Brian Kelly Updates Latest
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly met with the media on Tuesday before the Kelly Cares' 6th Annual Football 101 event, and provided a few early-June updates on the latest with the program.
Most notably, defensive end Ishaq Williams has returned to school, and can continue practicing with the team this fall even if he's ineligible. Williams will remain on scholarship, and if eligible, that will count towards the limit of 85 — but if he's ruled ineligible, the scholarship does not count against the limit.
"Everytime I use my words, it spins it differently," Kelly said. "I want to be clear. He's back in school. We're really excited about that part of it. I know he's back in school because he told me. He's in workouts because I've seen him. Those two things I know for sure.
"All the other stuff is NCAA eligibility stuff that is a lot more complicated. And it has to do with missed terms and hours and appeals and things like that — a lot more complicated. But we're going to go through that process. He knows there's a hill to climb there. I'm not here to paint any pictures, whether it's this chance or that chance. All I know is he's going to be back in school, and he's going to get his degree from Notre Dame. If he plays football, we'll be ecstatic for him. But the bottom line is he's going to get his degree from Notre Dame.
"He certainly could [do scout team if ineligible], and he still has a want and a desire to play in the NFL. He's huge, he's big and looks great, we're going to work him out and he could practice with us, and keep himself in a position where he could go through a senior day and do all those things as well."
Other News & Notes
• Kelly on potentially limiting Malik Zaire in the run game due to lack of position depth — "He's a pretty smart kid, he knows how to protect himself. We feel like he has to be who he is, and our offense has to be structured around what his strengths are. He has to be part of the running game, and the running game will be as effective as him being one of the options that we have. I think we've moved forward with the similar approach to the spring, to our OTAs. And we'll continue to do that going into the preseason."
• Kelly on KeiVarae Russell's offseason progression — "Here's what I know from my conversations with him, which have been almost weekly. He's an alpha player; he's got that warrior personality where he will hold others accountable. You add him into the mix with a Joe Schmidt, and you add him to a Jarrett Grace, and that changes the personality of our defense from what it was late in the year when we really didn't have those personalities on the field. So you just add another kid to the mix like that, and we all know what he has from an athletic standpoint with the ability to play the cornerback position."
• Kelly said he's pleased with the progress of both Joe Schmidt and Jarron Jones.
• Kelly said everyone else is in good standing on the roster expected back — "There are some things that we're working through with our numbers, but those things will work themselves out before we kick the ball off."