Wednesday, August 13, 2008

...that name again is Mr. Plow | by Pat

One of the few feel good stories of the past year has been the development of junior OL Chris Stewart. It wasn't even a year ago that Notre Dame tried just about everything to slow down Michigan's pass rush. The ND coaches grab-bagged with 11 different offensive line configurations during the game to no avail. But while freshmen and walk-on transfers were being sent out onto the field, Chris Stewart stayed on the sideline, the only scholarship offensive lineman who made the trip to do so. Humiliation on top of the humiliation taking place on the field.

It wasn't long after that game that he took the mid-season trip back to Texas to contemplate a transfer. But his dad kicked him in the butt, Stewart returned to ND, and since then he's been a completely different player. I was thinking of his evolution from tubby 396 pound freshman to failed defensive tackle in the spring of 2007 to current 330 pound starting offensive lineman while watching him fold Toryan Smith in half and bury him into the turf during yesterday's spirited Irish Eyes Drill (read: Oklahoma drill). Watching him maul defenders as the newest starting member of the offensive line is not only a good thing for ND's offense, but a great story coming off a year that hasn't had many of them. has video of the entire Irish Eyes drill up on the website and if it doesn't get you excited and make the wait until September 6th even more excruciating, well, you just don't have a soul. I can't recommend watching this over and over enough. Frank from UHND has the entire play by play for those who are still in pre-season form and haven't memorized the roster.

There is plenty more video goodness to take up your time today. The main fall video page on lists out the rest of the videos from yesterday including the full speed, full contact, first team vs. first team scrimmage and energy and emotion-filled goalline do or die that ended practice. (We hear will unveil a new media player very soon that will let any browser watch the practices video. Until then you'll have to use Internet Explorer.) If you're still having trouble with video's, BGI has nice video of the WRs and CB working on press coverage while II's practice videos is up on youtube.

Enjoy, because this is probably the most video of the team we're going to get until San Diego State rolls into town. 24 long, long days to go....