Posted By Frank Vitovitch On August 25, 2009 @ 12:43 am In Notre Dame Football | 5 Comments

Charlie Weis named freshman Nick Tausch his starting place kicker on Monday.

Charlie Weis named freshman Nick Tausch his starting place kicker on Monday at his last press conference for the 2009 Training Camp.

Charlie Weis met with the media on Monday as the Irish broke training camp and entered into Nevada preparation with the Wolfpack coming into town for the season opener in less than two weeks.  Here are some notes, including a surprise in the special teams depth chart.

  • Freshman kicker Nick Tausch has beaten out Brandon Walker for the place kicking and Ryan Burkhart for the kick off duties. Eric Maust locked up the starting punt return duties. As for the snapping duties, freshman Jordan Cowart is the long snapper and Braxston Cave is the short snapper.
  • According to Weis, Tausch won the kicking competition “fairly convincingly”. The staff tracked every kick in camp and Tausch came out well ahead. His kickoffs have also gotten excellent hang-time which is what won the kickoff job for him.
  • Punt return duties will be handled by a combination of Armando Allen and Golden Tate, but kick return duties are still yet to be determined.
  • Eric Maust and Bobby Burger were both awarded scholarships for the upcoming season.
  • Paul Duncan is getting pressed pretty good for the left tackle spot by junior Matt Romine. Duncan’s missed some time and Romine has elevated himself in his absence. Romine, Nuss, and Wenger make up the top backups along the offensive line at this point.
  • Darrin Walls has some work ahead of him to keep his starter status after missing some time with a tweaked hamstring. Weis noted Notre Dame’s depth at corner for being the main reason that Walls will have to work at locking down that position.
  • Official depth chart will be released next Tuesday.
  • “The arrow is pointing up” on Steve Filer. Weis said that he’s in the hunt at the SAM position and could find his way on the role as a regular in the nickel package. He would play as a rush end in the nickel package coming off the edge.
  • Armando Allen hasn’t gotten as many reps as some of the other backs, so he’ll get plenty of work the next two weeks so he is ready for the opener. Weis said that the staff likes all five of the running backs though and will still mix James Aldridge in at tailback in practice.
  • Weis said that this year’s team is probably the closest knit group since he’s been at Notre Dame. Considering all four classes (except the 5th year seniors) were recruited exclusively by Weis now this makes sense.
  • Weis said that the captains are doing a good job so far and have taken care of a lot of little things for him such as keeping the locker room in order.
  • Brian Smith gives the defense a lot of flexibility. He is the most interchangeable according to Weis.
  • David Posluszny and Anthony McDonald have played themselves up in the mix. Both have put themselves in a position where the staff isn’t afraid to play them and both will see a lot of action on special teams.
  • Weis said that Mike Ragone is as good or better than he’s ever been since he’s been at Notre Dame. Weis called his progress one of the more pleasant things that’s happened at camp.
  • Weis wants Dayne Crist to mentally prepare as though he is the starting quarterback. Weis and Ron Powlus have had private sessions with Crist in order to prepare him as a starter since he is only one play away from being the guy.
  • The staff gave the team the scouting report on Nevada today. Weis said they have a general overview of what Nevada offers and they will build on that throughout the week. The staff is treating this week of practice as though they are playing this weekend to get the players’ body clocks in tune with what they will be experiencing during the season.
  • Harrison Smtih’s transition back to safety has been seamless. Weis credited Smith’s year playing SAM linebacker as helping prepare him for playing this year along with Corwin Brown and starting strong safety Kyle McCarthy.
  • Ray Herring would be the top backup at free safety to start the year, but Weis thinks both Zeke Motta and Dan McCarthy will be capable of seeing meaningful minutes by the end of the season.
  • Darius Fleming is the starting SAM linebacker though Scott Smith and Steve Filer could both see some time there.
  • Jimmy Clausen has done a better job moving around in the pocket instead of just flushing out when the pressure has come. Handling pressure has been one of the biggest weaknesses in Clausen’s game so far making this excellent news.
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