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No 5-Star Additions for Notre Dame Again on NSD

Caleb Kelly - Notre Dame LB Target

Notre Dame had high hopes coming into National Signing Day 2016 with a pair of 5-star linebackers – Caleb Kelly and Ben Davis – in their sights.  Neither would end up selecting the Irish, however, and Notre Dame’s only addition to the class of 2016 ended up being Florida linebacker Jonathan Jones. A month ago hearing that Notre Dame missed out on Caleb Kelly and Ben Davis wouldn’t have been too surprising, but the Notre Dame coaching staff did a good job of getting and keeping Notre Dame in the race up until the end.   Unfortunately for Notre Dame, ...

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Final ’16 Notre Dame Recruiting Predictions

Ben Davis - Notre Dame LB Recruit

For the past month UHND has brought you weekly recruiting updates as Notre Dame seeks to fill the final few spots in its 2016 recruiting class. With only a few days left until National Signing Day it’s time to make final predictions on where each of Notre Dame’s remaining recruiting targets is headed. The prospects listed below are placed in order by star ranking. Ben Davis Hometown: Gordo, AL Position: LB Star Ranking: Rivals 5-star; 24/7 5-star; ESPN 4-star Top Offers: Alabama, Florida State, LSU Notre Dame’s recruitment of 5-star linebacker Ben Davis is one of the finest of the ...

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Brian Kelly Contract Extension Gives Notre Dame Rare Stability

Brian Kelly Contract Extension

Notre Dame made some unexpected news on Friday when it announced a brand new, 6 year contract extension for head coach Brian Kelly which will keep him on the sidelines of Notre Dame Stadium through the 2021 season.  The extension, Kelly’s third, gives the Notre Dame football program stability the likes of which it hasn’t seen in over 20 years. The Notre Dame head coaching position had become a carousel ever since Lou Holtz coached his last game for the Irish in 1996 prior to Brian Kelly’s arrival in 2010.  None of Holtz’s three successors managed to give Notre Dame any ...

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The Notre Dame Quarterback Battle: 2016 Edition

Notre Dame Quarterbacks

As I stood cheering on my Fighting Irish at their night opener against Texas, I had high aspirations not only for the team in 2016 but especially for our young, determined quarterback Malik Zaire. While the Texas game was just the second time Malik Zaire had started a game for the Irish, the future had looked bright as he saw a majority of the playing time over Everett Golson in the Music City Bowl where the Irish beat the LSU Tigers 31-28 with a dramatic winning field goal off the leg of Kyle Brindza. Against Texas Zaire and the Notre ...

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Tyler Luatua’s Transfer Hits Notre Dame Tight End Depth

Durham Smythe - Notre Dame TE

Earlier today news broke that Notre Dame’s reserve tight end Tyler Luatua will transfer from Notre Dame after a week or so of speculation regarding the future of the former 4-star recruit.  With Luatua’s decision to leave Notre Dame final, the big question for Notre Dame now, is how his departure impacts Notre Dame’s depth moving forward and whether or not the Irish might make a late push for a tight end in the class of 2016. Here’s what we know about Notre Dame’s tight end depth for 2016 as of today.  Tyler Luatua is transferring leaving Notre Dame with three ...

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5-Star Focus for Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Caleb Kelly - Notre Dame LB Target

As Notre Dame heads toward National Signing Day 2016, the Irish coaching staff has already done a phenomenal job hitting off of a number of needs in this year’s class.  Sitting at 22 verbal commits with a week and a half remaining until Signing Day, Brian Kelly and his staff have set themselves up to be able to focus on a few select elite talents over the final few days before the books close on the class of 2016. Just last week Brian Kelly and staff visited Savannah, Georgia to show elite wide receiver Demetris Robertson some 5-star treatment.  Notre ...

