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Kansas football coach Charlie Weis deserves a share of the credit for Notre Dame revival under Brian Kelly

Third-year Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly has his team undefeated, ranked third in the nation and in contention for a national title.

First-year Kansas coach Charlie Weis, fired by Notre Dame five years into a 10-year contract, can’t be left out of the conversation entirely when discussing the revival of Fighting Irish football. Weis left Kelly with strong talent to develop.

Eight of the 11 starters on offense were recruited to Notre Dame by Weis: Linemen Braxston Cave, Mike Golic, Zack Martin and Chris Watt; tight end Tyler Eifert; wide receivers John Goodman and Robby Toma; running back Theo Riddick.

Eifert leads the Irish in receiving yards (341) and touchdowns (three) and Riddick leads the team in rushing yards and is tied for the team lead with four rushing touchdowns. Senior Cierre Wood, another Weis recruit, ranks second with 467 rushing yards and averages 6.5 yards per carry.

On defense, in addition to high-character Heisman Trophy candidate Manti Te’o, an inside linebacker, defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore, outside linebacker Dan Fox and safety Zeke Motta are Weis recruits.

Weis has some lingering bitterness about getting fired by his alma mater, but that doesn’t mean he’s wishing ill on the Fighting Irish. I asked him at a press conference earlier this month whether he was happy for his recruits.

“I’ll always root for anyone who I ever recruited,” Weis said. “I’ll never, ever root against them, you know, so I find enjoyment in their success.”

Weis won’t have the rich ND football tradition to dangle when he recruits for Kansas, but the ability to judge talent is such an underrated aspect of recruiting.

As well as the Irish offensive line has performed this season, that suggests Weis knows how to evaluate the position. With fifth-year seniors Trevor Marongelli, Duane Zlatnik and Tanner Hawkinson anchoring this season’s line, Weis needs to score big at the position immediately.

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Comments

agko 1 year, 5 months ago

If you believe this you I feel sorry for Kansas.

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Sparko 1 year, 5 months ago

Weis was only Dayne Crist away from being successful this year at KU. Sure is too bad that Crist cratered so badly.

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pepper_bar 1 year, 5 months ago

Weis's last three seasons with Notre Dame: 3-9, 6-6, 6-6.

ND is now winning despite Weis. Just like Florida's offense is now good despite Weis failing as their OC last year.

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Kyle Sybesma 1 year, 5 months ago

This is what we were looking for out of Gill's team last year. Progress through out the season and a desire to be competitive. We should have won the Rice and N. Illinois games. We were competitive with TCU. Hung in there til half time with K-State. (Let's give props to Bill Snyder. The man is a legend. I enjoy watching KSU football. I hope the they have a chance to win it all.) We had a chance against OSU and dominated the run against Texas. It's not unrealistic for us to win 2 of the last four games. Weis is on the right track. I look forward to upcoming KU football seasons.

Any word on renovations to Memorial Stadium or a NEW STADIUM!?

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MoralVictory 1 year, 5 months ago

Through 8 games last year: 211 PF vs. 396 PA. Yes, I would say that this represents a definite improvement. Importantly, both years include games vs. OU, KSU and OSU.

2012 (using PSM's numbers) Avg: 17.25 PF Avg: 30.12 PA Avg: 13 pt differential (to the negative)

2011 Avg: 26.37 PF Avg: 49.5 PA Avg: 23 pt differential (to the negative)

That's a 10-pt. swing to the positive. Also, 2013 will be a better comparison because it will be Weis's 2nd year. Does anyone think that we will give up 50+ points twice next year? I don't.

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PSM 1 year, 5 months ago

We've only been outscored 241 to 138. I'm not sure about last years numbers, but I'm positive that's an improvement.

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Tom Keegan 1 year, 5 months ago

True but he had them as freshmen and you can't win with freshmen. He recruited the talent and wasn't around to develop it. Charlie left Kelly with much better talent than Willingham left for Charlie. Willingham's last couple of recruiting classes were not good. Charlie's were.

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canusayduh 1 year, 5 months ago

That still doesn't bode well for Weis...he had the players...he just couldn't coach them.

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