It's not easy getting college football coaches to honestly comment on another coach, player or team. Most coaches don't want to give opposing teams billboard material, which is why there is a lot of coach speak or overused cliches used throughout the offseason or regular season.
In order to get an accurate assessment of teams heading into 2016, Athlon asked coaches around the nation to talk anonymously about their opponents.
Note: These scouting reports come directly from coaching staffs and do not necessarily reflect the views of Athlon's editorial staff.
Coaches Anonymously Scout Notre Dame for 2016
“They’re right back in the same situation at quarterback because both guys are going to think they should play, and one is going to be unhappy. It’s not the worst problem to have because if you don’t have two quarterbacks who can get it done, you’re always one play away from your season being over.”
“I didn’t see [Malik] Zaire in person, but I’d buy stock in [DeShone] Kizer based on what I saw last year. He’s more accurate throwing the ball downfield, and he’s a mentally tough kid who doesn’t seem to get rattled by anything. If they can protect him, he gives them an opportunity to run more of the Brian Kelly playbook, which they really had to scale down for the last guy.”
“The X-factor that could swing it to Zaire is they’ll take a step back on the offensive line. They don’t have another Ronnie Stanley, and Nick Martin started every game for three years, so that’s a lot to replace up front, and they may want a guy who can make plays with his feet.”
“Defensively, they’ve got some difference-makers up front, but they lose their two best linebackers, and I wasn’t real impressed with their DBs last year.”
“They did a good job managing injuries, but it’s part of the game.”
“They have talent, but I don’t think they’re on the same level as the Ohio States and Alabamas. With the truly marquee players, kids just aren’t as fired up about Notre Dame, and he’s taken guys who are just a notch below what I feel like are the truly elite kids in the country.”