Brian Kelly Talks Transfers, Spring Progress

Brian Kelly - Notre Dame Head Coach
Brian Kelly addressed the media on Wednesday after practice in the wake of the transfers of Davonte Neal and Justin Ferguson. (Photo – Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)

Brian Kelly met with the media on Wednesday after practice after originally not being scheduled to speak again until after the holiday.  In case you haven’t noticed though, it’s been a bit of a busy news week for the Irish so Notre Dame’s head coach addressed the media today.

Here’s some notes on what Kelly had to say on the transfers and progress being made by the players still on the roster.

  • Kelly conformed that both Davonte Neal and Justin Ferguson are indeed transferring as earlier report.  Big losses for Notre Dame here – especially in the case of Neal.   Kelly would not get into any specifics around the circumstances of either player’s decision to transfer.
  • Amir Carlisle’s injury is a broken collarbone and he will miss 4 weeks – similar to Davaris Daniels at the end of the season – so his spring is over.  He will be back in plenty of time for fall camp and hopefully will drink plenty of milk between now and then so he doesn’t suffer anymore broken bones – Notre Dame is going to need him with Neal transferring.
  • The news on Chase Hounshell wasn’t nearly as good.  Hounshell will miss the entire 2013 season after suffering another injury to the same shoulder that cost him the entire 2012 season.  Really tough break for a kid who reportedly work really hard in the off-season and came into spring ball in great shape.
  • CJ Prosise is looking good at wide receiver according to Kelly and said that we will see a lot of him at receiver throughout the spring.  With Neal and Ferguson’s transfers and a log jam at safety this makes a whole lot of sense for the Irish.  Kelly said that Prosise has been everything that they he could be but has done so much quicker than they thought he could.
  • Prosise and TJ Jones were mentioned as possible punt returners so far this spring.  Kelly said that they will test a lot of players back there though after losing both Neal and Carlisle.
  • Kelly is really excited about the inside linebacker position and specifically said that Jarrett Grace has done a great job at the position this spring.  “He’s a really, really good football,” Kelly said of Grace.
  • Kelly was a little tepid when asked about whether or not James Onwualu could be an option at the slot receiver position, but did say that he would definitely be a factor on all of the special teams units.
  • On the other hand, Kelly said that Corey Robinson “continues to impress and catches everything in his area code.”  He also said that Robinson has to “move in with Coach Longo.”  I’ve been saying for a while that Robinson will be a great player for the Irish once he hits the weights and develops more after getting a late start at football.
  • Kelly said again that the staff is looking for the best combination of offensive linemen and are open to trying players out at different positions but that it still all centers around, well, the center position.  If Notre Dame can find a center out of spring football, the offensive line has a chance to be pretty good.
  • Kendal Moore has high end athletic ability according to Kelly but they “just need to get him to run and hit the right people”.  It sounds like Moore will ideally be the #2 MIKE, but Kelly also said that they could slide Carlo Calabrese over to the MIKE if Grace needs to come off the field.
  • Ishaq Williams has been getting some reps at defensive end.  He will cross train at CAT and DE which will get him 15-20 more reps.  At 260 lbs, Williams probably won’t be playing DE on first down or obvious running situations, but as a pass rusher on 3rd down his quickness could be a real asset.


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  1. Point taken – especially the “Go figure” part! I guess all I can say is I’M ABOUT QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY. (to explain that expression, athletes are more than their stats) Good day.

  2. Hi. I just finished the above entry but forgot to check the “notify me if anyone comments” box. I have that box checked on this entry. So if you read the above entry and commented, please leave a wicked-brief comment here, so I get notified. Thanks!

    1. HURLS,

      Just a few intersting comparisions.

      George Atkinson III Is currently listed at 6’1″ 217lbs.

      Will Mahone is currently listed at 5’10” 212lbs.

      The actual bigger back is considered a speed rusher, and the smaller back is considered a power runner.
      Go figure.

      IMO, the traditional power back was cut in the Jerome (The bus) Bettis mold 6″0″ 235lbs

      But then, the best power runner I witnessed las year was Eddie Lacy from Alabama. 5’10” 220lbs.

      Maybe power running is more a matter of having the right frame of mind and a lot of heart?
      (Having a great O-Line doesn’t hurt either!)

  3. People need to realize one thing. BK has several different offenses. He has the ability with the TE’s to run a pro-style run offense out of the spread. That is what he did this year. He has the ability to spread you out and put some speed still on the field, even with the loss of Neal. If you look at the 88 team Ismail was a freshman. Folson can come in with Amir and according to Kelly CJ Proise and cause some real problems. Not to mention GA III has the ability to break a run at anytime. You have a bruising back in Mahone who resembles Jonas Gray size to ball control. Finally, you have a QB with the skill set to run BK’s offense mentally and physcically. If they can solve the issue at Center this offense will be fine.

    I don’t think this team will have a magical year like last year but they will be better than 8-5. I think the reason why both Ferguson and Neal transferred was they were getting passed. I think Neal saw Amir as starting over him and Ferguson was getting pushed down the depth chart. BK is great at taking players and moving them to new positions, look at Russell last year. Holtz had the same ability to move kids from their recruited position to another and have them contribute.

    1. Not really that surprising about Neal. I dont think Davonte was that sold on Notre Dame to begin with. If you look back to when Davonte was being recruited he seemed conflicted about going to the Irish. It was his dad who was pushing him really hard to choose ND. I think he always wanted to stay in Arizona and now he has a good reason. I believe he will wind up playing for Rich Rodriguez and should thrive in that offense. Good Luck Davonte Neal

      1. If Neal wants to be closer to his son, Tuscon isn’t THAT close to Scottsdale. He’d have to go to ASU if he wants to play in Division I and be close to his son.

      2. about 1 1\2 hour drive from Scottsdale to Tucson. He didnt want to be at ND simple as that.

    2. 3-line from the end pod the 1st paragraph. “You have a bruising back in Mahone…” ? Do you have any idea how beautiful that sounds? Couple a “bruising back” with Golson’s awesome dynamism (btw – “dynamic” is a word used to a nauseating extent – but wtf, it’s the perfect word) and we are seeing the beauty of having a young, progressive, CHAMPIONSHIP coach.

  4. Did anyone not see DaVaris Daniels in the championship game? EG does not need to worry about having a reliable receiver to throw to, he has one. I don’t think we have to worry about he the receiving group this year or the the next few. We will just have to get accustomed to a different set of names.

  5. Neal is probably the biggest loss this year. ND has a lot of talented receivers, but not a lot of experience yet. I’m hoping one of them steps up to be the lead receiver. They don’t have to be Michael Floyd or Golden Tate necessarily, just be a reliable go to guy. Someone when EG is in trouble that he knows he can go to who will come down with the ball.

    Defense should be great again. I just hope the offense steps it up another notch and I REALLY hope to see improvement in special teams, particularly with kick off and punt returns.

  6. Watching BK on this video is captivating. I have never seen him so completely calm and relaxed talking about his team. Talk about a Championship attitude the way he praises his players! WOW! what a transformation from the 1st two years. I certainly have to give BK credit where credit is do.

    We are definitely going to win a ton of games this year alone on BK’s incredible, beaming, confidence coupled with invigorating leadership! BK’s thriving mojo may very well be our leading ‘X-factor’ for this year!

    Here come our beloved Irish! Foxsports 1 Regis & Lou!

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