Aug. 7, 2002

by Kevin Herrity

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – On another perfect day in South Bend, the Notre Dame football freshmen participated in their third practice of the 2002 season. As was the case with Tuesday’s initial practice sessions, head coach Tyrone Willingham was pleased with the outcome of Wednesday morning’s 75-minute workout.

“Things went a little more smoothly this morning,” the first-year Irish mentor said. “The players had a little more knowledge of what they were doing, where they were going and where they were supposed to be going. Overall, it was a good session.”

The early practice on Wednesday consisted of work with position coaches and some time devoted to special teams, all of which was designed to prepare the freshmen for the arrival of the veterans, who report Thursday afternoon. The first practice session with the full squad is slated for Saturday.

“You never want to give the freshmen too much, and the reason for that is they start to overload and then everything just shuts down” Willingham noted. “You want to give them enough information so they have a solid foundation enough to get them gong in the right direction. Our veterans are going to be receiving information that they have not received before so it’s a whole new ballgame for everyone.”

There were no real drastic physical changes with the players from day one to day two, according to Willingham, but rather just some small changes that were expected.

“Obviously they are going to be sore,” he said. “No matter what you do in the offseason, you cannot train for football practice. You can train to get in shape, but the actual football practice you have to go through. The freshmen are just acquiring the natural soreness that you get going through a normal football practice. You can’t really even say that they are fully getting used to our intensity in practice because these first few days are more of a teaching and learning experience than anything.”

The Irish will return to the practice field at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday for their second practice of the day. The team will then take Thursday off before participating in Media Day and Fan Appreciation Day activities on Friday. Stay tuned for more reports from Notre Dame’s preseason camp on

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