East Afternoon Practice Report

SAN ANTONIO - After attending the West practice on Thursday morning, Irish Eyes headed over to the East practice at Gustafson Stadium in the afternoon. Following practice, we caught up with a few of the assistant coaches about their impressions on the three Notre Dame verbal commits, Tyler Stockton, Zeke Motta and Jake Golic.

Following a physical practice in the morning, where Tyler Stockton and Zeke Motta were among the standouts according to Scout.com national analyst Bob Lichtenfels, the East team was in just helmets for the afternoon segment, which was mainly a special teams workout.

The four-star Motta, a 6-foot-3, 212-pound linebacker from Vero Beach, Fla., is on both the kickoff coverage and punt coverage teams. He was usually one of the first players down the field for the East.

Jake Golic is on the field goal unit, and is the last guy on the line. Stockton is the snapper.

The East coaches wanted their squad to work on getting the special teams units onto the field quickly, so they simulated third to fourth down situations.

Following a lot of special teams work, the team did a few plays of 11-on-11. Stockton and Motta appear to be starters at their respective positions. When the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Golic comes into the game, they've like to run him in motion a lot, lining him up both off set and on the line of scrimmage.

In the morning practice, Stockton, a 6-foot-1, 295-pound defensive tackle, was wreaking havoc like he's done all week. Defensive line coach Lance Pogue says that Stockton is a starter heading into Friday's final practice before Saturday afternoon's game.

"Tremendous prospect," Pogue stated. He is the head coach at South Panola High, where in 2007 he led his team to a Mississippi class 5-A state championship. "He's not a real tall guy, but he has great explosion, gets off the ball which is what you want. We're going to play him at three technique, but he can play nose guard. Just great explosion. He's kind of a guy that can get in the backfield and disrupt things. Kid has great strength and I think he has a great future.

"I didn't know much about him before coming down here other than what I read, and I heard he was a great kid. Once I got down here, I found out quickly he's a great kid. He's a great defensive lineman. His future is unlimited at Notre Dame. He'll do well.

"He's got a great personality. Obviously he has top-notch character, and he's just a fun kid to be around. I think he's kind of a team leader, I found that out really quickly. Again, his playmaking ability speaks for itself no question."

Linebackers coach Dan Algeo, of Cardinal O'Hara High in Pennsylvania, hinted that Motta will be joining Stockton in the starting lineup, but didn't want to say for sure.

"This kid is fantastic," Algeo stated. "He's had a great week of practice. He's a tremendous player. He's everything you want in a player. He's tough, he's instinctive, he's as good against the run as he is against the pass.

Algeo thinks Motta will be ready to play early at Notre Dame.

"Based on this, this is kind of an orientation. This is so much faster than what these kids are used to, and he's one of the fastest kids out there, so I'm going to assume he's going to have a heck of a career there.

"He's playing SAM for us, and he's going to play that at Notre Dame. He's had a great week and hopefully he has a great game Saturday. I'll be rooting for him. He's a great kid and I hope he has a great career at Notre Dame."

Receivers and tight ends coach Ross Hannon from Mount Hebron High School in Maryland, says that Golic gives the East offense some flexibility.

"Oh man, Jake has shown that he's a gritty player, has a lot heart, he's fundamentally sound, he goes and gets the ball, sure hands, tremendous work ethic.

"We're trying to get him in situational packages that fit his strengths. Maybe such as coming down and helping out a little bit in run support with sealing that edge for us, and also getting him in a match-up in the play action game out in the flats."

Golic will rotate time with Logan Thomas and Orson Charles.

"I believe they all have different strengths. Certainly, Logan is the tallest of them all at 6-foot-6. Very strong kid, big body, gives us a big presence on the outside. Orson is one of those tweeners. He's a kid with a little more speed, can stretch the field a little more vertically than the other two that are a little more of a tight end type of players.

"Jake is a very polished football player. He's a student of the game, obviously he's been very well coached, son of his father obviously with the football background, he knows where he should be. He's versatile, we can use him in different situations. We can use him outside if we need to, and we've had to run in to that a little bit this week due to some injuries.

"You look at him, a size 14 shoe, big hands. He's still a boy and he's still going to develop and fill out. He's going to be an excellent tight end for Notre Dame."

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