Mike's Mailbag

Here is another group of questions left over from Power Hour last night that I tackled for Mike's Mailbag. I'll be answering these questions all week so please send in your questions if you have anything you'd like me to answer about the team or recruiting.

Steve, Georgia
Which one player impressed you the most today?

Again, we only get the 20 minutes of viewing, but I was surprised by a few freshmen. I thought Kallen Wade was much bigger than I anticipated. Will Yeatman is a really big guy. I wouldn't be surprised if he grew into a defensive tackle. I also liked what I saw in Rob Parris in the brief time I saw him. I'll try to watch more of them today.

Jim, Omaha
My question pertains to the defense. I love our front 4 (talent, depth, experience), but of course our LBs are a question mark. I loved Brandon Hoyte, but he was not known as a player with great speed. Will having linebackers with speed (Travis Thomas, etc.) despite a lack of experience, take our (defense) to a different level?

Speed is only good if guys know where they're running to. I do think a starting three of Travis Thomas, Maurice Crum and Mitchell Thomas would be a definite upgrade in speed over last year. That's how they lined up today as running with the No. 1 defense. However, my concern is this group knowing their assignments and being baited into bad decisions by confusing formations and motion. ND fans have to have faith Rick Minter and Brian Polian will get the eventual starting three ready to go.

Kyle, Michigan
What was your general impression yesterday at the press conference? You know... hype-wise, buzz level, Charlie's confidence level, media's impression, preparedness for the season etc.

I commented last night on Power Hour about how confident Charlie Weis seemed to be in his press conference. He had an "I know something you don't know" type of vibe coming off him in Monday's press conference. He looked very pleasantly surprised.

But as I mentioned last night, I also remember him having the same type of feeling last year the first day and then him returning the following day in a bad mood. Regardless, I think it was an encouraging sign.

John, Florida
Do we still do two-a-days? When is the next practice?

It appears Notre Dame will have three two-a-days this fall. The first one is Saturday, the next being next Tuesday and the third being next Friday. You won't see many teams holding a lot of two-a-days because they're now limited to 20 practices before the season. If the Irish held two-a-days, they'd have a lot of days off. I think Charlie would prefer a single practice every day if possible. It's hard to keep someone's attention when it's hot and they're dog tired.

The next practice is today at 2:45 PM

Mike, California
Is John Ryan too small?

I don't believe so. A lot of defensive ends come in fairly small when they report. Just Tuck barely tipped the scales at 200 pounds when he reported as a freshman and he turned out OK. Ryan is listed at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds. I'd say he's at least 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds. I'm more interested in how he moves because he has the frame to add considerable weight. Early returns are he moves quite well.

Joe, Indianapolis
Did Ryan Harris look overweight to you?

Not at all. I stood right next to Ryan and talked to him for quite some time at media day. He just looks a whole lot bigger. He's very thick in the chest--much thicker than I can ever remember. He's always been one the of trimmest offensive linemen on the team. He looks to be in great shape.

Robert, Orlando
How did the freshman defensive players look? Walls, Mcneil, Richardson, Smith etc..

I spent all my time on the offensive side of the ball so I really didn't get to see any of the defenders during individual drills. Colin was on the defensive side so you might ask him on the message board. I'll head over to the defensive side today though and maybe I can better answer that later today.

Greeny, Arlington
Mike, can you give me your thoughts on Sam Acho? Do you see an offer coming for him soon? He seems to be getting quite a bit of praise from some board members.

I've watched some film on Acho and he's quite impressive. He's a big guy for a defensive end (6-foot-2, 250), but I think he'll eventually grow into a defensive tackle. But the good news is he has defensive end type of quickness. He's a fantastic prospect.

An offer could be on the way soon. I think the holdup is probably getting him cleared academically. I do know ND is aware of him and recruiting him now. I'd expect something real soon if he can clear admissions.

If you have any questions you'd like me to answer, feel free to send them along to: mikefrankshow@gmail.com

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