Notre Dame offensive line adapting to their third coach in three years
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - With one week away from the Blue-Gold game, the offensive line is becoming accustomed to Joe Rudolph.
The Irish are considered to be O-line university, and with their third position coach in three years, that standard has not changed.
This off-season has been rough for the Irish, losing a few position coaches.
Not only did head coach Marcus Freeman lose former offensive line coach Harry Heistand, who he brought back to Notre Dame last year, but you can add Jarrett Patterson and Josh Lugg to the list as well.
A large part of Notre Dame’s history are the guys up front, who are known to move the needle for the offense. That won’t change with Rudolph calling the shots.
“It's a tremendous group of young men. Smart, hardworking, they care a ton, about Notre Dame, they care a ton, about being an O-lineman at Notre Dame,” he said.
Rudolph comes into his first year at Notre Dame after leading the O-line at University of Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, and most recently, Virginia Tech.
“You know, the, the O-line is a feature here, you know, it's, it's a big deal,” Rudolph said.
As for his new guys, they’re already buying in.
“It's always great. You know, you just get to learn that much more and get a new coaching style and what they prefer,” said offensive lineman Joe Alt.
“I mean, there's a standard that has been set here. So, the togetherness that we have, as a group, doesn't really change,” offensive lineman Blake Fisher added.
Rudolph has his fair share of expectations but early on, he’s noticed one guy in particular stepping into a new role.
“I think Zeke does an exceptional job," Rudolph said. "I think he's really shown a ton of growth. He's really worked through some things that I think will help him to take a stab. And he's been really fun. I think he takes a lot of pride in this group. And he's definitely one that brings leadership every day."
“I'm a fifth year now," said Zeke Correll. "I'm the old guy in the group. I've taken the leadership role, I know I have to help lead the guys, I'll make sure everyone's on same page, especially being the center."
“Understanding, like, coverages, understanding how our teams lining up, seeing Blitz, stuff like that, that coach Rudolph's helped us take the next step and making sure we do that,” Correll added.