NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Cross another ‘first’ off the list for Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman. He once led a team on the pitch as a head coach. He led Notre Dame through a spring full of training. And on Friday, Freeman led the Fighting Irish in his first practice as head coach.
No longer the defensive coordinator he was for the past six seasons at Purdue, Cincinnati and Notre Dame, Freeman was fully running the show for the first time as a head coach when the Fighting Irish took the field under the grounds of the Irish Athletic Center and on the fields outside.
“It’s good to be under your belt,” Freeman said. “I’m used to being the one who speaks out now.”
Freeman wasn’t confined to one part of the pitch as he served as a coordinator and positional coach during his coaching career which began in 2010. He spent the two and a half hours of Friday’s session moving from time with as many position groups as possible. , on both sides of the ball.
“For me, it’s part of spending time with your players,” Freeman explained. “And that’s why I’m intentional to go to individual drills, because, again, I’m not an offensive head coach (or) a defensive head coach or special teams. I’m just the coach. -leader and I want to make sure I spend time with each group of positions.
Friday was the first of 19 practices Freeman’s Irish will have at their first fall camp.
“That first practice, like for players, it’s the same for coaches to get into your routine,” noted the Irish head coach. “Hopefully on the second or third day I don’t have to look at my script to find out what the next period is. I’ll know exactly what’s going on.
Talking Tobias (Merriweather)
True freshman wide receiver Tobias Merriweather has only been on campus since June, but has made a good first impression. The West Carmas, Wash native looked good on the first day of fall camp.
He stands 6-4 at a lean 198 pounds, but has good body control and explosiveness off his breaks. Freeman says there is an opportunity for the former four-star rookie this year.
“I think he’s a guy who’s in a position where the depth in this play isn’t extremely long,” Freeman said. “So he’s in a position where he’s going to have to step in early. And, you know, if he’s willing to help us, he’ll play. I think because of the depth in this room, you’ll see him get a lot more opportunities.
“He’s long, he can run (and) I’ve only heard good things from the summer, which he’s done, and so I’m excited to see what he’s doing.”
The Fighting Irish started training camp with a pretty healthy squad. Freeman said only three players – running back Jadarian Prizetight end Mitchell Evans and wide receiver Joe Wilkins Jr. are currently the only three players who will not play in the Sept. 3 season opener against Ohio State.
There are other players who trained on the first day of training camp, but they are on limited duty to start the camp.
“There’s a progression for some guys, coming back,” Freeman said. “You know, we can’t just go to zero and put them there (up to) 100. So we have guys there with limited reps.”
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These players include Logan Digg (shoulder), Marist Liufau (ankle), Avery Davis (ACL) and Cane Berrong (LCA).
Diggs suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder during the Blue-Gold scrimmage in April. He was the only non-quarterback to wear a red jersey in Friday practice, which means limited contact. He also wore a black support sleeve/splint over his shoulder and upper arm.
No Camp Culver
In years past, Notre Dame has started fall camp at Culver Academies, which is located about 34 miles south of campus. It’s over now.
“It wasn’t even something we talked about,” Freeman said. “I know for the last two years they haven’t, because of Covid, but it’s not even something that’s been brought up, being available for this year.”
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Content of the Irish distribution
Notre Dame 2022 Roster
Schedule Notre-Dame 2022
Notre Dame 2023 Class Big Board
Notre Dame 2023 Commits Board – Offense
Notre Dame 2023 Commits Board – Defense
Notre Dame Scholarship Offers 2023
Notre Dame Scholarship Offers 2024
Ranking of signatories 2022 – Attack
Ranking of signatories 2022 – Defense
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