BK had his first press conference leading up to this season. Most of it was coach speak and staying vague on a lot of topics, while also staying very positive. I just wanted to hit a few key highlights mentioned over the 45 minute press conference.
BOTH WIMBUSH AND IAN BOOK GET PRAISE.
Coach Kelly said he would give Wimbush an A+ for his work over the summer. It’s great to hear Wimbush had a great summer leading up to his senior year. After falling off at the end of last year, seeing a strong bounce back is vital to a great Notre Dame season.
Adding onto what he said about Wimbush, Kelly also said Ian Book is having a great summer as well. He mentioned that when Book is on he can’t be beat. This is great for both QBs. Competition brings out the greatest in everyone and having Wimbush play at the highest level he can proves valuable for the Irish. Wimbush had moments last year that made him look like a true high end quarterback. If Wimbush can’t figure it out, hopefully Book is waiting for his shot.
NEW RED SHIRT RULE
Kelly touched on the new red shirt rule and was asked more specifically about Phil Jurkovec. Kelly said he told all his players in the spring, only the best and most ready players will play. Jurkovec isn’t ready to be a day one starter yet. However he could work in games like Ball St or Wake Forest. While I imagine he will get some garbage time, Ian Book looks to cut into that as well, seeing how high Kelly is on him going into the year. Given the new rule, we will most likely see him at some point in 2018.
DECISION TO WEAR GREEN FOR MICHIGAN
I covered this in more detail here. To sum it up, Kelly said it’s up to him and he would need a strong change of heart to get away from the traditional blue jerseys.
DEXTER WILLIAMS WATCH
Kelly was asked about Williams and Kelly was glowing. Kelly said Williams had put on 8-10 pounds of muscle and had improved his cardiovascular endurance. Kelly said that was something Williams had struggled with last season but he has definitely improved. When asked if he would start vs Michigan, Kelly said he would be on the roster but wouldn’t say one way or another.(Full Dexter Williams article here)
FRESHMAN HOUSTON GRIFFITH COULD SEE SERIOUS PLAYING TIME
Kelly touched on the freshman corner who was an early enrollee. He mentioned his “functional intelligence” and his young age won’t matter. Kelly has a history of not giving freshman a ton of playing time but pretty much said that Griffith will see the field. Griffith is a bigger, physical corner who could see some time opposite Love or over tight ends. Griffith was the top recruit for the Irish so big things should be in store for the freshman.