Brian Kelly Post-Practice: Sept. 8
Notes from Brian Kelly’s Thursday press conference.
• Kelly called Notre Dame's practice on Thursday "perfect." The Irish practiced inside the stadium in preparation for the game against Nevada.
Kelly said the players were "locked in."
• Senior safety Avery Sebastian (head) was cleared to play against Nevada. He will see the field, Kelly said.
• Senior receiver Torii Hunter Jr. (concussion) did not practice Thursday but will practice on Friday, Kelly said. He'll be evaluated further, the coach said. If he is cleared, the decision to play will be left up to Hunter.
• On the quarterbacks, Kelly said Malik Zaire — who has been beaten for the full-time job by DeShone Kizer — has "embraced" his role the past two days.
Kelly expects Kizer to remain the starter, and if he can’t perform, then Notre Dame has a talented No. 2 in Zaire.
"If Kizer is not effective, if he's not what we've known him to be, we got one heck of a good quarterback ready to play," Kelly said.
• Kelly on what Kizer did against Texas: “He made a pretty big statement." Said the performance broke the logjam up at quarterback.
• Kelly said safety Drue Tranquill had a “learning” week after struggling against Texas and getting pulled in the second half.
“He’s a guy that is very conscientious and working hard at his craft," Kelly said.
Kelly doesn’t think Tranquill has physical limitations from his previous two knee injuries.
• After all getting limited snaps against Texas, freshman defensive end Daelin Hayes, junior defensive end Jay Hayes and sophomore linebackers Te’von Coney and Asmar Bilal are all expected to be more involved this week against Nevada.
Kelly said Notre Dame wants to be in a lot more base defense, which opens the door for those players to get more action.
• Kelly said junior receiver Corey Holmes will get more snaps against Nevada because Hunter hasn’t practiced and won’t know Hunter’s status until Friday. Holmes, as well as freshman Kevin Stepherson, will be work at the X-receiver.
• With the short week, Kelly felt rest and recovery was more important than an extra practice day this week. After Texas, the staff had concerns about six players (soreness) going through practice with the quick turnaround. Players were monitored during the week.
• Kelly on Nick Coleman, who struggled against the Longhorns: "Nick really was a young man that got caught on poor techniques."
Kelly spent with time with Coleman on Tuesday, and likes him as a player. Though Coleman wasn't in a "great state of mind" entering the week, Kelly said Coleman is a prideful player.
• Kelly was asked about junior linebacker Nyles Morgan and how Morgan performed against Texas: "He was what we need and what we want and what we expect from him."