First the good news – Tevon Coney and Jerry Tillery will return to ND for the 2018 season.
7 Freshman footballers were early enrollees.
Brian Kelly dismissed 4 players from the team:
WR Kevin Stepherson
RB CJ Holmes
RB Deon McIntosh
NG Brian Tiassum
Recruiting will continue to the last minute.
6 year OL Coach Harry Hiestand accepted the OL position from the Chicago Bears. Undoubtedly this will be his last stop in coaching.
He had a great run at ND producing outstanding linemen who ended up highly drafted to Pro football. His 2017 OL won the Joe Moore Trophy as the best OL in college football.
Harry was also a great recruiter and it is going to be very difficult to replace him.
There just aren’t that many good OL coaches out there – except maybe at Wisconsin & Stanford. Maybe the Navy OL coach would be available.
Jeff Quinn from the football office may have to fill the gap. He was Kelly’s OL coach for many years.
Hoping for continuity on defense ND promoted LB’s Coach Lea to fill the role of departing DC Mike Elko. It is a certainty that Lea would have joined Elko at Texas A&M.
Lea did an excellent job with the LB’s and impressed Brian Kelly with his energetic recruiting. Lea is also being touted for the emergence of Tevon Coney as ND’s leading tackler.
Lea will continue the 4-2-5 Defense that Elko ran.
Prior to coaching LB’s at Wake Forest Lea spent 3 years coaching LB’s at Syracuse.
Defensive Line Coach Mike Elston was promoted to Associate Head Coach.
Notre Dame finished at number 11 in the AP Poll.
Why would anyone rather coach at Texas A&M than ND?—$$$$$$. And that’s what DC Mike Elko opted for. I know South Bend isn’t paradise but neither is College Station.
So now Brian Kelly has to worry about Linebacker Coach Clark Lea who Elko brought with him from Wake Forest. The only thing that would keep Lea is if he’s promoted to the DC spot.
As expected, Josh Adams and EQ St. Brown opted for the NFL draft. I think Coney and Tillery also go. There could be others – Jan. 15th is the cut off date.
Others will go the transfer route. Right now it looks like we won’t have any starters at LB except Drue Tranquill and even he might go Pro if everyone else leaves. Tranquill has had both knees repaired and this might be his last chance.
I would not be surprised if OC Long leaves – that offense was all Brian Kelly.
I also think that QB Wimbush transfers.
Happy New Year Miles Boykin, who became a legend with a one handed grab, eluded 2 defenders and scored the go ahead TD with about a minute left.
In what started out as a dreadful game, the finale was just unbelievable. Sub QB Ian Book replaced Wimbush and went 14-19 2 TD’s 1 pick and tossed the winning TD with 1:28 left on the clock.
Ah Wimbush! Sorry, kid just could not handle the spotlight. The throws were once again sailing so in came Book who led ND to 3 scores.
With a 5 Star recruit coming in I would hazard a guess that he will transfer. Kelly, after having Wimbush in the program for 3 years will turn to Book for the upcoming season.
Josh Adams was a non factor gaining only about 50 yards – he’ll opt for the Draft.
Defense held on and made key stops with Tevon Coney making 17 tackles – he will go Pro. I expect to see a lot of departures.
Enjoy the highlights of the Bowl victory and the 10th win of the season:
Here is the Brian Kelly post game press conference:
This is the moment of truth for the ND team and in particular QB Brandon Wimbush. If he’s off this could get real ugly. Let’s hope that someone has been working with backup Ian Book.
I do not know where OC Chip Long’s offense went, but IF it’s his we’ve been watching and not the result of Wimbush lack of understanding and executing LSU will kill ND.
There are plenty of stories of other teams saying they knew what plays ND was running as soon as they reached the line of scrimmage.
So what did LSU do this year ending at 9-3:
W 27-10 vs BYU
W 45-10 vs Chatt
L 37-7 vs Miss. State
W 35-26 vs Syracuse
L 24-21 vs Troy
W 17-16 vs Florida
W 27-23 vs Auburn
W 40-24 vs Miss.
L 24-10 vs Alabama
W 33-10 vs Arkansas
W 30-10 vs Tenn.
W 45-21 vs Texas A&M
Ed Orgeron is the LSU HC – he’s a fiery rah rah guy and Matt Canada is his OC while Dave Aranda is his DC. Aranda is an excellent coach while Canada is leaving.
A 9-3 record in the SEC is pretty damn good and they held Alabama to about 115 yards rushing.
