Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Notre Dame coach Kelly: Transfers will help Weis, KU

In this file photo from April 7, 2010, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly talks to former Irish quarterback Dayne Crist, left, during practice in South Bend, Ind.

In this file photo from April 7, 2010, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly talks to former Irish quarterback Dayne Crist, left, during practice in South Bend, Ind.


— The Notre Dame Club of Eastern Kansas welcomed Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly to town Tuesday, and Kelly spent the afternoon being serenaded by the school’s famous fight song and talking up the Fighting Irish.

Before it all began, though, Kelly took time out to comment on the man who preceded him at the prestigious football factory, Kansas University coach Charlie Weis.

“First of all, he’s an experienced head coach,” said Kelly, set to enter his third season in South Bend, Ind. “His time at Notre Dame clearly prepared him for Kansas and the job that he has. He’s obviously a great offensive mind, but I think that probably gets too much attention, because Charlie now, as a head coach, has a great understanding of all the things that go along with it. It’s a great hire for Kansas, and I’m a little partial to guys that are Notre Dame grads, and we wish him the best of luck.”

Three young men who played for Kelly during the past couple of seasons are headed to Kansas to join the man who originally recruited them, and Kelly said he believed all three could make the Jayhawks better.

“The great thing about all these kids is they all have their degree from Notre Dame,” said Kelly, referencing KU quarterback Dayne Crist, who already is on campus, as well as tight end Mike Ragone and linebacker Anthony McDonald, who will arrive next month. “So you’re getting great kids, you’re getting guys that love to play the game. ... It’s great that Charlie gave them the opportunity to finish off. I feel like they’re going to be able to help Kansas football.”

Kelly spoke specifically about McDonald and Crist.

“Anthony is a really good athlete, a good football player,” Kelly said of the 6-foot-2, 230-pound middle linebacker. “He was stuck in a tough position behind Manti Te’o. Manti’s gonna be one of the top draft picks next year, a great player for us. So (McDonald) didn’t get his opportunity. He had a couple of injuries, but if he’s healthy, Anthony’s a good football player, and he’ll help Kansas.”

As for Kelly’s thoughts on Crist, they seem to be in line with those of just about everyone else who knows the former five-star QB.

“Just a class act,” Kelly said. “He’s been in the bright lights. He’s been on that grand stage. The thing you have to understand about Dayne is he’s overcome incredible adversity. Two knee injuries. He’s fought back from both of them. He won our starting position going into last year. So you know he’s a really good football player. And he’s not gonna back off from the opportunity that he’s gonna have at Kansas.”

Kelly, who spent four seasons at Cincinnati and three more at Central Michigan before landing at Notre Dame, also offered some insight into why Weis’ stay in South Bend wasn’t longer than his five-year stint from 2005-09.

“In today’s society, it’s about winning and you can’t use that P word,” Kelly said. “There’s no patience anymore. You gotta go win.”

That’s true whether you’re at Notre Dame or Kansas, but Kelly said he thought being the head coach at Notre Dame was different than every other job in America.

“I had 17 years as a head coach and it still didn’t prepare me for the job at Notre Dame adequately,” Kelly said. “There’s so many demands on your time, and you’re on stage 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s a good thing, but, certainly, there’s so many time demands that you have to balance. ... I don’t think there’s any job like the Notre Dame job. It’s one that I don’t know that you’re ever prepared until you get into that seat.”

No news on McCay

According to the KU press release sent out on April 20, the NCAA’s Subcommittee for Legislative Relief had until 5 p.m. Tuesday to make a ruling regarding the appeal of KU wide receiver Justin McCay, who had his initial request for a hardship waiver denied two weeks ago.

However, the release did not specify whether the NCAA was required to inform KU of its ruling by the same deadline. Therefore, McCay, the Bishop Miege High wide receiver who transferred to KU from Oklahoma at semester, must wait at least a little longer for the final word regarding his status for the upcoming season.

If the NCAA rules in his favor, McCay, 6-2, 215, will be eligible to play during the 2012 season as a sophomore. If not, he will have to sit out 2012 and will be eligible as a junior in 2013.

McCay, who was allowed to practice all spring, played in last Saturday’s spring game but did not record a reception.

“I think it’s put a lot of stress on him,” Weis said of the receiver’s uncertain eligibility status.


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jhawkrulz 1 year, 11 months ago

I must say that I think Lou Holtz is the worst announcer in football, unfortunately, he is really hard to understand and some of his comments are off. He also picks Notre Dame for everything. I remember him picking ND to win it all about 5 out of last 5 years.

He should be gone.


