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Irish Football Rookies Complete Day Two of Practice

Aug. 8, 2000

Notre Dame, Ind. – Tuesday marked day two of freshmen training camp as the athletes worked out in helmets, pads and shorts. The freshmen will be joined Thursday by the upperclassmen as the Irish prepare for their September 2 opener against Texas A&M at Notre Dame Stadium.

Coach Davie on what he told the players today: “What I talked to them about is the mental part of the game. It’s a good test for guys to come out here today and just see what they retained overnight. “I think handling the distractions is a big part of it. You’ve got guys that are probably homesick and all of them are uncomfortable to some degree because they’re no longer seniors in high school. They have a lot of issues going on right now and a lot of distractions. But can you handle those distractions, focus, and retain what you learned yesterday? From the mental standpoint, it’s good to get them back out here and see what they were able to carry over from yesterday. Obviously, it’s going to start happening a lot faster when the varsity comes in and my recommendation was to keep a low profile.”

On what Davie is looking for out of the four freshmen receivers this season “We recruited receivers with the expectations that they could come in and help us this year. That’s what we told them in their living rooms. That’s what we told their parents. That’s what we told them. So I think we’ve got some receivers that are coming in here to try and help this football team this year. And I know (receivers coach) Urban Meyer feels that we do have some ability there. I think we have some size at that position that is kind of intriguing with these young guys that we haven’t had. It looks like we’ve got some guys that have been coached well and have come from some pretty good high school systems. So we’ll wait and see, but I think it’s pretty obvious, we’ve got a little more depth at receiver than we’ve had.”

On freshman receiver Jovan Witherspoon: “He’s big and strong. I think he is maybe a combination of guys we’ve had around here in the past. He looks like some of the guys we’ve been playing against. What jumps out at you when you walk out here is the size of Ronnie Rodamer and Jovan Witherspoon. And then Lorenzo Crawford – Urban Meyer really likes him. He’s a guy that’s a speed guy – a returner that has really good hands. He catches the ball with his hands and not with his body.”

On the size of receivers today in college football: “You see it across the board. College football is a lot of man-to-man coverage. It’s like basketball where there’s matchups and it’s hard to match up when you’ve got a 6’4″ receiver and a 5’8” defensive back. Football is not any different than basketball, you’ve got to be able to match up.”

On how the big receivers will help the secondary: “What makes good players better is to practice against other good players. So having depth and quality depth at any position gives an opportunity to practice against the big guys.”

On freshmen Jason Sapp and Derek Curry and where they are going to fit in: If you look at receivers, quarterbacks and linebackers, you can tell by our numbers out here what’s really critical from a depth standpoint for our football team for 2000. That’s why we recruited all those linebackers, receivers and quarterbacks. We’re trying to find backups at all three positions, so with Curry, Sapp, (Mike) Goolsby and Jerome Collins, we’re going to put the whole package out there and hopefully they can respond and help this team.

On Jason Sapp staying at the linebacker position: “I’m leaving him at linebacker. But you know our linebackers, just like Rocky Boiman, do some pass-rush stuff in passing situations, so they’re going to get a chance to do that as well.”