When Brian Kelly met with the media on Friday and discussed the new look Irish offense and officially announced the promotion of Mike Denbrock to OK and the addition of Matt LeFleur as QB coach, he also gave an update on all of the Notre Dame players recovering from injuries this off-season.
Jarrett Grace (ILB) – Grace suffered the nastiest injury of the 2013 season when he broke his leg in four places in the Shamrock Series game against Arizona State. For that reason, it is not surprising that Kelly said that Grace’s recovery has been the slowest developing of all of the Irish players recovering this off-season.
Tony Springmann (DT) – Senior nose tackle candidate has not been cleared for spring yet, but has made significant progress after an infection slowed down his recovery from ACL surgery. Getting Springmann for spring ball would be a huge boost for the Notre Dame defensive line as they try to replace Louis Nix and Stephon Tuitt. It didn’t sound like it was possible for Springmann to be ready for the spring just a couple months ago so this is great news.
Doug Randolph (ILB) – According to Kelly he will be ready for the Spring – another positive development since it was reported earlier that Randolph would be limited in the spring. He only saw a little time at inside backer last fall before a shoulder injury cost him his freshman season. With Grace likely out for spring, Notre Dame needs all the bodies it has at inside linebacker this spring.
Nick Martin (OC) – Is well ahead of schedule in his recovery after tearing his MCL towards the end of the season according to Kelly. He “exceeded all expectations” to this point. His initial recovery time was 6-8 months so it’s unlikely he will be ready for spring ball, but it is encouraging that he is ahead of schedule.
Nicky Baratti (S) – Not yet cleared for the spring, but moreso as a precautionary measure at this point. Kelly said that if there was a game Baratti would likely be cleared but since he’s had two surgeries they may err on the side of caution.
Ben Councell - Another player that is well ahead of schedule according to Kelly. Councell tore his ACL against Navy during the season. Kelly said of both Councell and Martin that if they walked through the door now you’d never know they had surgery.
Chase Hounshell (DE) – IS ready for Spring ball after another shoulder injury cost him the 2013 season. Hounshell played as a true freshmen but has missed the last two seasons. Notre Dame could really use Hounshell healthy in 2014 for more depth along the defensive line.
John Montelus (OG) – Missed his freshman season due to a shoulder season but will be ready for the spring. Kelly said that the 2013 freshman could have probably played towards the end of 2013 but they didn’t want to risk anything with the frosh.
Devin Butler (CB) – Tweeted out that he had surgery this off-season but Kelly said that it was nothing serious and he will be ready for Srping.