Enjoy the weekend.
Michael from Evansville, Ind., writes: Hey Matty Ice! Big fan of everything you do for the blog. Not sure if you've done this yet, and if you have, I'm sorry, but could you fill me/us in on the number changes and numbers given to the new players? I've been watching the practice reports not knowing who a lot of people are! Thanks.
Matt Fortuna: Matty Ice, eh? Not too much to report in the number category. Louis Nix III has switched from No. 9 to No. 1, C.J. Prosise has switched from No. 34 to No. 20 and Josh Atkinson has switched from No. 43 to No. 24. As for the early enrollees — Malik Zaire is No. 8, Mike Heuerman is No. 9, James Onwualu is No. 17, Steve Elmer is No. 79 and Corey Robinson is No. 88. Former hoops player Joey Brooks is No. 81. Thanks for the kind words.
Scott writes: Matt, tell me the season is a long ways away and it's too soon to worry, but is it me, or did a "deep" WR group in 2013 just get really thin? With the two recent transfers (who didn't see DNeal coming from a mile away as of last year signing day), and Amir Carlisle (slot, theo riddick type) looking like he may never be healthy, and THunter Jr still coming off a serious injury, 2013 is looking gloomier with each day.....In my eyes, this years offense (assuming QB/OL play is solid to very good as expected) is all weighing on DDaniels......this kid needs to be "THE" WR ND hasn't had since.....say.....#81 in 1987? I'd even take Derrick Mayes eh? Does DDaniels have this in him?
Matt Fortuna: Scott, how quick we are to forget Michael Floyd. In any event, I do think there is some cause for concern, though it is too early to really freak out. The loss of Davonte Neal certainly hurts, but the Irish do have two early enrollee receivers and one early enrollee tight end. I think the passing game revolves around DaVaris Daniels and T.J. Jones, but there will be a lot of moving parts. Outside receivers coach Mike Denbrock summed it up best Wednesday when he was asked if Jones would play inside or outside: "Yes."
Josh from Wheeling, W. Va., writes: I know the Irish's deal with the ACC's lower-tier bowl games and that seems really good. And I like the fact that we have a tie-in with the Orange Bowl. My question is, though, say we use up our two Orange Bowl spots, have a top team but just miss out on the playoff. Do we instead go to a lower-tier bowl? Have there been any talks about hooking on somehow with the Fiesta, Cotton, or Chick-Fil-A bowls (assuming those are the other major bowl games)?
Matt Fortuna: Josh, Notre Dame could step over an ACC team and take its place in one of the non-BCS bowls if its record is better than, equal to or within one win of the ACC team or ranked higher in the BCS standings. I believe its arrangement with the other BCS bowls would be similar to now -- if one has an at-large opening and Notre Dame is available, it could work.