Coach’s Clipboard – Brian Kelly Kicks Off Spring ’13

Brian Kelly held his first press conference for 2013 spring football on Tuesday,. (Photo – Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)

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.

Injury Updates

  • 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.

Weight/Strength Gains

  • 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.

Early Enrollees

  • 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.
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Other Notes

  • 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,


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  1. duranko 6 years ago

    scav, the other thing I noticed is the near-respect that Kelly has for the players and their dedication and focus. He sounded almost surprised by it, albeit pleasantly.

    There are so many positions where we have depth of players who have
    already shown something. This 2013 season could be a lot of fun. The defense took a quantum leap forward in 2012. I expect the offense to do the same in 2013. The entire program is on a very solid footing.

    Ironically, when we look back on the development of the Kelly regime, we will thank our lucky stars that we got to play Alabama. Short term pain (or numbness) long term gain. It was the ultimate reality check, and both the players and coaching staff have responded like, well, champs.

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  2. scav 6 years ago

    Just watched BK’s practice wrap-up and he said high tempo offense is coming THIS year. Wants this team to play fast and be unpredictable on offense.

    He must be feeling real good with Golson to make that statement.

    Also said that Carlise is going to be exciting this year.

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  3. Michael the Archangel 6 years ago

    Indeed- a bright future, and as was mentioned earlier,
    not just a load of youth, but much evidence of the ongoing player development .

    Changing gears here; just heard Coach Martin’s early (after two days pre-pads ) assessment
    of EG and Malik BTW- (will he soon be MZ?)- and it became much
    clearer why Gunner decided to move on.

    ND future looks bright at QB- and here’s hoping GK’s is as well.

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  4. JC 6 years ago

    BK is unambiguously estatic over GAIII’s new weight because he’s maintaining it! Yeah Shaz, absolutely, 2nd string moving towards the main guy to coach-up and hopefully starter by fall. All eyes will be on GAIII, only trolls can’t improve.

    Further, It is delightful to see BK”s stress-free-confidence on UTUBE elated about his team’s progress: Bigger, Faster, Taller, Stronger and Smarter on the field and in the classroom. Tangible evidence to get excited about!

    Empirically, BK set the stage of excitement for years to come, “Just think about this, we had 18 – 1st year player’s along the sidelines at the National Championship game!”

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

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  5. Shazamrock 6 years ago

    “Overmuch”??? Not sure about that one. Hope that was just a slip.

    Not sure I would consider GAIII a third stiringer. Second string perhaps?

    Many times the starter gets all the attention because he carries the team, shows leadership, steps up in critical situations, and has done so for consecutive season’s. His teammates, coaches, and yes, fans too, often look to him when a big play is needed.
    (See Tyler Efert, Micheal Floyd, Manti Te’o)

    I do agree that quality depth is essential for long term, and high level success, in major college football.
    Kelly’s “Next Man In” played a large roll in ND going 12-0 during the regular season last year, and will do so again this year.

    But I have also seen on numerous occasions when a team looses a key starter, they just aren’t the same no matter who they try to replace him with.

    Not sure that is chronic failure as much as it is reality backed up by stats and numbers.

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    1. duranko 6 years ago

      o·ver·much[ vər múch ]ADVERB
      1. to excess: to an excessive degree
      1. excessive: too much
      1. excessive quantity: an excessive quantity or amount
      Synonyms: excessively, too much, very much, unnecessarily, overly, immoderately, extravagantly, unduly, inordinately

      while anyone of the synonyms would have sufficed, overmuch is the precise concept I was positing.

      In the Kelly era, different parts of the team will rise and fall. Last year Atkinson was the third stringer behind Wood and Riddick. There is a lot of talent in that slot with Atkinson, Carlisle and the two freshmen not to mention Mahone. On November 1st it would not shock reason if any of the three, Atkinson, Carlisle or Bryant was the starter, but the other two plus Folston may be getting a fair number of snaps.

      What is very clear in the Kelly regime is that different areas of the team will rise and fall in different years. This year, it is likely that the wide receivers will make a great leap forward, thus lessening pressure on the single cell at RB. It is the team, the gestalt, that counts, not just one player or one position.

      Notwithstanding, both because of the maturity and increased reliability at both QB and WR, as well as the depth at TB, My best estimation is that we will rush for more yards in 2013 than we did in 2012. We shall see in the Fall!