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An Early Look at Notre Dame’s 2016 Defensive Depth

Jarron Jones - Notre Dame NT

In 2016 Notre Dame will have to replace two of the most dominant players in college football – Jaylon Smith and Sheldon Day, but they are not the only stars the Irish will be tasked with replacing in 2016. On top of these two tremendous players, the Fighting Irish will have to replace captains Joe Schmidt and Matthias Farley in addition to Romeo Okwara, Keivarae Russell, and Elijah Shumate. Jaylon Smith, the Indiana native, and Butkus Award winner last season was considered to be a top ten pick in this year’s NFL Draft, until his injury in the Fiesta Bowl. ...

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How Notre Dame Will Replace Jaylon Smith

Replacing Jaylon Smith

Earlier this week Jaylon Smith surprised few when he declared for the NFL Draft.  Had the 2015 Butkus Award winner not injured himself in the Fiesta Bowl, his declaration likely would have occurred much sooner.  While his departure is no surprise, the task of replacing him in the Notre Dame defense will be one of the most daunting tasks facing Brian Kelly and his staff this off-season. Since Smith isn’t the only linebacker Notre Dame has to replace in 2016 – Joe Schmidt has played his final snap for the Irish as well – it’s possible that replacing Smith won’t be ...

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2015 Was a Wild Ride for Notre Dame Football

Photo: Matt Cashore // USA Today Sports

Throughout the 2015 football season there were a number of narratives that surrounded the Notre Dame football team; so many in fact that in retrospect it’s hard to figure out exactly what team 127 amounted to. From the dominance against Texas to the heart breaking loss against Stanford, deciphering whether this was a great team that got unlucky or an immensely talented team that missed a golden opportunity at greatness isn’t the easiest task. But, hey, let’s give it a shot. It began with the dawn of the Malik Zaire era at quarterback, as the previous season’s starter Everett Golson ...

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Jaylon Smith Injury Update: Expected to Make Full Recovery


The good news for Notre Dame’s 2015 Butkus Award winning linebacker Jaylon Smith is that he is expected to make a full recovery from the nasty knee injury that earned him a ride off the field on a cart in last week’s Fiesta Bowl. The bad news is that Smith’s draft status still remains very much in question and the junior has less than a week to make his decision as to whether or not to return for a senior season and rehab a year before entering the NFL or entering this year and rehabbing with whoever rolls the dice ...

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How Notre Dame Will Replace Keivarae Russell

Keivarae Russell - Notre Dame CB

Another day, another Notre Dame player with eligibility remaining entering the 2016 NFL Draft.  Saturday it was running back CJ Prosise.  Sunday it was All-American wide receiver Will Fuller.  Monday it was cornerback Keivarae Russell joining the growing list of Notre Dame draft eligible prospects. Thanks @NDFootball and @CoachBrianKelly for everything. I'm leaving, but grateful for my time at @NotreDame https://t.co/U5aCpOeNhM — Keivarae Russell (@Keivarae1) January 4, 2016 And with that Notre Dame will be down another defensive starter in a secondary that was shaky at best at times in 2016 to begin with.  The Irish will now be replacing Russell, ...

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Notre Dame Football Hasn’t Hit Ceiling with Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly - Notre Dame Head Coach

Notre Dame lost another marquee game to an elite team a couple days ago.  Predictably, the flood of “Notre Dame has maxed out” and “Brian Kelly will never get us over the hump” posts and comments have been flooding in.  Guess what though?  Notre Dame hasn’t maxed out under Kelly and bigger, better things could very well be in store for the Irish because as we’ve seen in his six years at the helm of the Irish, Kelly is not afraid to change his approach in order to improve the program and move it forward. Remember purple faced Brian Kelly ...

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An Early Look at Injured Notre Dame Players Back in ’16

Malik Zaire & Tarean Folston

Injuries were the theme again for Notre Dame in 2015.  In fact, if there is a more snake bitten team by injuries than Notre Dame the last two years, I’d love to see it.  This isn’t a column on injuries being an excuse for Notre Dame’s performance – both teams were banged up and Ohio State ended up playing with 3/4 of its starting defensive line out.  Rather, this is a look at all of the injured players returning next year and the impact they could have for the Irish next fall. Malik Zaire – We’ll never know how different ...

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