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Brian Kelly discusses rankings, DaVaris Daniels, Eilar Hardy, Austin Collinsworth

| Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 10.12.50 PMZach Llorens / The Observer
Ten days removed from Notre Dame’s last-minute loss to Florida State, Irish head coach Brian Kelly said he has been pleased with his team’s response heading into Saturday’s matchup with Navy.

“They were very disappointed, obviously, but they handled themselves in the manner that they weren’t pointing fingers or looking for excuses,” Kelly said. “They know they needed to make one more play.”

The Irish fell 31-27 to the No. 2 Seminoles on Oct. 18 and, following a bye week, Notre Dame checks in at No. 6 in the AP poll and No. 7 in the coaches poll. However, the only rankings that matter — the top 25 determined by the College Football Playoff selection committee — will be released for the first time Tuesday night and will come out each Tuesday for the next five weeks.

“I’ll be glued to my TV,” Kelly quipped about the rankings release. “No. I’m not watching that stuff. I’ll be working on Navy and trying to figure out a way to get some points to slow them down.”


What does the future hold for DaVaris Daniels and Eilar Hardy?

ND WR DaVaris DanielsObserver File Photo
Kelly said he has spoken with Irish senior receiver DaVaris Daniels, who was one of the five players withheld from practice and competition during an academic investigation. Kelly said they did not discuss next year — Daniels has one year of eligibility remaining.

“Our conversations were strictly about the immediate and what he needed to do to take care of things,” Kelly said. “… But we did not talk about what it would look like next year.”

Irish junior cornerback KeiVarae Russell took to Instagram on Thursday and said Daniels “is now likely to return to Notre Dame with me next year.”

Kelly said Irish senior safety Eilar Hardy, one of the five withheld players, practiced with the team Monday. Kelly said Notre Dame is hopeful Hardy could evolve into something more than merely a practice presence.

“There are things that have to occur for that to take place, and those are above certainly what I can control,” Kelly said. “But we’re of the mindset that we’d like to get him cleared, and that’s a process that is working through right now.”


Injury updates


20130831 Football vs Temple, Collinsworth and Butler, Observer File PhotoObserver File Photo
Irish graduate student safety Austin Collinsworth (shoulder) returned to practice yesterday and wore a harness, Kelly said.

“He’s going to try to give it a shot and see what he can do,” Kelly said.

Kelly added he doesn’t know if Collinsworth will be active Saturday. Collinsworth, who is his in final season of eligibility, will be making the call on his playing future along with the training staff, team doctors and his parents, Kelly said.

“If our doctors feel as though they can protect him and that he can be productive and all those things line up, they’ll try to get him out there,” Kelly said. “Whether that means this week or next, I couldn’t tell you for sure.

“All I know is that he wants to be out there. He wants to be with his teammates. He wants to try to help the football team right now if he can.”

Irish freshman tight end Tyler Luatua (concussion) and senior linebacker Ben Councell (concussion) have both been cleared to practice, Kelly said.

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About Mike Monaco

Senior Sports Writer Mike Monaco is a senior majoring in Film, Television and Theatre with a minor in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy as well as Business Economics. The O’Neill Hall native hails from the Boston area and is an aspiring play-by-play broadcaster.

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