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    2. Shazamrock 6 years ago

      Didn’t mean to implying that “Overmuch” wasn’t a real word.

      You are certainly not the type to use made up words, and I do find knowledge and interest in your posts dispite having to sometimes cut through a bit of muck.

      Just.. it’s not a word I’ll be using down at the Pub anytime soon.

      Using words like “overmuch” around those chaps will get your precise butt harassed right out of town on a rail!
      (or cut off before happy hour even starts!)

      Just say’n.

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  6. duranko 6 years ago

    well, sometime a third stringer, as Atkinson was, does not get coached up as much as the players above him like Wood and Riddick. He actually progressed a lot last year in a basic skill like ball security.

    This staff has been remarkable at coaching players up. Last year, TJ JOnes
    Spond, Riddick, Motta and Fox, among others, made great leaps forward and upward.

    Posters are stuck with a rear view mirror and can only and will only look behind them. The coaches are involved in a dynamic, organic process and they are coaching players up. Atkinson will either respond and “take the bit” or he’ll be sliding down the depth chart behind players like Carlisle Bryant and Folston.

    Kelly has built something here, and his depth will overcome individual foibles.

    The other chronic failure of most posters is they focus overmuch on the
    “starter” That’s more relevant at QB, the OL and the secondary. At the other positions, RB, WR, TE, DL, LB, the depth trumps the starter.

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  7. JC 6 years ago

    Earth Shattering, GAIII 6-1 217 lbs! Blazing Speed! Sounds like a Bama Back profile! I wonder what BK is up to? Gee, it can’t be POWER-RUN-THE-BALL on BK’s list of things to do?? Hahaha! I Love it! My Money is on GAIII. As I posted earlier, if GAIII does indeed show up by fall 220 lbs good bye finesse game FOREVER. Hmmm….Only 3 lbs to go! SMASH MOUTH anyone?

    Here comes our beloved Irish! (+Foxsports 1 – Regis & Lou)

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    1. Ron Burgundy 6 years ago

      The size gain will help but he really needs to learn to run with lower pads. Dude runs way too tall and shys away from contact.

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      1. jeff 6 years ago

        I agree

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    2. HURLS 6 years ago

      AMEN, brova!

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  8. Pope 6 years ago

    Excited to see shumate play safety, he showed flashes of being a big time player. Also want to see hounshell finally play. Like what little we have seen of him. Plays hard hope he contributes this year. Not sold on Atkinson yet, he needs to show he can play against top competition. He hasn’t really had the chance to show what he can do. I know he is fast but doesn’t allude tacklers well. I hope Carlisle pushes him, looks like a nice back who can make you miss.

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  9. pauliewalnuts 6 years ago

    Early 90`s that is

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  10. pauliewalnuts 6 years ago

    Its comin! It may not be this yr but kelly has this program headed in a direction we haven’t seen since the 90`s.

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  11. SteelFanRob 6 years ago

    Amen, duranko, Amen!

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  12. duranko 6 years ago

    It’s early, but the one macro about this team is how the depth chart has been developed over the four years of this regime. Recruiting has been
    disciplined and orderly, player development is unlike anything we’ve seen
    this century, and the physical progress of the players in weight and agility training is remarkable.

    This depth chart (with the on-campus players) looks very solid, and reinforcements (Smith, Vanderdoes, Bryant, Folson, Redfield) arrive
    in June to get acclimated for Fall practice.

    Stuff happens in football, but this program has a granite foundation.

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  13. Shazamrock 6 years ago

    It should be noted that this year, ND returns six, 5th year seniors.

    Not sure replacing a linebacker like Manti Te’o is possible, but having
    Dan Fox and Carlo Calabrese, both returning 5th year seniors and both inside linebackers, sure helps.

    Having 5th year senior Tyler Stockton return on the D-Line also helps.

    On the offensive side, how the O-line shakes out is anyones guess at this point.
    But if 5th seniors Zack Martin and Chris Watt both end up at their natural spots (Left Tackle & Left Guard) the left side of our O-Line could be pretty awesome.

    Lastly, it’s always good to have an experienced kicker. 5th year senior Nick Tausch fills that roll.

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  14. GoldenDomer22 6 years ago

    With the weight gain and strength strides Atkinson is making, he may become that every down back. Amir is on his heals obviously, but Atkinson is making the gains where he needs to.

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