Their QB is a 5th year former Purdue QB named Danny Etling – 60% pass completion record. Etling was a 4 Star ND fan but ND did not offer him – we had Zaire.
LSU always has good RB’s, but the real strength of this team is Defense. Excellent CB’s, big DL but short at LB having lost 3.
So what to look for – the Center, RG and RT on ND OL trying to hold up against a big DL. LSU will stuff the run, petrify Wimbush and win this game.
LSU 31 ND 20
Here is a short Brian Kelly pre game press conference:
Arkansas OL Luke Jones – 3 Star 6’6″ 285 flipped to ND by giving a verbal and says he will sign on the dotted line Feb 7th.
I just think this is very odd with National Signing Day just a month and change away.
In my mind, at this date, you’re all in or your not. ND is strongly pursuing another OL prospect and maybe Jones is just hedging his bet and really decide after the other guy does.
Here is his highlight video:
It looks like Notre Dame will have no receivers except backups and EQ:
Chase Claypool – out – surgery TE
Brock Wright – out – surgery TE
Alize Mack – suspended for Bowl Game WR
Kevin Stepherson – indefinite suspension – shoplifted 2 sweat pants
3 LSU Starting LB’s will not play including their best pass rusher Arden Key. He injured finger, but really this is about turning Pro.
And in other news Brandon Wimbush missed practice with a severe migraine – uh oh getting the yips already. One hit and he will take himself out. Ghost of Golson.
More news. ND received a written commit from WR Braden Lenzy who had de-commited and then de-committed from Oregon. When Lenzy originally de-committed from ND he called the ND coaches liars. It Looks like this is a sure winner!! Don’t be surprised if he’s a no show.
I’m getting the feeling that neither team wants to play this game. Anyone with a ghost of a chance to be drafted will be too busy trying not to get hurt.
They all held to their commitments and we have a potential Ace in our 6’5″ QB commit.
Here is the
2018 Signing Class:
Player Pos Loc High School Ht Wt Commit Date
Jayson Ademilola DT Jersey City, NJ St. Peters Prep 6'3" 265 6/25/16
Justin Ademilola LB Jersey City, NJ St. Peters Prep 6'3" 234 6/25/16
Derrik Allen DB Marietta, GA Lassiter 6'1" 204 2/12/17
Kevin Austin WR Coconut Creek, FL North Broward Prep 6'3" 185 8/11/17
Matthew Bauer LB Erie, PA Cathedral Prep 6'3" 216 8/2/16
Tariq Bracy DB Milpitas, CA Milpitas 6'0" 170 12/10/17
John Dirksen OL Maria Stein, OH Marion Local 6'5" 290 3/25/17
Ja'Mion Franklin DT Ridgely, MD North Caroline 6'3" 305 6/6/17
Houston Griffith DB Bradenton, FL IMG Academy 6'1" 192 12/12/17
Micah Jones WR Gurnee, IL Warren Township 6'5" 196 2/16/17
Phil Jurkovec QB Gibsonia, PA Pine-Richland 6'5" 190 5/16/16
Jack Lamb LB Temecula, CA Great Oak 6'4" 207 7/27/17
Cole Mabry OL Brentwood, TN Brentwood 6'6" 255 2/13/17
Paul Moala DB Mishawaka, IN Penn 6'0" 202 10/22/17
Ovie Oghoufo LB Farmington Hills, MI Harrison 6'2" 207 7/21/16
Shayne Simon LB Jersey City, NJ St. Peters Prep 6'3" 210 7/25/17
Jahmir Smith RB Sanford, NC Lee County 6'0" 199 7/23/17
George Takacs TE Naples, FL Gulf Coast 6'6" 235 6/14/17
Tommy Tremble TE Norcross, GA Wesleyan 6'4" 225 12/14/17
Joseph Wilkins Jr. WR North Fort Myers, FL North Fort Myers 6'2" 175 11/6/17
Here’s Kelly speaking about the class:
Other news: WR Kevin Stepherson and RB CJ Holmes indefinitely suspended for shoplifting.
Notre Dame (9-3) vs LSU (9-3) will be playing in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl on Monday, Jan 1, 2018 at 1:00 PM ET. The location will be at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
In LSU’s last game they rolled up 45 points in a win over Texas A&M. We all know how we did.
In other news ND lost RB Commit Markese Stepp.
Here is the Brian Kelly press conference about the bowl game: