Happy 2019 Notre Dame football Media Day everyone! This year brought a new format for media availability, and with that, we must adjust when it comes to our coverage. Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly led off the day, as is tradition, with his press conference in the auditorium at The Gug.
After that, things were switched up in regards to assistant coach media availability, as all ten full time assistants came to the podium after Brian Kelly. Each individual coach was then given a ten minute Q&A with the assembled media. So we’ll run through the news, notes and notable quotables from the day in two parts.
This is the first part, covering Brian Kelly session, and the second session, reporting on the ten assistants is linked here.
Kelly’s opening statement focused on the philosophy and goals for the upcoming season. He maintains that the Fighting Irish will be a ground-and-pound style team, striving to win the battles in the trenches and be superior on the line of scrimmage.
Brian Kelly says the success of the 2019 #NotreDame team will depend upon running the football and stopping the run. Kelly said that will be the approach against Louisville in 12 days.
— Irish Illustrated (@timprister) August 21, 2019
One of Notre Dame’s top receivers, Michael Young, suffered a broken collarbone this camp. He’s out indefinitely, and with no timeline for his return, the only real update that Kelly was able to offer was this- in four weeks, the doctors will be able to take a CT scan on it to see how it looks inside and out.
And if it has healed inside out by that time. He’ll be good to go.
Brian Kelly says Michael Young underwent surgery to repair his broken collarbone.
Kelly: “How long does it take for a bone to heal?”
Reporter: “I don’t know.”
Kelly: “I don’t know either.”
Adds Cole Kmet is catching footballs already.
— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) August 21, 2019
In the meantime, Brian Kelly will strive to fill the void with a wide receiver by committee approach at that position, running through a lot of guys, a heavy rotation at that slot. He also mentioned the role that tailback Jafar Armstrong will play in the
It’s been a huge fall camp for freshman safety and 5-star prospect Kyle Hamilton, who is not throwing away his shot at contributing this season. There’s a million things Hamilton hasn’t done on the college level, but just you wait, just you wait.
“His size, 6-3, 6-4, very unique to have the suddenness and change of direction, which offers him incredible range and length as a pass defender,” said Kelly.
“Can’t tell you I’ve seen a player that can change direction and carry himself with that kind of range. That’s unusual.”
Kelly added that Hamilton has fought through the “freshman wall” to excel this preseason; also mentioning the asset he has with his length.
Jaylon Smith lost millions upon millions of dollars when he got hurt in Notre Dame’s Fiesta Bowl loss to Ohio State on New Year’s Day, 2016. That’s because his NFL Draft stock slid massively once he got hurt.
He had projected a top five, maybe top three overall player, but he didn’t get selected until 34th overall, by the Dallas Cowboys. So, he wasn’t going to get serious paper, like generational wealth, until his second deal, which just got announced yesterday.
Smith signed a five-year, $64 million contract extension with the Cowboys that includes $35.5 million guaranteed.
Brian Kelly was asked about Smith’s new deal, and he said that he was very proud of him, and that it’s great to see someone who does things the right way, and perseveres through genuine adversity, get rewarded.
Upon being asked, Kelly said no, he hasn’t spoke directly with Jaylon since the new deal was inked.
3 and a half years ago on Jan 1st, 2016,
Tears in my eyes,
My life changed forever.
I embraced each moment.
I had a focused vision, determined belief and now I have earned one of my dreams! #ClearEyeView | #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/xqNDGFNSFS
— Jaylon Smith (@thejaylonsmith) August 20, 2019
Finally, some depth chart news for the season opener on Labor Day night at Louisville:
Drew White will play the Mike linebacker position against Louisville, but there will be a rotation of three to four other players at inside linebacker (Bilal, Lamb, Simon, Genmark Heath).
— BlueandGold.com (@BGInews) August 21, 2019
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation.