Isaac Lorton | Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Irish head coach Brian Kelly provided the press with a “state of the football team” address, during Tuesday’s football media day. Kelly covered preseason camp, the overall outlook of the Irish, the new Under Armour uniforms, and touched briefly on the four players under investigation for academic dishonesty.
Notre Dame kicked off its preseason camp at Culver Military Academies in Culver, Ind. and have continued the training back on campus.
“Our preseason camp has been an excellent one in that we’ve been able to really get a lot of things accomplished, offensively, defensively and special teams,” Kelly said. “We’ve prepared this football team; we’ve seen it really come together as a group.”
Kelly said senior quarterback Everett Golson locked down the starting quarterback position to pretty much solidify the offense, and the defense is ready for action, despite having to learn a new defensive scheme.
The young Irish team “devoid of a huge senior class,” will have a lot to handle, as its schedule is consistently ranked the toughest in the country, with away games at Florida State, Arizona State and USC. True freshmen, on both sides of the ball, will get a shot to prove themselves as starters during the regular season.
“We have a lot of inexperienced players playing for us this year, and they’ll get that opportunity playing the toughest schedule in the country,” Kelly said. “We will grow up quickly.”
Despite the inexperience and strength of schedule, Kelly will finally be able to implement an offensive scheme similar to his days at Cincinnati. And with former Grand Valley State colleague Brian VanGorder at defensive coordinator, speed will reign supreme.
“We’ll play fast on offense, we’ll play faster on defense and we’ll all together be excited to watch this football team play and grow as the season progresses,” Kelly said.
With all of the changes to the football program, Notre Dame will have a new look, also. Kelly unveiled the Under Armour home and away jerseys, as well as the Shamrock series jersey for Notre Dame’s game against Purdue at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Sept. 30. Under Armour took much of its inspiration for the jerseys from the Golden Dome and Main Building.
“They’ve really taken the time to look at Notre Dame and our unique qualities and put them in what we’re representing in our uniforms,” Kelly said. “Now our players just need to play really well in those cool uniforms.”
Kelly said he lost four kids he cared about, as Irish senior receiver DaVaris Daniels, graduate student linebacker Kendall Moore, junior cornerback KeiVarae Russell and senior defensive end Ishaq Williams have to sit out until investigations are concluded into “academic dishonesty,” but that the team had to continue on playing.
“Our players moved on quickly from it, and we just immediately treat is as next man in,” Kelly said. “Get the next guy ready, and that’s how we have always operated here.”
Notre Dame will open its season at home against Rice on Aug, 30.