The group seemed a lot more alive on Wednesday than it did on Tuesday, with a lot of chatter.
Coaches and players were giving freshman quarterback Dayne Crist a hard time about his high school team, Notre Dame Sherman Oaks, being ranked number one in the country in one set of rankings.
Brian Polian: "Want to win a championship at Notre Dame Sherman Oaks? Get rid of the quarterback."
Charlie Weis: "So Crist, they got rid of you and now they're number one in the country? That new young quarterback must be a significant upgrade. You and (Anthony) McDonald really set them up nicely."
The discussion transformed into a rivalry between Crist and Jimmy Clausen over whose high school teams would win. Crist admitted that Clausen's senior team would have beaten his senior team, but there was another matchup that Crist liked a lot more. I couldn't hear if it was Crist's senior team against Jimmy's junior team or what, but when Clausen said they would win, Crist said, ‘No. Not happening.'
Quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus jumped in to say, ‘I just wish we could resurrect the '92 Berwick Bulldogs to play some of these California teams.'
Rob Parris shifted the conversation to recruiting rankings and said, ‘I think I was a one star.' Clausen said something and Parris said, ‘You were a 5-and-a half star. They just threw another half star at you.'
The mood was not as pleasant when Weis announced that the team would be staying outside for the entire practice and not moving in like had originally been the plan. It was not clear if he was kidding or using it as a motivational tool, but Evan Sharpley said that he needed some sleeves if they were staying out all practice.
Weis was moving around a lot better than he was on Tuesday, but still hopped in his cart to cruise around from station to station.
The quarterbacks got their arms loose like they always do. The running backs started with some more blocking techniques before changing drills. It seems like the Irish may add a new wrinkle to the game plan on Saturday, but I'll leave that up to them to decide if they want to reveal it or not.
The receivers went through the gauntlet before doing cone drills. Freshman John Goodman seems to have a slight leg injury and went through drills at half speed. Despite the cold, wet conditions, the wideouts did a great job of hanging onto the football. Until you watch them go through the drills, sometimes you forget the depth that Notre Dame has at the position.
The tight ends worked on one-on-one pass blocking drills. Joseph Fauria does not look nearly as smooth and fluid as Kyle Rudolph does when moving around whether it's running routes or blocking. The offensive line went over assignments against different fronts. John Latina mixes in plenty of faces with different groups and it is sometimes difficult to tell if it's the first group working with a couple of subs or the second group working with a couple of starters.
For whatever reason, Corwin Brown did not have the usual first group of David Bruton, Kyle McCarthy, Terrail Lambert and Raeshon McNeil do the first rep of backpedals with the secondary. Instead it was freshman Robert Blanton and walk-ons Chris Bathon and John Leonis. When Bruton's group did get up, he messed up and opened the wrong way. Brown told Danny McCarthy to, ‘get your feet right' and said, ‘Good, Gary, Good," to Gary Gray.
The defensive linemen did agility drills over bags. Jappy Oliver really does a good job of getting those big guys moving when they do agility drills. The linebackers worked on downhill angles and angle tackling.