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Notre Dame Football

Changes Coming to Notre Dame's WR Room and Practice Schedule

October 29, 2020

Notre Dame's receivers have been the hot topic for the last few weeks and that continued on Thursday afternoon. 

Junior Braden Lenzy left the Pitt game after aggravating his hamstring and the Irish will be without him for the next few games. 

"Braden had PRP and that is a Grade 2 injury when we use that procedure," Kelly said. "That usually requires 2-4 weeks for a full recovery. That's what we're looking for relative to getting Braden back at the level he needs to be. 

"He's been trying to fight through a hamstring injury at less than 100 percent and that's not what you want to be at the position he plays and what his skillset is. That's where we are there. There are no other injuries to speak of from the Pittsburgh game." 

Yes, that means Lenzy and his speed will be unavailable for Clemson next Saturday. 

"He's out a minimum of two weeks and some have taken four weeks," stated Kelly. "This will be week one. We'll go into two weeks, so he will not play against Clemson. After that, we'll see where he's at."

With Lenzy and Kevin Austin Jr. out, Kelly will turn to his youth, which means true freshman Jordan Johnson is now off the scout team.

"We brought him up with us this week," Kelly explained. "He had been making some progress in how he was dealing with the transition to college. This has never been an issue of a lack of ability. We knew Jordan's ability. There are other things here at the University and we all know that. 

"He's been focused heavily on making the transition - the things that are really difficult are in the classroom. He's made some progress and enough that we brought him up." 

Johnson will get a crack at the X position in the present, but Kelly didn't rule out a future move to the W. 

"Jordan's an X receiver. Down the road, could he play the W," Kelly said. "Certainly. He's not physically at a position where he can excel at that position. We'd rather have him in a position where he can get more free releases. The W receiver gets a lot more press coverage than the X. 

"As a younger player, you would prefer much more free access. He'll begin his entry into our two-deep and rotation at the X." 

Speaking of the passing game, Tommy Tremble has established himself as one of the top tight ends in the country in the run game, but his receiving production has dipped over the last three games. 

Over the last three games, Tremble has recorded just one catch in each for a total of 11 yards after hauling in eight passes in the first two games. 

"When you're rotating in him, (Michael) Mayer and Brock Wright, we have a lot of guys moving in and out of the game those catches sometimes come in bunches," said Kelly. "He's such a hard guy to defend. 

"Sometimes he's doubled or taken away and other people are open. He'll stay central to our passing game. When we're developing what we want to do from week-to-week, Tommy Tremble will part of it." 

Notre Dame will also change its practice routing next week before No. 1 Clemson comes to South Bend. 

The NCAA mandated Tuesday be an off day for programs, so players have a chance to vote if they hadn't already and the Irish will start Clemson preparations a day earlier than usual. 

"We'll come in Sunday and that will be our Mental Monday. That will be nothing on the field. It'll be meetings; we'll watch the film and put the film away from this past weekend. We'll move the guys around a little bit. We'll get into the weight room and then we'll begin scouting reports on Clemson and have dinner and let the guys go. 

"Monday, we'll get on the field. We'll have a padded practice on Monday. We'll have Tuesday off and then get back to our normal routine beginning on Wednesday." 

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