Reports: Notre Dame to hire Virginia Tech offensive line coach Joe Rudolph in same role Where Notre Dame Was & Is: Defensive line, suddenly inexperienced and unproven New Notre Dame offensive coordinator Gerad Parker’s wide array of offensive experiences in his own words With Gerad Parker as offensive coordinator, Notre Dame’s offense still geared to feature ground game and QB Sam Hartman Marcus Freeman stands by Notre Dame’s interview process, praises promotion of Gerad Parker

Marcus FreemanThe second staff at Notre Dame is full, barring any surprise departures in the next few weeks before spring training starts on March 22. According to numerous reports on Monday, the Irish will hire Joe Rudolph as offensive line coach to replace Harry Hystand who retired after Tommy Rhysdeparture to Alabama.

Irish illustrated first announced the imminent hiring of Rudolf.

Rudolph spent last season as offensive line coach and running game coordinator at Virginia Tech. Brent PryThe team’s debut roster, a group of coaches that Pry deliberately chose with a long-term perspective in mind. When Pry brought that staff together a year ago, he reportedly beat out some of the brighter candidates to hire coaches who would work at Blacksburg for the long haul. Freeman and Notre Dame, who got Rudolph out of the plan, talk about the attractiveness of the Irish offensive line with a couple of tackles expected to be first-round drafted in a rising junior left selection someday. Joe Alt and ascending junior right tackle Blake Fisher.

Before heading to Virginia Tech, Rudolph had spent the previous seven seasons training and coordinating the Wisconsin offensive line. A former captain of the Badgers, this was Rudolph’s second job as a coach at Madison, having previously coached tight ends from 2008 to 2011.

Between those two gigs, he was offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh for three seasons, working under Paul Christwhom Rudolph then followed back to Wisconsin.

To sum it up: Rudolph was Krist’s offensive coordinator for ten years, coaching the attacking line for seven of those years. He also has experience in Nebraska and Pittsburgh.

He began his coaching career as an alumnus assistant at Ohio State from 2004 to 2006, the first few years of Freeman’s playing career with the Buckeyes.

The schools on Rudolph’s resume should give a pretty quick and clear idea of ​​why Freeman and the newly appointed offensive coordinator Just Parker searched for Rudolf. Combining offensive lines to create seasons like Jonathan Taylorentire career in Wisconsin or Brelon AllenThe 2021 freshman season may not have gotten the Badgers to the maximum heights they wanted — which is why Krist hired a new offensive coordinator in 2022 before being fired a month into the season — but they have been effective in certain ways. that Notre Dame wants.

Rudolph’s attacks and lines of attack were the first forces. His attacks in Pittsburgh began James Connercareer, rushing for 1,765 yards in 2014, fourth in Panthers history, which is pretty remarkable given the history of runners in Pittsburgh.

Rudolph was one of three candidates that Notre Dame was reportedly eyeing for a long time, along with the former Georgia offensive line coach. Matt Luke and Minnesota offensive line coach Brian Callahan. Irish Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick confirmed the number of nominations during an internal Q&A last week.

“I feel very good,” Swarbrick said. “Three types of first level candidates have been identified and we will see how this process goes. But I’m really encouraged by the quality of these candidates and I think this process will move pretty quickly.”

After Rudolph announced the hiring, there are no coaching jobs at Notre Dame, although he did announce the hiring of quarterback coaches. Gino Guidugli may be officially announced in a few more days.

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Javonte Jean-Baptiste is not Isaiah Fosky. He also doesn’t Justin Ademilola. Accordingly, his play could be a mixture of two defensive ends that Notre Dame wants to replace.

The Ohio State Graduate Transfer isn’t as big as Fosky or as sturdy as Ademilola, but it brings years of experience to an Irish defensive line otherwise lacking in proven commodities, especially proven defensive moves. He can start with the Viper, where Fosky set Notre Dame records of his career, or the “Big” end, where Ademilola split time with a part-time defensive tackle. Riley Mills. Jean-Baptiste has both the range (6’5″ height) required from the Viper end, and the pass-rush ability (highlighted by his flexibility) required from the “Big” end.

This broad opportunity could be part of what Drew Jean-Baptist in South Bend. He considered declaring himself in the NFL after five seasons at Ohio State, which included four years of part-time work, but part-time jobs don’t produce the sort of statistics that would normally draw the attention of the NFL.

“It was just a long evaluation with my family and thinking about what would really be the best step for me and the path I want to take in my future,” Jean-Baptiste said earlier this month, adding that his decision was taken by Notre Dame, Mississippi and Texas. Of the three, clearly only one is in the Midwest, with Jean-Baptiste not only hailing from Ohio, but originally a product of New Jersey, not to mention a multi-playoff program.

The Irish are also the only program of the three to boast multiple coaches already familiar to Jean-Baptiste. Defensive line coach Al Washington used to coach linebackers for the Buckeyes, and alumnus defensive line assistant Nick Sebastian came with the Washingtons from Columbus a year ago. Jean-Baptiste may not have been in Washington’s positional group at Ohio State except for one game, but he still knew him well. Obviously defensive sevens have to work together.

“Introducing Coach Wash and even Coach [Sebastian] did a lot for me,” said Jean-Baptiste. “I’ve been with them for three years, just knowing them and how they treat their players and their guys, seeing them in action, let me play for them.”

Whatever the reason he ended up in South Bend, Notre Dame needs Jean-Baptiste. Not to replace Fosca or Ademilola, but perhaps to be a bit of both.

The loss of the first three defensive players this winter for the first time in several years will make this positional group a clear spring question mark.

This hasn’t been a concern in the last few days because the Irish knew they had the All-American Fosky on one end and the Ademilol twins provided enough consistency in the rest of the line to give Notre Dame’s reserves and youth time to grow into their role. . . And it worked.

Fosca may not have had the dominant senior season that summer headlines heralded, but he hit double-digit sacks for the second year in a row, setting the Irish record for most career sacks. Justin Ademilola has been a quiet defensive producer since the inaugural 2018 season, one of the few Notre Dame defensemen to pull off the challenge against Clemson in the college football playoffs. And protective equipment Jason Ademilola survived repeated shoulder injuries and became one of the most tenacious Irish defenders in the past two seasons, which the head coach remembered Marcus Freeman not to worry at the most intense moment against BYU in October, and then proceed to capture the game.

The depth of Notre Dame’s defensive line in 2022 did not inspire as much confidence as it has in recent years, but the presence of these three proven and…


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