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.


Dan Pawlowski 6 years ago

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

Ben Kane 6 years ago

you're joking right? what does this have to do with the article?

i'm not even sure what the advancement of academics actually means...

Ben Kane 6 years ago

ohhhh... it was too early for me lol

Dan Pawlowski 6 years ago

It means you don't comment until your brain is engaged.

Michael Pannacciulli 6 years 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.

clevelandjayhawker 6 years ago

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

Mike Barnhart 6 years ago

Charlie's guy, Crist, was a senior and the new coach (Kelly) needed to go with his own recruit, Tommy Rees.

Sayers44 6 years 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.

Dirk Medema 6 years ago

"and another last year" refers to the 2010 season. Dayne has been healthy for over a year now.

Heaps got the starting spot when Nelson was injured, and lost the job to the older (Mormon mission) more experienced Nelson last year who had recouperated from his injury.

Mike Barnhart 6 years 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!

Manginosspeedo 6 years 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.

Sam Brockert 6 years ago

You have got your time periods messed up. Bob Davie was head coach when ND got put on their first Probabtion...

Sayers44 6 years 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.

Dirk Medema 6 years ago

So what you're saying is that he's given choir boy Calipari something to shoot for?

GeoHawk15 6 years ago

He didn't get William & Mary put on probation...

lv_jhwk 6 years 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.

Randy Bombardier 6 years ago

Is that you, Jordan? Kelly could have blasted Weiss and KU for poaching, but he was being gracious. Yes, that's what it looks like. These guys will contribute. Wait and see. You do realize that these guys don't count against scholarship numbers, right? They are all gravy. I'll take mature, intelligent, experienced players all day long.

jhox 6 years ago

I agree, he was mostly gracious. On the other hand, in the Crist situation at least, he was probably happy to see him go. A lot of fans and players thought he should still be the starter in South Bend, so if Rees has so much as a hiccup, the pressure would be on him to play Crist. I'm sure, being ND, they have other worth while back up QB's ready to jump in if Rees gets hurt. As for the other ND transfers, who knows how he felt about them leaving. The other issue is that Crist is clearly a potential NFL player. No coach, if he's being fair to a player like that, would want to see young man with that kind of talent not get a chance to show it his senior year, and have the chance to extend his playing career.

He clearly believes Rees is better, so I can't imagine he's upset with Crist for making this decision. (However, he's going to look really bad if Crist has a monster season and gets drafted in the first or second round.)

Eric Dawson 6 years ago

"You do realize that these guys don't count against scholarship numbers, right?"

Wrong, they count. What they don't do is hurt recruiting for the future because they will only be at KU one year. And during that year they will hopefully help KU both in winning and in attracting the future recruits that a regular transfer, who would be around at least 2 years, might discourage from attending Kansas.

rockchalk1023 6 years 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.

Jeff Coffman 6 years 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.

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