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Irish Insights

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Notre Dame Blue-Gold Game: What to watch for

SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame closes spring practice today with its Blue-Gold Game.

While few things, if any will be set in stone after today, the Irish will have a good indication of what they will look like for the 2014 season.

Here are a few players to keep an eye on during the scrimmage.

Greg Bryant, RB: Bryant had his freshman season cut short because of an injury after three games. The 5-foot-9, 204-pounder is expected to add a power dimension to the running game, which also includes Cam McDaniel and Tarean Folston.

Ben Koyack, TE: Koyack said he became a more confident player midway through last season as he became more involved in the offense. He has been elevated to the No. 1 tight end with the early departure of Troy Niklas, and he is one of two players who has caught a pass from Everett Golson in a game. He will likely be the top target of Golson or Malik Zaire if the offense is stagnant at any point as coach Brian Kelly said Koyack has been the most reliable pass catcher during the spring.

Joe Schmidt, LB: The former walk-on has been praise for his ability to quickly pick up new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder's scheme. He will be in the middle of the defense directing traffic. A good showing today when the ball is snapped could give him an edge in securing the starting middle linebacker spot, which he will compete with injured senior Jarrett Grace and incoming freshman Nyles Morgan.

Max Redfield, S: Redfield didn't make his first start last season until the Pinstripe Bowl. Coaches have praised his athletic ability, but safeties will be a key part of making VanGorder's scheme work. If Redfield is able to avoid mental mistakes, today could be a good indicator on how well he has settled into his position and new responsibilities.

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