Irish starting quarterback Brady Quinn works through a practice with the team during the 2004 preseason.

Football Practice Report - Day 11

Aug. 20, 2004

The Notre Dame football squad was forced inside for today’s practice due to another day of inclement weather in the South Bend area. Players were in full pads for their workout that went from 2:45-4:45 in the Loftus Center. Head coach Tyrone Willingham and the Irish continue to prepare for the upcoming season, which begins two weeks from tomorrow when they travel to Provo, Utah to square off against the BYU Cougars. Weather is supposed to clear up for tomorrow’s final two-a-day session before the team, along with the rest of the Notre Dame student body, reports to class on Tuesday, August 23. Chris Vaughn, a freshman wide receiver, talked with the media following today’s practice. Vaughn, who hails from New Haven, Conn., discussed many of the same topics that fellow freshman Justin Hoskins and Darius Walker did earlier in camp such as his transition to Notre Dame, his thoughts on the beginning of classes and his relationship with his fellow teammates. Q: What are your overall impressions of Notre Dame so far? Vaughn: “The University is a first-class program academically and obviously football wise. I think I’m surrounded by a lot of great people here who are going to make me a better person all the way around.” Q: What do you think of having to learn the complex playbook compared to what you had to do in high school? Vaughn: “In high school we only ran about 10 plays and obviously here it’s a lot more sophisticated and I’m having a little trouble trying to grasp some of the concepts.” Q: What are your overall impressions of the team to this point in camp? Vaughn: “I think the team is gelling and I think we are going to surprise a lot of people this year. People don’t know the kind of talent that we have on this team. After this past year, we have a lot to prove to everyone. ” Q: How are the leaders on this team? Do you feel like they are setting a good example? Vaughn: “Yes, especially with me being a receiver we struggle with some of the concepts of the offense. Rhema McKnight and Maurice Stovall have really helped me to grasp some of the things we have to learn and with my routes.” Q: How do you feel about the split practice format? Vaughn: “I think it’s good for some freshman because you get more reps and that’s really the only way to get to learn the offense. But I would like to be practicing with the first team versus the first team defense to get a better look and a better feel for how things will be.” Q: What are your thoughts on the coaching staff, now versus to when you were getting recruited? Vaughn: “I really haven’t seen anything different. The coaching staff is very genuine about their interest in the players and the players they recruited. Even with the walk-ons, everyone is treated fair and gets a fair shot here.” Q: How do you feel with classes starting next week? Are you nervous about having to manage your time properly? Vaughn: “I’m not really nervous. I went to a prep school so I feel that I got a pretty good handle on how to manage my time and the adjustment with being an athlete. I feel that I know what to do academically and athletically.” Q: How is the freshman class coming along as a group? Are you guys becoming closer with each other? Vaughn: “Yeah, I think our freshman class is definitely tight. I think we are out to prove that we are good even though we were not highly recruited. I think we are going to prove a lot of people wrong in a couple years.” Head Coach Tyrone Willingham Coach Willingham speaks to the media after each preseason practice. Here are some of his comments on Friday, Aug. 20. On freshman orientation this weekend.. “We try to involve our young men in as much of the orientation as possible. There’s a belief in our system that they are more than just football players. We expect them to be great football players and we are going to drive them on and off the field. But we expect them to be citizens of this community. We hope they will be great students and hopefully emerge out of here as leaders of their own community.” On the running back situation.. “What we are doing is watching and learning and taking information in and trying to give everyone an opportunity to show us what they have. In time we’ll start to put guys in the proper places for our first ball game. We are trying to see what the younger guys can do to help this program. We will also what they do poorly. There is learning going on our part as well, we are just being very patient.” On Chris Vaughn’s progress.. “I’m very pleased with how Chris is doing, but again Chris isn’t any different from any of the other freshmen. He’d probably be the first one to tell you that. He has a base to which to start from that will allow him to be a good player.” On classes starting next week.. “We’ll be out of our 2-1-2 format, so our guys will now have additional responsibility. Anytime you have additional responsibility there is a split in your focus so now our guys will have to readjust. They will be prepared to give equal time to their studies as well as to football. That is very difficult for a lot of guys and for our freshman it’s probably the most difficult task that they have.”