Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

April 13, 2014

NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL: Observations and predictions from the Blue-Gold game

SOUTH BEND — Making any sweeping pronouncements about untested talent based on a performance in the Blue-Gold game can be foolish.

Case in point, Junior Jabbie was the MVP of the 2007 Blue-Gold game after running for 87 yards on 13 carries. Jabbie, heading into his senior year at that point, didn’t do much on the field for Notre Dame. He came to South Bend as a defensive back, didn’t play his first two years and was exclusively a special teamer his junior year.

He finished his Irish career with 35 yards on 10 carries before transferring to Delaware.

While the Blue-Gold game may not be the litmus test to determine what kids will contribute next year, it can provide some insight.

Heading into Saturday’s scrimmage the big question was Everett Golson or Malik Zaire? Coach Brian Kelly has spent spring practices evaluating which quarterback will start against Rice Aug. 30 in Notre Dame Stadium.

All signs point to Golson being the opening day starter. Though after Zaire’s performance Saturday it would be a huge surprise if he didn’t factor into the game plan in some significant way.

- No signs of a sophomore slump for Jaylon Smith. The Fort Wayne product played weakside linebacker Saturday and showed his insane physical skills. He’s 6-foot-2, 230 pounds and moves as well as any linebacker in recent Notre Dame history. And that includes Manti Te’o who was in attendance for Saturday’s scrimmage.

- Prediction: Corey Robinson will be the top receiver for Notre Dame this fall. Robinson is big, 6-4, 205, and catches anything thrown in his general direction. He had nine catches for 157 yards during his freshman campaign. Regardless of what happens to currently exiled receiver DaVaris Daniels, Robinson will rack up close to 1,000 yards this season.

- Defensive end Romeo Okwara’s name was called a lot Saturday. The converted linebacker made a lot of nice plays for a defense that kept things pretty simple.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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