Carlos Campbell is one of several Irish players switching positions this season. He has moved from wide receiver to cornerback in 2004.

Football Practice Report - Day Three

Aug. 12, 2004

It has been a strange week of preseason camp so far for the Notre Dame football team. In place of 95-degree weather, fear of dehydration and cramps, the Irish have instead faced 60-degree temperatures since practice began in earnest on Tuesday, Aug. 10. The workout on Thursday, Aug. 12, was even more unusual as a steady drizzle ended up soaking both the early and late groups out on the west side of campus while the temperature dipped into the upper 50s. It was good football weather, however, as the team worked through a myriad of drills, including seven-on-seven, offensive line vs. defensive line and full offense vs. defense situations. The Irish are not in full pads, however, so each play usually ends when the defensive player touches an offensive player with the ball. The team has settled into a learning pattern and not much news was generated on Thursday. Freshman running back Justin Hoskins did sit down with to share some quick first impressions of Notre Dame, the football team and the coaching staff. Q: What is your first impression of Notre Dame? Hoskins: “Hard work. You have to give it your all. You have to 100 percent every play. Like Coach Willingham said, you do not give 110 or 105, but 100 percent each play. Give it your all and good things will happen.” Q: What do you think of the unusual weather? Hoskins: “I am from Michigan so this is not a big thing for me.” Q: What is your first impression of the team as a whole? Hoskins: “We have all set one mission and that is to win. If we go out and do the things we are capable of doing – we are going to have a successful season.” Q: What do you think of the split squad practice sessions? Hoskins: “It gives the freshmen more reps and more one on one with the coaches. It gives us a much better feel of how to run the plays and what is happening on the field.” Q: What is your impression of the coaching staff, now that you have been around them beyond just recruiting? Hoskins: “The coaches are not just based on football. They are football coaches, but the care about your wellbeing. They make sure you eat right, get enough sleep and teach you how to play football. They care about as an individual, not just a football player.” Q: What is your first impression of the team leadership? Hoskins: “They are willing to help you our, cheer you up and let you know what you are doing wrong. They let you know what the team rules are, but they are not mean about it or try to beat you up. They have been really cool about everything.” Head Coach Tyrone Willingham Coach Willingham speaks to the media after each preseason practice. Here are some of his comments on Thursday, Aug. 12: On the position switch from wide receiver to cornerback for senior Carlos Campbell… “Since we arrived we have been looking for the right position for him. I think the transition has been a move that takes advantage of his size. He is strong, compact and explosive. If we can allow that to happen on defense, cornerback will become a very natural position for him. He has a chance to get more playing time and I think the move was a good one for him.” On the development of senior linebacker Corey Mays… “(We have seen) continued improvement in the most positive light. He is athletic, physical and he has begun to understand the whole picture of what it takes to play linebacker. You have to be familiar with all the positions (on defense), not just your own and that education has helped him mentally and has developed him into a respected player on the team.” On some of the issues in special teams, including the return game and punting… “We are looking for anyone that can return well. That is an area that we have to improve. Our focus in the punt return is (junior wide receiver) Rhema McKnight, who wants that opportunity, and (senior wide receiver) Carlyle Holiday might be worked in there as well. Our kick return group starts with (senior cornerback) Dwight Ellick and (senior wide receiver) Matt Shelton, but we can expand that to some other guys like (sophomore defensive back) Isaiah Gardner. ” “(The punting situation has not been proven) yet because the final test is in the ball game. Our teaching philosophy is beginning with the parts to develop the whole. We haven’t seen the whole yet, but we have been working on the parts. Then we will start to see exactly where we are and what we can measure against last year.”