Brian Kelly kicked off Notre Dame’s Spring Football for 2013 on Tuesday by meeting with the media. Here’s a run down of injuries, weight gains, and other news and notes.
- Matt Hegarty is cleared to play and is 100%. He had a great off-season according to Kelly and was able to do all that the coaches asked of him. He did not, however, say exactly what they asked of him.
- Coach Elliot is doing well after having a kidney transplant in the off-season.
- Kelly said he was pleased with the strength that Bennett Jackson was able to add even after having off-season surgery.
- Dan Fox and Ronnie Stanley were also singled out for adding strength while rehabbing from injuries/surgeries this off-season.
- Amir Carlisle is close to 100% and it will be exciting to watch him this spring.
- Austin Collinsworth will be available for the Spring after missing all of last year.
- Alex Welch is back to 100% after his ACL injury last year. He is weighing in at 246 lbs now.
- Mark Harrell is up 19 lbs to 305.
- Connor Hanrattay is up 10 pounds to 309 lbs.
- Chase Hounshell added 20 pounds this off-season and is at 275 and can do 21 reps of 225.
- Ben Councell is up 16 pounds to 248 lbs.
- Jarrett Grace is up 13 pounds to 248 lbs. Improved his reps of 225 from 9 times to 22.
- George Atkinson added 11 pounds and is at 217 lbs. Improved his reps of 225 from 5 to 19.
- Troy Niklas is up to 27 reps of 225.
- Chris Brown is up 10 lbs to 192 for a total of 20 lbs of mass since September.
- Lo Wood added 14 lbs of muscle coming off last year’s injury.
- Everett Golson is up to 188 lbs, but Kelly wants him playing at 190+.
The weight increases along the offensive line are very encouraging. If Notre Dame can get Harrell and Hanrattay to compete for starting positions this year the depth upfront should be a huge improvement from year’s past – including 2012 when injuries really limited Notre Dame’s depth on the offensive line.
George Atkinson’s increases really stand out, but it is not too surprising considering the lean build he played with the last two years. Notre Dame really needs him to step up and seize the starting running back position so they are not dependent on the incoming freshmen at running back. Atkinson didn’t participate in track this winter so that he could focus on winning the starting position.
- Kelly praised James James Onwualu’s physical development and conditioning. He said he could hang with the upper classmen because he
- Mike Mike Heuerman added 15 pounds and is over 230 lbs so far.
- Steve Elmer weighed in at 317 lbs to start the spring. Physically Kelly said that he could compete this year.
- Kelly made the official announcement that Gunner Kiel has indeed been granted his release and is no longer a part of the football program at Notre Dame.
- Kelly was non committal about the depth at the MIKE position. He was asked specifically about Jarrett Grace, but he would not say who was #1 or #2 at the position right now. Dan Fox won’t be working at the MIKE position though.
- Mark Harrell, Nick Martin, and Matt Hegarty were mentioned by Kelly as the candidates at the center position. Hanrattay was mentioned at guard only by Kelly. Finding a center, however, will be the key to filling out the offensive line depth chart according to Kelly. Christian Lombard could get a look at guard after playing right guard.
- Danny Spond likely won’t get a look at inside linebacker. He will focus on the dog position along with Ben Councell.
- CJ Prosise will get a look at wide receiver this spring after playing some there during bowl preparations. He will also train at safety. Elijah Shumate will stick at safety. Shumate will compete with Nicky Baratti for the starting position opposite Matthias Farley who will experience some competition as well this spring.
- Kelly said that Davaris Daniels has all of the tools to be great and now it’s just a matter of him deciding he is going to be great. He also said that they’ve seen some very encouraging signs from him.
- Everett Golson is showing signs of leadership with the off-season workouts and in the meeting room after spending last year just getting his feet under him as the starting quarterback,