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

rockchalk1023, Interesting, valuable dual-perspective...I personally do not know of Kelly, nor have I watched any NDame games (probably ever...), eventhough my fave NFL QB was a NDame alum (SuperJoe). Huge NFL fan+KU bball fan+320-plus hrs/mo work= no time for college football. But I really respect Weis' skill as an offensive-philosophy mind...we missed him from the Chiefs this last year, and ultimately his leaving KC last yr in a disagreement with Haley ended up getting Haley fired this last season, as he clearly was not the play-caller that Weis was. Weis basically put "Matt Cassell" (a B-grade QB) into the ProBowl the previous season. What he did with Brady is legend.

Now, after a lukewarm stint at NDame, Im sure Weis wants a shot at correcting his "system" at the college level, hence his chance at KU. I will make time for KU football somehow, due to Weis+Campo+Bowen+Holsopple+Crist, Heaps, etc... I did watch some KU football the last 2yrs, and alot of KU football in the OrangeBowl season. I was utterly disgusted with Gill's product on the field.


rockchalk1023 1 year, 11 months ago

As an ND student, but lifelong KU fan, I have a bit of perspective on Kelly vs. Weis. When Weis was first fired and Kelly was announced the coach at ND, everyone was excited with the hire. Kelly was amazing with the media and was able to instill confidence in fans in a way Charlie could not. After watching Kelly lose a bit of this luster over the last the last two seasons though, I miss have Weis here. Kelly treats his players like crap at times and is not forthcoming with the media and fans. Weis, on the other hand, is honest (sometimes too honest) and will tell everyone how it is. He isn't always the most polished ambassador for a university, but he is fair in his analysis and really cares about the kids and program that he is charge of. I hope that both programs can thrive with their current coach, but I fear that as many of you have said, ND is simply too hard to recruit the type of talent necessary to be a perennial BCS contender.


lv_jhwk 1 year, 11 months ago

Said: "It’s great that Charlie gave them the opportunity to finish off." Not said: "...because I sure as hell wasn't going to."

Said: "(Crist) won our starting position going into last year." Not said: "...but that was only good for thirty minutes on the field."

Kelly and his feigned benevolence can suck it in South Bend.


Sayers44 1 year, 11 months ago

Loe Holtz was SPECIAL? I think NOT!

How many schools has Lou Holtz put on probation?

Every school that has had Lou Holtz as a head coach NC State, Minnesota, Arkansas, Notre Dame, South Carolina has been hit with probation in sequence with his departure. So five total. One was an "informal' probation that allowed ND to handle it internally..

Holtz was overseeing the Notre Dame Football team when they were caught distributing steroids in the locker room during the late 80’s and early 90’s. The NCAA allowed the Irish to handle the matter internally, but there is no way Holtz was unaware of all that was going on with his program.


Manginosspeedo 1 year, 11 months ago

The same Lou Holtz who was the first ND Coach to have them put on probation. The same Lou Holtz who got is the only coach to ever get 4 programs put on probation (Arkansas, ND, Minnesota and South Carolina). I don't have much respect for him and can't believe the football community holds him in such high self esteem.


Mike Barnhart 1 year, 11 months ago

Lou Holtz is a special coach! He's the only Notre Dame head coach in the last 35 years to last more than five years! Six others got canned!


Terran Woolley 1 year, 11 months ago

ND is the hardest place to win at in north america. The fans expect 4.0 students who run 4.2 40's....academically the kind of kids who would go to the military academies or Stanford, but athletically who would play at the likes of Bama, LSU, UT, or OU. It is a no win situation, and I challenge you to find anyone who has had sustained success there since the days of Lou Holtz. Great university, no doubt...but IMPOSSIBLE to field a consistent winner at in today's quasi farm team system of NCAA athletics.



Sayers44 1 year, 11 months ago

Weis struggled to win games despite suiting up numerous top prospects at Notre Dame, and was fired after the 2009 season. Crist had a season-ending knee injury his freshman year and another last year, after he completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,033 yards with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions under Weis' replacement, Brian Kelly.

He came back from the injury to regain the starting job this season, but was benched at halftime of the opener against South Florida. Crist played only a handful of snaps behind Tommy Rees the rest of the way, ultimately announcing that he had decided to transfer.

Heaps graduated early so that he could enroll at BYU, and started the final 10 games his first season, setting freshman school records for yards passing (2,316), attempts (383), completions (219), touchdown passes (15). The Cougars finished 7-6 and beat UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl.

He struggled early this season, though, and lost the starting job to Riley Nelson. Heaps asked BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall to be released from his scholarship.


clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 11 months ago

Why did Crist lose the QB job at ND? knee injury?


Michael Pannacciulli 1 year, 11 months ago

I am not a fan of Kelly. I watched several ND games the last two years and his antics on the sideline, and the way he barks at his players make me sick. That is just me. His whininning about patience, and all the demands are his own way of telling the fans....look this is my final year. Nice knowing ya! Foreshadowing the inevitable.


Dan Pawlowski 1 year, 11 months ago

But there is No Cash for the Advancement of Academics.....


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