Depth Chart: Irish Offense
Wood leads the team in rushing over last six games
Wood leads the team in rushing over last six games
Publisher
Posted Nov 3, 2012


Updated depth chart and notes for each position in Notre Dame's matchup today vs. Pittsburgh.

The number in parenthesis represents each player's remaining eligibility entering the 2012 season.

LEFT TACKLE

Senior Zack Martin 6'4" 304 (2)
Sophomore Nick Martin 6'4" 290 (4)
Freshman Ronnie Stanley 6'6" 304 (4/5)

Notes: Stanley hasn't played since Game Four (Michigan). Head coach Brian Kelly explained redshirt rules in a manner suggesting any Irish player that doesn't appear from Game Six forward, and who hasn't played in more than three of his team's games previously, could be eligible for a redshirt designation from the NCAA. Stanley would fall under that category.

Redshirt-freshman Nick Martin appears to be set as the team's No. 2 left tackle at present. He's appeared from scrimmage vs. Navy and Miami to date with a role as part of Ben Turk's trio of protectors on the Irish punt team.

LEFT GUARD

Senior Chris Watt 6'3" 310 pounds (2)
Sophomore Conor Hanratty 6'5" 305 pounds (4)

Notes: Hanratty saw extended action in the blowout of Miami and would likely be the first guard off the bench should either Watt or Mike Golic (below) go down.

CENTER

5th-year senior Braxston Cave 6'3" 304 pounds (1)
5th-year senior Mike Golic, Jr. 6'3" 295 pounds (1)
Sophomore Matt Hegarty 6'5" 296 pounds (4)

Notes: Hegarty is the only varsity center returning for 2013. Golic would replace Cave in an emergent, competitive game situation. Said Kelly of Cave this week: "I think he's improved. I think we've challenged Braxston this year to improve in all areas. We wanted him to be more physical on down linemen before he escaped up to the second level. He's starting to do that on a more consistent basis for us. Our job really on Saturday (vs. Oklahoma) was based upon really disrupting the front four.  There were times where linebackers weren't even blocked.  And we were not necessarily okay with it, but we really are focusing on using his strength on down linemen and getting some movement there.  And we're seeing some improvement with Braxston in that regard."

RIGHT GUARD

5th-year senior Mike Golic, Jr. 6'3" 295 pounds (1)
Sophomore Conor Hanratty 6'5" 305 pounds (4)
Sophomore Nick Martin 6'4" 290 (4)

Notes: Martin is technically listed as the team's backup right guard, but his work as the No. 2 left tackle in Soldier Field vs. Miami suggests otherwise. As noted, Hanratty is likely the first guard off the bench on either side.

RIGHT TACKLE

Junior Christian Lombard, 6'5" 309 pounds (3)
Junior Tate Nichols, 6'8" 325 pounds (3)

Notes: Nichols made his college debut in the Game Five win over Miami. After redshirting in 2010 as a true freshman, Nichols redshirted last fall due to knee and shoulder injuries. He missed the first four games of 2012 with a patella tendon injury as well. Lombard's nine starts this season represent the first competitive action of his career after previously appearing from scrimmage only in Irish blowouts in 2011.

TIGHT END

Senior Tyler Eifert, 6'6" 251 pounds (2)
Sophomore Troy Niklas, 6'7" 260 pounds (3)
Sophomore Ben Koyack, 6'5" 253 pounds (3)

Notes: Niklas is a de facto 12th offensive starter, earning as many snaps as any receiver this season with the exception of T.J. Jones and, of course, Eifert. Koyack appears in three tight end alignments, often in the red zone.

(Z) SLOT RECEIVER

Senior Robby Toma, 5'9" 185 pounds (1)
Freshman Davonte' Neal, 5'9" 171 pounds (4/5)

Notes: Toma receives the lion's share of snaps with Neal playing an occasional snap or two in the first half of recent contests. Toma ranks fifth on the squad with 20 pass targets through seven games, securing 14 passes to date. Said head coach Brian Kelly of the Toma/Neal playing time situation last week, "I just think Robby and the consistency that he's given us at that position, we really don't see a need other than spelling him for a blow. (Neal) will get his chance and he'll get his opportunity, and if there was an injury at the position, he would certainly step in there."

(X) WIDE RECEIVER

Junior T.J. Jones, 5'11" 190 pounds (2)
Sophomore DaVaris Daniels, 6'2" 190 pounds (4)

Notes: Jones ranks first on the team with 45 pass targets, securing a team-high 26 catches including 21 for first down yardage. Daniels is fourth on the team with 16 receptions while leading the regular rotation players at 16.7 yards per catch.

With John Goodman ailing (below), Daniels has played often next to Jones (at the "W" receiver spot) pending the team's personnel packages. Daniels executed a key block on standout Sooners safety Tony Jefferson last week that sprung running back Theo Riddick for the game's final touchdown.

(W) WIDE RECEIVER

Junior Daniel Smith, 6'4" 215 pounds (2)
5th-year senior John Goodman, 6'3" 215 pounds (1)
Freshman Chris Brown, 6'2" 172 pounds (4/5)

Notes: Brown recorded the first reception of his collegiate career last week, a 50-yard post in the fourth quarter that set-up the game-winning touchdown at Oklahoma. Smith, a South Bend native, has shown quality blocking on the perimeter each week. He's been targeted for just six passes, catching five, all for short gains. Smith was one of several Irish players to secure his man in space during Cierre Wood's 62-yard touchdown run in the first quarter last week.

RUNNING BACK

Senior Theo Riddick, 5'11" 200 pounds (1) OR
Senior Cierre Wood, 6'0" 215 pounds (2)
Sophomore George Atkinson III, 6'2" 212 pounds (3)
Sophomore Cam McDaniel, 5'10" 195 pounds (3)

Notes: With Atkinson back in South Bend with the flu, McDaniel fared well as the team's lead kick returner in Norman last week; his efforts likely earned a second look at the role this Saturday. Atkinson will return to action this week per head coach Brian Kelly.

Riddick leads the team in rushing attempts and yards and is third in pass targets through eight games. Wood leads the team in rushing yards over the last five games (467 yards), missing the first two due to suspension.

QUARTERBACK

Sophomore Everett Golson, 6'0" 185 pounds (4)
Junior Tommy Rees, 6'2 215 pounds (2)
Junior Andrew Hendrix, 6'2" 225 pounds (3)

Notes: Rees has appeared in each of the team's last eight games this season, starting twice. He completed his only pass attempt last week at Oklahoma, a crucial 8-yard gain on 3rd and 7 late in the third quarter.

Golson produced a gem last week in his sixth career start, hitting for 13 of 25 passes and 177 yards while rushing for a score and 64 yards on 11 carries.



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