1 – Transfer joining the Irish spring session: Pasadena City College QB Nate Montana, who was a member of the Irish scout team and the team's emergency quarterback in 2008.
2 – Position switches from one side of scrimmage to the other from last fall: FB Steve Paskorz moved to inside linebacker while OT Lane Clelland is now a DE. A complete listing of the team's positional roster is included below.
3 – Members of the Irish coaching staff that graduated from college in the decade past: Kerry Cooks ('00 Iowa); Michael Painter (Bowling Green '06); Jon Carpenter (Cincinnati '08).
3 plus 2 plus 1? – The official number of 5th-year seniors on the Irish spring roster (Barry Gallup, Jr., Chris Stewart, and Dan Wenger). Former Dayton transfer Bobby Burger will be a second-semester senior next fall and Darrin Walls will be a true senior next fall after sitting out the 2008 season due to personal reasons. Senior punter Eric Maust, a member of the Irish baseball team, could return next fall as well.
4 – Members of the Irish coaching staff that graduated from college in the 1990s: Chuck Martin ('90 Millikin); Tony Alford ('92 Colorado State); Bob Diaco ('95 Iowa); Mike Elston ('98 Michigan).
5 – Members of the Irish coaching staff that graduated from college in the 1980s: Tim Hinton ('82 Wilmington); Brian Kelly ('83 Assumption); Ed Warinner ('84 Mount Union); Charley Molnar ('84 Lock Haven).
6 – Returning Irish players that scored at least one touchdown last season: Michael Floyd (9); Armando Allen and Robert Hughes (5 apiece); Kyle Rudolph (3); John Goodman and Duval Kamara (one apiece). The Irish lost just two players (Golden Tate and Jimmy Clausen) that accounted for a score in '09.
7 – Total 2009 interceptions recorded by returning Irish players: Brian Smith (Boston College and UConn); Robert Blanton (Nevada and Washington State); Darrin Walls (at Purdue), Gary Gray (vs. USC), and Ian Williams (Washington State).
8 – Returning Irish defenders that recorded at least two tackles for lost yardage last season: Darius Fleming, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Harrison Smith, Ethan Johnson, Ian Williams, Manti Te'o, Brian Smith, and Kerry Neal. (Steve Filer officially finished with 1.5).
9 – Scholarship players on the roster that hail from Florida, the highest total of any state. A state-by-state (scholarship) breakdown of the 65-man spring roster includes:
- 6 Illinois and New Jersey
- 5 California, Ohio (including Bobby Burger, who was on a one-year scholarship last season)
- 4 Indiana and Pennsylvania
- 3 Texas
- 2 Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia
- 1 Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.
16 – Individual returning players with at least 10 starts under their belts: Brian Smith (24), Kyle Rudolph and Chris Stewart (22), Kerry Neal, Darrin Walls, and Harrison Smith (21), Duval Kamara (20), Dan Wenger and Armando Allen (19), Ian Williams (18), Michael Floyd (17), Ethan Johnson (15), Trevor Robinson (14), Robert Blanton (12), Darius Fleming and Manti Te'o (10).
Of the players listed above, fewer than half will exhaust their collegiate eligibility at the end of the '10 season (Stewart, Neal, Walls, Kamara, Wenger, Allen, and Williams).
26 – Returning Irish players that have started at least one game entering 2010.
Position BreakdownThough if you've been paying attention to the new Irish head coach you're better off noting these position designations in pencil:
11 Offensive Linemen: Alex Bullard, Braxston Cave, Taylor Dever, Mike Golic, Jr., Zach Martin, Andrew Nuss, Trevor Robinson, Matt Romine, Chris Stewart, Chris Watt, Dan Wenger (plus three walk-ons). Currently, the OT appear to include Bullard, Dever, Martin, and Romine; the OG are Cave, Nuss, Robinson, Stewart, and Watt; while Golic and Wenger occupy the Center spot.
5 Outside Linebackers: Steve Filer, Darius Fleming, Dan Fox, Kerry Neal, Brian Smith (plus two walk-ons).
2 Fullbacks: Bobby Burger and Robert Hughes (no walk-ons).
1 Punter: Ben Turk
1 Long Snapper: Jordan Cowart (plus two walk-ons).
Notable Weight ChangesNumbers are compared to last season's opening fall roster (remember, several Irish players were said to have dropped significant weight over the course of last season).
Adding Strength was the Goal: Chris Watt (+18); Chris Stewart (+14); Robert Hughes (+11); Carlo Calabrese (+10); Jamoris Slaughter (+10); Manti Te'o, Ian Williams, and Emeka Nwankwo (+6); Robert Blanton, Darius Fleming, Jonas Gray, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Kyle Rudolph, Harrison Smith (+5); Tyler Eifert, Andrew Nuss (+3).
Slim-Fast Plan: Mike Golic, Jr. dropped 10 pounds down to 283; Cierre Wood slimmed down from 218 to 210; Kerry Neal lost six pounds (and now weighs 244); E.J. Banks, Barry Gallup, Zach Martin, Zeke Motta, Theo Riddick, Trevor Robinson, Darrin Walls, Dan Wenger, and Hafis Williams each lost five pounds since their last official listings.
Number Changes of Note: Ethan Johnson from #9 to #90; Roby Toma #84 to #19; Lane Clelland from #73 to #96.
First semester freshman WR Tai-ler Jones will wear the same number as did his father, Andre, at Notre Dame, #7. Andre Jones was a key contributor at outside linebacker on Notre Dame's 1988 National Championship team.
Fellow early enrollees Chris Badger wears #24, Spencer Boyd #6, Tommy Rees #13, and Lo Wood #23.