Thursday, February 08, 2007

Your Class of 2007 Dogbook: Offense Skill Positions

There is a fine tradition at Notre Dame (although I'm not sure it's still going on, what with these crazy kids and their internets these days) called the "Freshman Register", which all alumns know by it's more endearing shorthand sobriquet: The Dogbook. A charming little guidebook you get when you register as a freshman that has a picture and short description of everyone in the freshman class. Suffice to say, it was incredibly useful in trolling for ass, stalking classmates, and verifying the fugliness of the girl you're about to be set up on a blind date with (hence the name).

Anyway, here's your recruiting class of 2007 Dogbook, complete with photos, a brief summary of the recruit, wisdom from the wise prophet Anagramaticus, and a bonus YouTube clip to illustrate the new player's impact. Big Uglies and Defense will be going up tomorrow.

Your Class of 2007 Dogbook: Offense Skill Positions

Jimmy Clausen, QB, Westlake Village, CA

6'3, 195
Anagramaticus Says:

"Is Jammy Uncle"
HRB Angry Drunk Viking Rating:

Nine Angry Drunk Vikings, an artichoke, and a Zeppelin.
The Lowdown: The crowned prince of prep football, the lord, the savior, the allmighty. Without a doubt the most hyped recruit in ages, and, hand-in-hand with that overexposure comes crushingly impossible expectations and the derision of rival fans the world around.

To his credit, Clausen is an extremely polished passer whose mechanics, arm strength, and precision are much more seasoned than one would ever expect from a strapping youngster. His biggest challenge will be to learn how to deal with the pressure and speed of the college game (Clausen played on a veritable All-Star team in a smallish conference in California, and thus was hardly ever hurried in his entire career) and to read more advanced defenses. Oh, there's also the challenge of living up to his ridiculously-overblown billing. All in all though, he will be the cornerstone of Charlie Weis' offense for several years. Will he be ready to take over the vacant QB job this offseason? Only time will tell. Clausen is an early enrollee who is currently practicing with the team, so he'll have all spring to compete for the job.

Bonus YouTube Footage: "Jesus Walks" by Kanye West. It's just too easy to draw the comparison.

Robert Hughes, RB, Chicago, IL

5'11, 228, 4.6
Anagramaticus Says:

"Huge Brothers"
HRB Angry Drunk Viking Rating:

Seven Angry Drunk Vikings and a Polish Sausage.
The Lowdown: Robert Hughes is a load. Think "charging buffalo", but with 4.6 speed. While Notre Dame has recruited its fair share of shifty finesse backs in recent years, there really has been an absence of a true power running back who is willing to get dirty between the tackles. Meet Robert Hughes.

Hughes has great speed for the massive frame he carries, and was a holy terror in the Chicago Public league, laying waste to hapless defenders like the one pictured here. Securing Hughes' commitment was the first job of new Irish Defensive Coordinator Corwin Brown, who used his own connections with the CPL to earn the trust of Hughes.

With the tailback position wide open, you can probably expect to see Hughes as a situational back when the sledding gets tough.

Bonus YouTube Footage: A video of Robert Earl Hughes, a one-time record-holder for world's fattest man.

Armando Allen, RB, Hialeah, FL

5'10", 185, 4.35
Anagramaticus Says:

"Mad, Anal Loner"
HRB Angry Drunk Viking Rating:

Eight Angry Drunk Vikings, a HabaƱero Pepper, and a Bitchiin' Alfa Romeo.
The Lowdown: Speed demon, through and through. Armando Allen had the fastest 40 time of any prospect last year, and runs an honest-to-god, non-wind-aided, non-hand-timed 4.35. The 40 is a fairly subjective and often misleading statistic, but rest assured that Armando is "play-tennis-against-yourself" fast. He also enrolled early, so he'll be a new face to watch for at the spring game.

Allen played in one of Miami's roughest and most competitive conferences, and still managed to average nearly ten yards per touch. He's a home-run hitting breakaway threat.

Bonus YouTube Footage: How fast is Armando Allen? Mount a camera on the front of a motorcycle and drive 190 MPH. That should begin to give you an idea.

Golden Tate, WR/Athlete, Hendersonville, TN

6'0", 180, 4.4
Anagramaticus Says:

"Gentle Toad"
HRB Angry Drunk Viking Rating:

Seven Angry Drunk Vikings, a HabaƱero Pepper, and a Golden Globe Award.
The Lowdown: His name is Golden. His high school team used Notre Dame's uniforms and golden helmets. Is anybody surprised about his college decision?

Tate has breakaway speed, great ball-hawking instincts, and so much raw athleticism that he can play just about any skill position he wants. He has officially signed as a receiver, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him switch over to cornerback for his college career, plus I'm sure he'll at least get a look at the kick returning squad as well. Tate is a big-time competitor, and apparently a bit of a prankster, too. Rumor has it he sent a text message to the coaching staff on National Signing Day advising he had withdrawn his commitment moments before faxing over his letter of intent. Now, that's a uniquely cruel joke considering what went down on signing day, but, hey, laughter is the best medicine.

Bonus YouTube Footage: Jurassic 5's "What's Golden?". This is just too easy.

Duval Kamara, WR, Hoboken, NJ

6'3", 190
Anagramaticus Says:

"Alarm a Kudva"
HRB Angry Drunk Viking Rating:

Seven Angry Drunk Vikings and two Indian Rhinoceri.
The Lowdown: Big, mean, and rangy. Originally, Notre Dame fans were excited about the prospect of adding Kamara, Arrelius Benn, and Greg Little to an unprecedentedly-awesome receiver haul, but Little jumped on signing day and Benn inexplicably went the way of the Zooker. However, Kamara is a huge prize and will become the top target in the receiving corps possibly right out of the gate, as there is currently a vacancy on the roster for a big, sure-handed receiving threat.

Kamara committed all the way back in May, so the recruiting hype machine that escalates over the year never really got rolling for him. He is, however, one of the top receivers in the country and will be a huge asset during his career at Notre Dame. I can't wait to see him haul in his first jump-ball for a touchdown.

Bonus YouTube Footage: Why is Duval such a kickass name? Because Robert Duvall kicks ass. I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Mike Ragone, TE, Cherry Hills, NJ

6'5", 230, 4.45
Anagramaticus Says:

"A Minor Geek"
HRB Angry Drunk Viking Rating:

Seven Angry Drunk Vikings, an African Elephant, and the Jersey Devil.
The Lowdown: Yet another Jersey kid signing with Coach Weis. It's impressive how Weis has turned the talent-rich state into a pipeline for Notre Dame. Of course, a stable of huge, athletic tight ends from New Jersey is becoming de rigueur at the Golden Dome, and Ragone is doing his part to keep the tradition alive.

One of the nation's top tight end prospects, he has the size and speed to develop into a real presence in the midfield seams during his career.

Bonus YouTube Footage: The Prides of New Jersey: The Boss, Athletic Notre Dame Tight Ends, and the Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Welcome to the team, lads. Big Uglies and Defensive players will be up tomorrow (hopefully).

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