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2017 Notre Dame Football Season

Notre Dame Must Unleash Dexter Williams in 2017

© Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The struggles of the Notre Dame offense were at times exaggerated in 2016.  The Irish offense, for all of the criticism it received, still averaged 30.9 points a game in 2016 – good enough for the third most of the Kelly Era.  That said, this was an offense that could have scored more points than any of the Kelly Era.  For it to reach that level in 2017, one thing Notre Dame’s new offensive brain trust must do is unleash Dexter Williams. When Dexter Williams touches the football, good things tend to happen.  Williams started the 2016 season on a ...

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Notre Dame Can Restore Tight End U Moniker in ’17

Notre Dame TE Alize Jones (Photo: (Photo: Zach Bolinger // Icon Sportswire)

Notre Dame had one hell of a run of tight ends from 2005-2014 with six consecutive starting tight ends getting drafted. Five of of the six were even second round picks or better.  Since then, however, production at the position has been virtually non-existent.  That should change in 2017 with the talent Notre Dame has at the position. The return of “Tight End U” could have very well happened this year for Notre Dame if not for the suspension of Alize Jones.  The sophomore was suspended for the entire season in August.  With Jones sidelined, no one stepped up and seized ...

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What Does Mike Elko Have to Work With on Notre Dame DL?

Notre Dame DE Daelin Hayes (

New Notre Dame defensive coordinator Mike Elko has his work cut out for him with the Irish defense but nowhere is that more apparent than the defensive line.  Despite featuring two veteran, potential star linemen in 2016, the Notre Dame defensive line was a flop.  Heading into 2017, Elko won’t even have those two – Isaac Rochell and Jarron Jones – to build around.  What will he have? Elko will have a lot of bodies to sift through once he starts working with the Notre Dame defensive line this spring.  Notre Dame has recruited in quantity along the defensive line ...

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Notre Dame Naming Captains Early Gimmicky or Needed Change?

Photo: © Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The annual Notre Dame Echoes Awards banquet rarely brings much in terms of breaking news outside of a potential recruiting commitment.  Last night, however, Brian Kelly’s program raised eyebrows when Notre Dame named seven captains for the 2017 season while the calendar still says 2016.  Was the move a head coach on the hot seat grab bagging or a necessary move needed to change the culture of the program? In past years, Brian Kelly hasn’t been ready to name his captains until well into training camp in some cases.  As he prepares for what is likely a make or break season ...

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Jack Swarbrick Shoots Down Brian Kelly Rumors

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Since the final gun sounded in last week’s season finale loss to USC, rumors have swirled around the status of Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly.   Reports surfaced he was looking to leave. Message boards lit up with “insider” posts suggesting Kelly was going to be forced to leave.  All the while Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick remained silent.  He broke his silence on Friday shooting down all those rumors and reaffirming Kelly will be back in 2017. Swarbrick backed his embattled coach on the heels of a 4-8 record and mounting off the field issues that have ...

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Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey Intends to Return for 5th Year

Photo: Kevin Jairaj // USA TODAY Sports

In a somewhat surprising announcement, Notre Dame senior captain Mike McGlinchey told reporters on Wednesday that he intends on returning for a 5th year in 2017.  The starting left tackle for the Irish is currently projected to be a 1st round pick by most NFL Draft prognosticators. Just five games into 2016 no one expected McGlinchey to address his future already, but he took it upon himself to do so on Wednesday. Mike McGlinchey, #NotreDame OT, says he has every intention of returning in 2017. Won't be about draft projections, but when feels NFL ready — Tim Prister (@timprister) October ...

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