then I had another injury. I broke my bursa sac and my knee would balloon up to a size bigger than a softball after every practice. I couldn't move on the field like I used to. Maurice and Rhema did a great job last year but I felt I should've been the one out there. I just couldn't stay healthy. I don't know if it's bad luck or what."
The Morgontown, WV native admits the frustration would get him down at times. "Yeah, at some points," said Rodamer when asked if he ever felt depressed about his injuries. "In the beginning it did a lot and then I just decided that I had to get healthy and show them I can do it."
To add to the confusion, Rodamer has had to adjust to a number of coaches since he's arrived. He says he's learned something from all of them but each coach was different in what they wanted. "It's hard because you feel you get used to one coach and all of a sudden you get a new one and when you get used to him then you get another new one. This is the first time I've had a coach for two straight seasons. They've all been good for me and I've learned a lot from all of them. I think Coach Miles has really helped me a lot. He's really helped me become a better player and to focus on the little things."
With the injuries hopefully behind him, Rodamer just wants to add something to this team this year. "I just want to contribute to the team, catch some balls and hopefully a National Championship. I hope I can make some big plays this year because that is what I came here to do and I just want to stay healthy. If I can stay healthy I think I can do that."
Rodamer say that the mood of the team has been excellent all spring and summer. "It's been intense. The guys have been stepping up. We got embarrassed the last two games of the last season and the guys have been trying to get ready for this year. I think we're motivated to finish the season strong and see what happens after that."
Carlyle Holiday is one of Rodamer's better friends on the team. He's seen a change in Holiday since he took over at quarterback and Rodamer says he should have a great year for the Irish. "Every game last year he showed more and more improvement, getting used to the offense we run and now he is clicking pretty good so I figure he's going to have a good season. He's just a lot more comfortable out there and I think the game has really slowed down for him. The ball is getting to us a lot quicker and where it needs to be so that is a great sign for us."
Four freshmen reported to Notre Dame on Sunday and we asked Rodamer if he thought any of the four would see the field this year. "Without the three extra days it's a little bit harder for them. Usually they would get three days alone with Coach Miles to work on the offense we run but now they have to figure it out on their own. However they are talented so they could get on the field. They all seem to work hard and they have talent."
So what can Irish fans expect from the offense this year? "A lot more points and a lot more fire power," said Rodamer.
Hopefully Rodamer can stay healthy this year. He seems very focused on having big year for Notre Dame. I'm new to all of this but I always cheer for the good guys and Ronnie is one of the good guys.