Notre Dame held its first full pad practice of the 2017 fall camp on Saturday and head coach Brian Kelly addressed the media afterwards to wrap up the first week of camp. Kelly touched on a wide range of topics including freshmen who have stood out, minor injury news (don’t worry), and the development of the defense in the first week.
The entire video can be found over on the WatchND YouTube channel, but for those looking for a quick recap, here are all of the highlights.
- Kelly said that the offensive line owned the defensive line in the spring, but on the first day of full pads there was a much better battle than existed in the spring.
- Andrew Trumbetti has really stood out and Kelly mentioned that he looks like the player they envisioned him becoming when they recruited him. He is up to 263 lbs now. Kelly mentioned that they did a poor job of developing him until this year but he will make an impact this year. Trumbetti will be cross trained at the SDE and the DROP.
- In other defensive line news, freshmen Kurt Hinish and Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa are ahead of Darnell Ewell at this time mainly because Ewell is still very raw and in need of more technique refinement. Kelly said that both Hinish and Lord Myron will be counted on to the play this fall at the tackle position.
- Freshmen wide receivers Michael Young and Jafar Armstrong were singled out for being very intentional in what they do and very mature when asked about frosh standing out. Kelly also praised quarterback’s Avery Davis’s presence and the early enrollees.
- Kelly said that they won’t be rewarding talent this year because they did that last year and it bit them. They will instead reward grit and if a player isn’t happy with where their playing time is at right now, they need to focus on the traits the staff is preaching and that will take care of itself.
- When asked specifically if Kevin Stepherson was one of those players that fell into that group, Kelly side stepped the question a bit.
- Notre Dame hasn’t heard on the waiver request of Navy transfer Alohi Gilman but they are hoping to soon. Kelly mentioned the NCAA is still following up on a few items with the Navy and the academies in general after the policy changes at all the academies that closed the door on athletes bilities to defer their military requirements until after a professional sports career.
- Alize Mack has what looks like a grade 1 hamstring injury but it does not look serious.
- Nyles Morgan has been refining his leadership skills. At one point in campus Morgan was said to have pulled the defense over to the side after being scored on easily and talking to them. Kelly also noted that Morgan, like most of the team, is playing quicker and reacting to things more quickly.
- The idea to put “ARA” across the Notre Dame helmets was not Brian Kelly’s, but was Jack Swarbrick’s. Kelly said once it was presented to him though it was a no brainer. Kelly also mentioned that the team would not all be attending the funeral for Coach Parseghian tomorrow.
- The team is off on Sunday as part of the new NCAA mandatory day off. They will get to sleep in and relax on Sunday. Last year Kelly said that they went 11 straight days off until their first day off, but new NCAA rules mandate an off day.
After the full media session, Brian Kelly gave WatchND a one on one interview as well. Here are some more highlights from what Kelly had to say. The full video can be found on the WatchND YouTube Channel.
- Kelly said that the defense adjusted well in the second half of practice. Media reports from the day suggested that the offense clearly got the better of the defense early on Saturday and Kelly’s comments seem to confirm that.
- Kelly gave credit to the defensive line in the 1:1 with Jack Nolan as well just as he did in the full media session.
- He also reiterated that it will take more than talent to see the field this fall.
- Quarterback development was the first thing Kelly mentioned when asked about week two agenda. Finding a rotation at wide receiver was next on his list. Defensively, Kelly said the top priority is to shore up tackling on the backend. He mentioned that he was happy with the direction of the front seven, but the back end needed work in the tackling department.