Mike's Mailbag

We're back with another round of questions left over from Wednesday's Power Hour. Please keep those questions coming and I'll do my best to answer them. I also appreciate the humor of some of you. Keep that coming as well.

Investment Banker, Atlanta
Are you worried about Ambrose Wooden's ability to tackle on the corner? Especially if Travis and Ambrose line up on the same side of the ball.

Mike: I'm not worried about it. In fact, Wooden is the leading returning tackler on the team. I wouldn't say he's as strong of a tackler as say Mike Richardson, but not many corners are. I think Wooden will be fine as tackler and against he run.

Irish 12, Philly
Mike, why the positive change in possibility with (Joseph) Barksdale?

Mike: We've had recent conversations with Joseph and others that lead us to believe that ND has moved up on his list and other schools might be slipping. That is just our gut feel and not something Barksdale actually said to us.

Brian, Newcastle, Ind.
Which corner does ND have the best shot to sign?

Mike: I'd say Notre Dame's best shot at corner right now would be Michael Williams. I think Notre Dame has a good shot to land him. I also feel Notre Dame has a good shot at Gary Gray as well. As I've mentioned many times, if he's leaning towards South Carolina, and he's already been to Notre Dame twice, why wait? Why not just re-commit?

Investment Banker, Atlanta
Do you think (Travis) Leitko will play a lot since Reggie Ball is so short?

Mike: Interesting question. Reggie Ball is short (listed at 5-foot-11), but I'm not sure how much Leitko will play because of it. I'm certain ND will try their best to get their hands up in passing situations, but I also believe you'll see Ball on the perimeter quite a bit in this game. The last time that happened (OSU), the results weren't good for the Irish, but Ball is not near as effective as a passer as Troy Smith, and I don't think Tech has as many playmakers as the Buckeyes had. Having said that, I do expect to see Ball outside the pocket often in this game.

Knute, Beyond the Grave
What's the over/under on how long it is before ESPN compares Weis to me?

Mike: Nobody is in your class at this point Knute, not Charlie, not anyone. At least not yet.

Investment Banker, Atlanta
Is Angel Frank hot?

Mike: I'd say so, yes. I think others would as well. Way out of my league.

Dan, Pa.
Where do we stand with Caleb King? For a top 5 national recruit, who seems to be interested in us, we don't hear much about him.

Mike: We've mentioned a number of times that we've heard that Caleb King has yet to qualify for Notre Dame. We do believe he has a chance to qualify as I doubt ND would offer him if he didn't have a chance to qualify. However, until he has qualified, ND chances really don't matter. Having said that, ND is actively recruiting him and he seems very open about the Irish and interested in visiting. So far he hasn't set up a visit that we know of. Until he does, I'm not sure he's a candidate for the Irish.

Terry, Tallahassee
What are your latest feelings on Arrelious Benn? People in Tallahassee seem to be confident about FSU's chances.

My feelings on Benn haven't changed. Arrelious should be up for his official visit during the Penn State game. I still feel the Irish lead for Benn and I'd be surprised if he went to another school. Besides, have you watched the FSU offense lately?

Kevin, Scottsdale
Has Ryan Harris been going at full-tilt at all this week? And are there any other minor injuries to speak of along the offensive line?

Mike: I'm not certain but I believe Harris will be going full speed this week. Harris will need some contact time to be ready but I fully expect him to be ready. The only other injury we know of is Dan Wenger at this point. Once again, it appears the Irish have come through fall camp without a major injury….knock on wood. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Is it possible Charlie Weis could be both?

Danny, Lafayette, La.
I heard Adidas and Notre Dame made some black football jerseys this year. What are the odds we'll see the Irish wear them this year?

Mike: I'd be surprised if they did wear them, but I'm sure they'll be a hot seller in the bookstore—most likely the real reason behind their creation.

Dave, Birch Run, Mich.
Do you think ND stands a chance landing Ronald Johnson from Muskegon, Michigan?

Mike: Like Caleb King, we've heard Ronald has yet to qualify for Notre Dame. I'm not sure he will. He's a fantastic player. I think he's one of the top 10 players in the entire country, but I'm not sure he'll qualify for Notre Dame. Until he does, he's not a prospect for the Irish.

Ed, Rochester
What's up with the CFN (College Football News) preview included in my Irish Eyes magazine - predicting 8-4 for the Irish, which I assume means only 5-4 against the non-service academies. CFN really thinks ND will be worse this year?

Mike: I think you'd have to ask them why they picked the Irish to go 8-4 this season. I suggest you look at previous CFN predictions regarding Notre Dame and you'll likely get a chuckle from their track record predicting the Irish—or anyone for that matter.

Benjamin, Fort Wayne, Ind.
How do you think (Maurice) Crum will do switching to MLB? Is it possible or would it be a good thing if Toryan Smith plays well enough to earn the middle spot and then move Crum back outside?

Mike: I'm not sure why some people are convinced that Maurice Crum won't be a good middle linebacker (and for the record I'm not assuming you're one of those guys). Crum played middle linebacker in high school. He also played a lot of linebacker positions in high school. His father was a great linebacker. It's in his blood. Yes, he's not 250 pounds, but I don't think you need to be. Corey Mays was just 230 last year and he played just fine in the middle. You need a player inside who truly understands the defense. That's why you see Crum inside versus Mitchell Thomas, who is bigger. I'd much rather have a guy inside who can get everyone lined up in the right places than a guy who might be a bit bigger. Just my two cents. But to answer your question, as much as I like Toryan Smith's potential, I'd rather have an experienced player playing the middle position.

Tyrone, Washington
Mike, Charlie missed a tee time today. Is he busy with something?

Mike: Sorry, I couldn't resist putting this question in here. I got a chuckle out of this one.

If you have questions you'd like answered about the team or recruiting, feel free to ask me at: mikefrankshow@gmail.com

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