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Football: Kelly moves walk-on tryouts to fall semester

Observer Staff Report | Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Irish coach Brian Kelly will not do away with Notre Dame’s longstanding walk-on tradition, but he will change the timetable during which new players try out for the team, Director of Football Media Relations Brian Hardin said Tuesday.

“The walk-on program will not discontinue under coach Kelly, we’re simply moving the tryouts from spring until fall. That’s when coach Kelly has always had walk-on tryouts,” Hardin said. “The primary reason is so that our coaches can spend as much time evaluating the current roster as it stands right now.”

Hardin said 25 walk-on players are currently working out with the team, and their status will not be affected by the change.

An understanding of the walk-on tradition at Notre Dame and experience with walk-ons at previous coaching stops both point to Kelly continuing to accept walk-ons in the future, Hardin said.

“He understands the tremendous value that walk-ons have to our program, and he fully embraces and understands the history walk-ons have had, and will continue to have, at Notre Dame,” Hardin said. “Everywhere coach Kelly has been, he’s had walk-ons who have helped him win championships.”

Notre Dame will begin its spring practice schedule on March 26. Per NCAA rules, the Irish will hold 15 practices and conclude the spring with the annual Blue-Gold Game, scheduled for April 24.